Trip to Somnath Temple !
The site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times on account of being a Triveni sangam (the confluence of three rivers — Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Sarasvati). The name of the town Prabhas, meaning lustre, as well as the alternative names Someshvar and Somnath (“The lord of the moon” or “the moon god”) arise from this tradition.
It was trip planned as my mom had expressed her desire to visit Somnath and Dwarka when they visit me in Mumbai. So planned a trip to Somnath and Dwarka as suggested.
The Somnath temple located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, is believed to be the first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. Destroyed and reconstructed several times in the past by several Muslim invaders and Portuguese.
The present temple was reconstructed after independence in Chaulukya style of Hindu temple architecture and completed in May 1951. The reconstruction of the temple was envisioned by Shri Vallabhbhai Patel.
Old Somnath Temple:
Opposite the New Somnath Temple, is a pink, painted structure that has played witness to the history of this land. In the 17th century this temple came under the rule of the Marathas, It’s said that Ahilyabai Holkar was deeply moved by the ravaged state of the temple and took it on herself the task of reconstructing it. It is also said that the location of the swayambhulinga came in Ahilyabai’s dreams post which she started the construction immediately.
Many devotes believe that this temple contains the original jyotirling which was buried assuming that the original temple would be raided. Unlike the new Somnath Temple, everybody is allowed to enter the garbagriha and perform pooja with the help of the local priest. The aarti offered here makes for a tantalizing experience.
Timngs of Aarti @ Somnath Temple:
There are three aarti timings in a day i.e. 7.00 AM (Morning), 12.00 Noon (Afternoon Time), 7.00 Pm (Evening Time). It’s an amazing experience to witness and be part of the aarti.
One can watch live aarti from the official website of somnath temple http://www.somnath.org/Home/Live-Darshan
Getting to the Temple:
Nearest railway station is Veraval(VRL) , Somnath temple is 5 kms from railway station. Take shared rickshaw or bus , they charge 15 Rs per person only .
Or alternatively you can take a full auto rickshaw for Rs 40 only from the station they would ask for Rs 80 but you can bargain and settle for Rs 40-50 only. They take you in front of the Somnath Temple – both old and New.
Stay @ Somnath:
One can opt for somanth temple owned accommodation, there a total 4 places to accommodate devotees, but they have to be booked well in advance to avoid last minute disappointment.
Apart from the temple accommodations there are plenty of private lodges and hotels near to the temple.
We had stayed at Somnath Sagar situated near to somnath railway station, 5 minutes’ drive to the temple.
Please click here to see the review of this hotel.
Places to visit near Somanth:
- Somnath Temple.
- Triveni Ghat, Somnath
- .Lakshmi-Narayan Mandir, Somnath
- Gita Mandir, Somnath
- Panch Pandava Gufa, Somnath
- Dehotsarg Teerth, Somnath
- Parshuram Temple, Somnath
- Sasan Gir (Asiatic Lion Sanctuary near to Somnath)
- Diu (Union Territory)
- Sun Temple
- Sharda math
- Shankarcharya Gaddi
- Baldevji Gufa
These sites are in two three combined in a group and are nearby only. It takes a day to visit all these places by a taxi/cabs, they charge around Rs. 1500/- (If one is opting for Diu or Sasan Gir it is Rs. 2500/-.
Alternatively you can engage a auto rickshaw to take you to nearby places. They usually charge 500 Rs. (These are huge and can accommodate around 5 to 6 people easily).
Enjoy your trip will be posting Dwarka trip soon……!