Shree Somnath is the holy place of Aadi Jyotirling Shree Somnath Mahadev and the sacred soil from where Bhagvan Shri Krishna took his last journey to his neejdham. 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.
Somnath is in Prabhas Patan very near to Veraval. The Moon God is said to have been relieved from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati by the blessings of Bhagvan Somnath. In the Shiva Purana and Nandi Upapurana, Shiva said, `I am always present everywhere but specially in 12 forms and places as the Jyotirlinga’s. Somnath is one of these 12 holy places. This is the first among the twelve holy Shiva Jyotirlings.
The shore temple of Somnath is believed to have been built in 4 phases in gold by Lord Soma, in silver by Ravi, in wood by lord Krishna and in stone by King Bhimadeva. It has withstood the six repeated desecration by the Muslim invaders. The very existence of this temple is symbol of reconstructive spirit and cultural unity of our society. The seventh existing temple is built in the Kailas Mahameru Prasad style. The Iron man of India Sardar Shri Vallabhbhai Patel is the pioneer of the existing temple.
The temple is consisting of Garbhgruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap 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 Abadhit Samudra Marg, Tirsthambh (Arrow) indicates the unobstructed sea route to the South Pole. The nearest land towards South Pole is about 9936 km. away. This is a wonderful indicator of the ancient Indian wisdom of geography and strategic location of the Jyotirlingas. The temple renovated by Maharani Ahalyabai is adjacent to the main temple complex.
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.
Timing for Darshan at Somnath Temple is from 6.00am to 9.00pm. Timings for Aarti are 7.00 am, 12.00 Noon and 7.00 pm. “Jay Somnath” Sound and Light Show every day at 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm
How to reach :
Nearest airport to Somnath is Diu, which is 90 km away from Somnath city. This airport is connected to Mumbai only. Taxi fare from Diu to Somnath is about Rs 2000. International travelers have to get connection flights from Mumbai international airport at a distance of 890 km from Somnath. Mumbai is well linked with all major cities in India and many cities in abroad. Veraval in Konkan line is the nearest railhead, which is only just 5 km away. Taxi charges minimum fare of Rs.150/-. Veraval is connected to Mumbai by rail. State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect Somnath to various cities in and around. Luxury buses are available from Diu to Somnath, costing about Rs 300.
As a major pilgrimage center, Somnath attracts a large number of pilgrims from all over the country. There are plenty of guesthouses, mid priced hotels and budget hotels in Somnath, which offer comfortable accommodation at reasonable prices. So you can decide on an appropriate accommodation according to your budget and taste.