Sunday, 14 February 2016


Somnath Jyotirlinga
The Shiva linga in Somnath is believed to be one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. The jyotir lingas are taken as the supreme, undivided reality out of which Shiva partly appears.
The jyotirlinga shrines are the places where Shiva is believed to have appeared as a fiery column of light.Originally there are believed to have been 64 jyotirlingas and 12 of them were considered to be very auspicious and holy.
Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is alingamre presenting the beginning less and endless stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. 
Somnath is traditionally considered the first pilgrimage site: the Dwadash Jyotirlinga pilgrimage begins with the Somnath Temple.Shree Somnath Trust welcomes you to the holy place of the Aadi Jyotirling Shree Somnath Mahadev and the sacred soil from where Bhagvan Shri Krishna took his last journey to his neejdham. The site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times on account of being a triveni sangam (the joining of three rivers — Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Sarasvati River).
Somnath temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State. This pilgrimage is one of the oldest and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The hymn from Rig-Veda quoted below mention the Bhagvan Someshwar along with the great pilgrimage like Gangaji, Yamunaji and Eastward Saraswati. This signifies the ancient value of this Tirthdham. 
Legend of Somnath Temple
The Master of Moon God
The Skanda Purana, in a chapter on Prabhasa Khanda, describes Somnath. Legend has it that Shiva in the previous aeons was referred to as Mrityunjaya, Kaalagnirudra, Amritesa, Anamaya, Kritivasa and Bhairavanatha at Somnath.
Legend has it that the Kalabhairava Shivalinga (Bhairavanatha) at Prabhasa was worshipped by the moon, and hence Shiva here is referred to as Somnatha.
Also Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. Amongst all his wives, he had special love towards Rohini and neglected the others. Seeing the negligence of Chandra towards his other wives Prajapati Daksha cursed Chandra that he would lose his beauty and radiance. But because of a moon devoid of radiance and beauty the entire world became lifeless. A disturbed Chandra, came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped the Sparsa Linga of Somnath after which he was blessed by Shiva to grow and shine in the bright half. As the moon regained his light here, this town came to be known as Prabhasa. Brahma, one of the trinity, installed the Brahmashila, and paved way for the construction of the temple. On the request of the Chandrama and other gods Bhagwan Shankar assumed the name Somchandra (Jyotirlinga) and resided there eternally. He became famous by the name Somnath in the three worlds. Since, it was the Prabhas Kshetra where Bhagwan Shri Krishna performed all his Lilas. In this temple there is a small cave in which a lamp burns continuously.
The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.
Ransacking and Rebuilding of Somnath Jyotirlinga
Somnath Jyotirling has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times in the history:
* Accounts of glory and wealth of Somnath by the Arab traveler Al Biruni prompted a visit by Mahmud of Ghazini who ransacked and destroyed the temple in 1025 CE. It was immediately rebuilt by King Bhima of Gujarat and King Bhoja of Malwa.
* Somnath temple was destroyed again by Alaf Khan, the general of Allauddin Khilji in 1300 CE. It was rebuilt again by King Mahipala of the Chudasama dynasty.
* Somnath shrine was destroyed yet again in 1390, 1490, 1530 and finally in 1701 by Aurangazeb. It was rebuilt with perseverance each time after it was destroyed.
In the year 1783, Queen Ahilyabhai Holkar built a new temple nearby, and The modern temple was reconstructed with the resolve of Sardar Patel who visited the ruins of Somnath temple on November 13 1947. Then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, did the Pran-Pratistha at the existing temple on 11 May 1951. 
Entrance to the town of Somnath is through the Junagadh Gate (through which Mahmud entered the town). There are also the remains of an ancient Sun temple at Somnath. 

To the east of the town is the Bhalka Theertha connected with the legend of Krishna's Swargaa rohanam.The temple is consisting of Garbhgruh, Sabha mandap and Nritya mandap with a 150 feet high Shikhar. The Kalash at the top of the Shikhar weighs 10 tons and the Dhwajdand is 27 feet tall and 1 foot in circumference. The temple is open daily from 6AM to 9PM. There are 3 aarti daily; in the morning at 07:00, at 12:00 and in the evening at 19:00
The Abadhit Samudra Marg, Tirsthambh (Arrow) indicates the unobstructed sea route to the South Pole.
Hari Har Tirthdham is here in Somnath. This is the holy place of Bhagvan Shri Krishna's Neejdham Prasthan Leela. The place where Bhagvan Shri Krishna was hit by an arrow of a poacher is known as Bhalka Tirtha. 
After being hit by the arrow, Bhagvan Shri Krishna arrived at the holy confluence of Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati and their Sangam with the ocean. He performed his divine Neejdham Prasthan Leela at the sacred and peaceful banks of river Hiran.
The Geetamandir is built here where the divine message of Shrimad Bhagavat Geeta is carved on eighteen marble pillars. Shri Lakshminarayan Mandir is close by. The Balramjiki Gufa is the place from where Bhagvan Shrikrishna's elder brother Balaramji took journey to his nijdham-patal.
Here is the Parshuram Tapobhumi, where Bhagvan Parshuramji carried out penance and he was relieved from the sin of Kshatriya killings. The Pandavas have said to have visited this place and taken holy bath in the Jalprabhas and built five Shiv temples.
The Somnath Trust has endeavored to develop the whole Shri Krishna Neejdham Prasthan Tirtha in an wholesome manner. 
How to reach
There are no regular flights from other major cities of the country to Somnath. Nearest airport is Diu Airport.
63 km awayDiu Airport (DIU), Diu, Daman And Diu
114 km awayPorbandar Airport (PBD), Porbandar, Gujarat
Somnath is well connected to other major cities of the country via regular trains.
Railway Station(s): Somnath (SMNH)
You can easily get regular buses to Somnath from other major cities of the country.
Bus Station(s): Somnath

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