Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shri Shomnath

Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple
Shree Somnath is first among the twelve Aadi Jyotirlings of Lord Shiva and is a revered pilgrimage center in India. It has a strategic location on the western coast of India.Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple is situated in Somnath Patan (the south coast of Saurashtra), near Veraval in (Prabhas Kshetra) Kathaiwad district in Gujarat.

History : 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


Legend of Somnath Temple : In Skanda Purana, ther is a story on Prabhasa Khanda, describes the emergence of this Jyotirlinga in Somnath. Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. Amongst all his wives, he  special loves towards Rohini and neglected  others. This negligence of Chandra towards his other wives Prajapati Daksha cursed Chandra, 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 payed way for the construction of the temple. On the request of the Chandrama and other gods Bhagwan Shankar owned name as Somchandra (Jyotirlinga) and resided there in Somnath 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. A small cave in In this temple, in which a lamp(Jyoti) burns continuously.

It is believed that the Somnath temple here was originally built by Somraj, the Moon God himself, out of gold, and then rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then by Krishna in Wood, then by Bhimdev in stone.

 The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath Temple 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.

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.
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