Somnath Jyotirlinga is one of the most revered and ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva in India. It is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are the manifestations of Shiva’s supreme power and presence. Somnath Jyotirlinga is located in Prabhas Patan, a town in Gir Somnath district of Gujarat, on the western coast of India. The temple is situated on the seashore, and it is said that the holy waters of the Arabian Sea cleanse the temple and the devotees who visit it. Visit during One day Somnath Sightseeing Trip By Private cab
Location of Somnath Jyotirlinga
The Somnath Jyotirlinga is about 8 km from the city of Veraval, which was once a major port for trade and commerce. The temple is also close to the ancient city of Dwarka, where Lord Krishna spent his last days. The temple is at the confluence of three mythological rivers: Saraswati, Hiranya and Kapila, which form the Triveni Sangam. The temple is also known as Deo Patan or Prabhasa Pattana, which means “the city of light” or “the city of gods”.
Timing of Somnath Jyotirlinga
The Somnath Jyotirlinga is open for darshan (viewing) from 6 am to 9 pm every day. The temple has three aartis (rituals) daily: at 7 am, 12 noon and 7 pm. The temple also has a light and sound show every evening at 8 pm, which narrates the history and glory of the temple. The temple charges a nominal fee for entry and photography.
Rituals of Somnath Jyotirlinga
The Somnath Jyotirlinga has various rituals and ceremonies that are performed by the priests and devotees throughout the year. Some of the main rituals are:
- Abhishek: This is the ritual of bathing the idol of Shiva with water, milk, honey, curd, ghee and other substances. This is done to express devotion and gratitude to Shiva and to seek his blessings. Devotees can perform abhishek by themselves or by booking online through the temple website.
- Rudrabhishek: This is a special abhishek that involves chanting the Rudram, a hymn from the Vedas that praises Shiva as the destroyer of evil and the source of all creation. This is done to invoke Shiva’s grace and protection from all kinds of troubles and calamities. Devotees can perform rudrabhishek by themselves or by booking online through the temple website.
- Mahapuja: This is a grand puja (worship) that involves offering various items such as flowers, fruits, sweets, clothes and ornaments to Shiva. This is done to express love and reverence to Shiva and to seek his fulfillment of all desires. Devotees can perform mahapuja by themselves or by booking online through the temple website.
- Pradakshina: This is the ritual of circumambulating (walking around) the temple in a clockwise direction. This is done to show respect and devotion to Shiva and to imbibe his positive energy and vibrations. Devotees can do pradakshina as many times as they wish.
Importance of Somnath Jyotirlinga
The Somnath Jyotirlinga is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Hindus, especially for Shaivites (followers of Shiva). The temple has a long and rich history, with evidence of its existence dating back to the 8th century AD. The temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times by various Muslim invaders and rulers, who looted its wealth and desecrated its sanctity. The most notorious among them was Mahmud Ghazni, who attacked the temple in 1026 AD and took away its famous gold-plated idol of Shiva. The temple was also attacked by Alauddin Khalji in 1299 AD, Muzaffar Shah I in 1395 AD and Aurangzeb in 1665 AD.
Somnath Jyotirlinga was finally restored to its original glory in 1951 by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first Home Minister of India, with the approval of Mahatma Gandhi. The present structure of the temple is built in the Maru-Gurjara style of Hindu temple architecture, with intricate carvings and sculptures depicting various scenes from Hindu mythology. The temple has a shikhar (spire) that rises to a height of 50 meters and a kalash (pot) that weighs 10 tons. The temple also has a museum that displays various artifacts and relics related to the temple’s history and culture.
The Somnath Jyotirlinga is believed to be the place where Shiva manifested himself as a Jyotirlinga, a pillar of light, to prove his supremacy over other gods. The temple is also believed to be the place where the moon god Chandra worshipped Shiva to get rid of his curse of waning. The temple is also believed to be the place where Lord Krishna was shot by a hunter’s arrow and left his mortal body. The temple is also believed to be the place where Lord Rama performed a yagna (sacrifice) before going to Lanka to rescue Sita.
The Somnath temple is a symbol of faith, resilience and devotion for millions of Hindus across the world. The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year, who come to seek the blessings of Shiva and to witness the beauty and magnificence of the temple.
Significance of Somnath Temple
The Somnath temple has a great significance for Hindus, as it represents one of the aspects of Shiva, the supreme god of Hinduism. Shiva is known by many names and forms, such as Mahadev (the great god), Nataraj (the lord of dance), Rudra (the fierce one), Neelkanth (the blue-throated one), Bholenath (the simple one) and many more. Shiva is also known as Somnath, which means “the lord of the moon” or “the lord of soma”.
Soma is a sacred drink that was consumed by the ancient sages and gods to attain bliss and enlightenment. Soma is also associated with the moon, which is considered to be the source of life and fertility. The moon is also considered to be one of the eyes of Shiva, along with the sun and fire. The moon is also considered to be one of the ornaments of Shiva, along with his trident, snake, drum and skull.
The Somnath temple is dedicated to Shiva as Somnath, who is worshipped as the giver of life, health, wealth and happiness. The temple is also dedicated to Shiva as Jyotirlinga, which means “the linga (symbol) of light”. A Jyotirlinga is a representation of Shiva’s infinite power and presence, which can be seen and felt by his devotees. A Jyotirlinga is also a manifestation of Shiva’s grace and compassion, which can heal and transform his devotees.
The Somnath temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas in India, which are considered to be the most sacred shrines of Shiva. Each Jyotirlinga has a different name and story associated with it, which reveals a different aspect of Shiva’s personality and attributes. By visiting and worshipping these Jyotirlingas, devotees can experience the various facets of Shiva’s glory and benevolence.
How to reach Somnath temple?
The Somnath temple can be reached by road, rail or air. The nearest airport is Diu airport, which is about 85 km away from the temple. The nearest railway station is Veraval railway junction, which is about 7 km away from the temple. The temple can also be reached by bus or taxi from various cities in Gujarat.
When is the best time to visit Somnath temple?
The best time to visit Somnath temple is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and comfortable. The temple can also be visited during festivals such as Mahashivaratri, Shravan month, Kartik month and Prabhas Utsav, when the temple is decorated and celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm.
What are the other attractions near Somnath temple?
There are many other attractions near Somnath temple that can be explored by the visitors. Some of them are:
Bhalka Tirth: This is the place where Lord Krishna was shot by a hunter’s arrow and left his mortal body. There is a banyan tree under which Krishna rested before departing to his abode.
Dehotsarg Tirth: This is the place where Lord Krishna performed his last rites and ascended to his abode. There is a footprint of Krishna on a stone slab that marks his departure.
Prachi Tirth: This is one of the oldest temples in India dedicated to Lord Vishnu. It was built by King Pratihar in 8th century AD.
Triveni Sangam: This is the confluence of three rivers: Saraswati, Hiranya and Kapila. It is considered to be a holy spot for taking a dip and performing rituals.
The Somnath Jyotirlinga is a magnificent and majestic temple that showcases the splendor and devotion of Hinduism. The temple is a testimony of the faith and resilience of the Hindus, who have rebuilt and restored the temple after several invasions and destructions. The temple is a source of inspiration and solace for millions of pilgrims and tourists, who come to seek the blessings of Shiva and to witness the beauty and magnificence of the temple. The Somnath Jyotirlinga is not just a temple, but a living legend that embodies the spirit and essence of Hinduism.