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Somnath Temple: Lord Shiva's Jyotirlinga


Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India. Somnath means "Protector of the Moon God'. The temple is located in Saurashtra in Gujarat, a western state which is also known as 'Jewel in the West'. This holy place finds a reference in old texts like Shivpuran and even in Rig Vedic Hymns thus revealing its own significance in the lines of history and religion.


According to the legends, the Somnath Temple was built by Chandra or the God of Moon to release himself from a curse laid upon him by Daksha his father-in-law. Chandra was cursed for loving one of his 27 wives more than the rest. Lord Shiva after being pleased with the prayers of Soma decided to rest eternally in the Jyotirlingam though the curse was removed just partially causing the periodic waxing and waning of moon according to the religious doctrines. As found in some old religious texts, Lord Shiva says that, though he is omnipresent he would dwell in the twelve Jyotirlingas, Somnath Temple being one.


The Somnath Temple epitomizes spirit of holiness and unity as it was destroyed and rebuilt six times down the line. The temple was first built in four stages by the Moon God, Sun God, Lord Krishna and King Bhimadeva with gold, silver, sandalwood and stone respectively. The present one is built in the Chalukya style under the pioneering leadership of Sardar Vallabhai Patel. The wonderful architecture of the building shows the fine skill or craftsmanship in mathematical and geographical sense present in earlier days.


By Road: In order to reach Somnath temple by road one can avail luxury buses from Diu which is 90 kms from Somnath. Somnath is at the distance of 890 kms from Mumbai which is very well connected to all the major cities in India.

By Train: The nearest railway station to Somnath is Veraval which is just 5 kms away and is well connected to all other major cities.

By Airways: If you are flying, then the nearest airport would be Diu which is just 90 kms away from the Somnath Temple.

Life itself is a pilgrimage and a visit to the holy places like this renders a unique placidity to our soul. These places are not just of religious relevance but they also carry a historical significance. We come to discover not only new domains of life but also our inner self by undertaking such wonderful journeys.

Story first published: Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 14:36 [IST]
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