Somnath Sightseeing

Somnath : Somnath temple is located on the western coast of Gujarat and is one of the oldest and most revered temples of India and finds its reference in the most ancient texts like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most celebrated pilgrimage sites or Tirthdham. In fact it is one of the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Lord Shiva which are considered to be very holy and each of the twelve Jyotrilinga is considered to be the manifestation of the Lord Shiva.

 Somnath temple

#Somnath Temple
The legendary shore temple of Somnath is located near Veraval and is about 80 kms from Junagadh. The Somnath temple is one of the twelve most sacred shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple contains the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. This temple has a very long history. According to the legends, the Somnath temple is very old and was originally built in gold by the Somraj, the Moon God. Later, it was rebuilt by Ravana, in silver; then by Krishna in wood and by Bhimdev in stone. Mahmud of Ghazni, upon hearing the description of the richness of the Somnath temple by Al Biruni, an Arab traveller, visited this temple in 1024 AD. At that time, this temple had about 300 musicians, 500 dancing girls and 300 barbers to shave off the heads of pilgrims. After a 2 days battle, Mahmud destroyed the temple and carried away jewels and gold to his homeland. Hence, a tradition got started, the Muslims destroy the temples and the Hindus rebuilt them. The Somnath Temple was raided again in 1927, 1934 and 1706. In 1706, this temple was raided by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. In all, the Somnath temple was rebuilt and destroyed eight times. This temple was finally rebuilt in 1950 with the support of Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel. The current temple was built as per the traditional designs on the original site by the sea and is a serene, symmetrical and sinuous structure. Today, this majestic temple is a replica of the earlier temple.

#Bhalka Tirth
Bhalka Tirth is situated halfway between the Veraval and Somnath. At this place, the Lord Krishna was mistaken for a deer and wounded by an arrow. The legendary spot is at the confluence of the three rivers. This place is entered through the small Sangam (confluence gate), known as the Nana. North of this sacred spot is the Suraj Mandir or Sun Temple. This ancient temple was destroyed by the Mahmud of Ghazni. The temple, with a freize of lions with elephant trunks, probably dates from the same time as the Somnath temple.
 Bhalka Tirth

Somnath Sightseeing

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