Somnath: The Glory of the Moon God
The incredible town of Somnath radiates an aura of holiness from the famous Somnath Temple. The temple looms large over the townscape not only physically but also in a very spiritual manner. Somnath has a rich cultural tradition and a legacy of spirituality which revolves around the temple. However, the heady dose of spirituality is tempered with some scenic vistas. The seas produce a calm and languid atmosphere which has a charm of its own. The natural sights of the region will surprise you with their quiet beauty.
How to Get There
The nearest Airport is at Keshod, (125 kms.) which is connected with Mumbai.
Veraval, 7Kms from Somnath is the nearest railway station. The station is connected by a daily train to Ahmedabad and also other cities like Jabalpur, Pune have frequent train service plying from Veraval.
State transport buses and private luxury coaches connect various centres of Gujarat to Somnath.
Somnath Mahadev Temple
Although it may not look like it, the Somnath Mahadev Temple has a history that stretches way back towards the ages of the ancients. History itself mentions that the temple has been destroyed and then rebuilt nearly seven times. The legends that surround the temple are just as rich as its former glory. It was the moon god, Somraj, himself who created the first temple in gold. Ravana rebuilt the temple in silver followed by Lord Krishna who built it in wood. Bhimdev rebuilt the temple in stone. The Somnath Mahadev Temple was always magnificent. In fact the temple received glowing praises by the Arab traveler, Al-Biruni. When the legendary Mahmud of Ghazni invaded and looted the temple, its glory was incomparable. It supposedly had 500 dancing girls, 300 musicians and even possibly 300 barbers then. The most recent structure was built in the same site as the ancient temple. The simple architectural style of the temple suits the beauty of the sea that stretches to the horizon behind it. The immense Shiva lingam inside the temple is considered to be among the 12 jyotilingas. The temple also has some interesting dioramas depicting the story of Lord Shiva.
Panch Pandava Gufa
The incredible Panch Pandava Gufa was possibly built in the 15th century and has such overseen much of the history of the region. The Gufa holds a special significance for the Hindu religion as it contains many shrines. Apart from its religious aspect, the structure is fascinating with its awe inspiring architecture. From here you can see across the distance some spectacular sights including the relaxing sea beaches. Stay and watch the sunset as it is going to be a soothing experience. The various shrines here are dedicated to different gods and goddesses such as Lord Rama, Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva. You will also find idols of the five Pandava brothers.