Somnath Temple is sited at the Prabhas Kshetra near Veraval in Saurashtra, on the western coast of Gujarat. It is devoted to Lord Shiva. This temple is the perfect holy place of Hindus. The Indian history depicts that this temple is plundered by many invaders and its wealth and property had been robbed of by number of times with its destruction. Deo Pattan, Prabhas Pattan, or Somnath Pattan are the another names of this temple. It is the best instance of ancient beauty. It is the first among the 12 jyotirlighas. The glory and fame of this temple is at par. In ancient times revenues was collected in order to maintain Somnath Temple. The meaning of Somnath is `the protector of Moon god`. It is a belief that this temple had got its solid structure of gold by Moon god, of silver by Ravana, of sandalwood by Lord Krishna and of stone by Bhimdeva (Solanki king of Gujarat). This temple possesses biggest dome of this century. Due to its challenging beauty it is known as “Eternal Shrines”.
One can reach Somnath Temple by three modes: Road, Rail and Air. Somnath is linked with good network of roads to other nearby cities and states of Gujarat. There are regular services carried out through State transport corporation buses and private coaches. The visit to Somnath temple can also be carried out through rail network and the nearest railhead is 7 km away at Veraval. The nearest airport to Somanth is Keshod (55 km away) and is connected to Mumbai.
Security And Some Tips
There are so many security arrangements at this temple. The temple’s premises include installation of CCTV camera so as to put an eye on the each and every activity of devotee. A separate security team has been appointed for temple’s security. Yatri should place their luggage at a secure and safe place.
When To Visit
This temple can be visited throughout whole of the year but the best time to visit the temple is in between the month of October to March. As the weather during this period is pleasant. The timings of the darshan at Somnath Temple are 6.00 AM to 9.30 PM. The timings of aarti are 7.00 AM, 12.00 Noon and 7.00 PM.
What To See And Do
There is a large central hall within the temple premises. There are three gateways for entry and each of these is protected by lofty porch. The carving and sculptures of the temple reveals the artistic talent of the craftsmen of that era. The balconied corridor is covered up by Nataraja statue. The jyotirlinga of the temple is decorated with flowers and garlands. The deity and interior of the temple is carved with the gold and silver. Vastra are also offered to the deity of Lord Shiva. The world of spiritualism can be achieved by sounds of holy chants, bells, and drums during aarti. There is a long queue for the darshan of the Lord Shiva. There are so many poojavidhis are performed at Somnath Temple. They are: Homatmak Atirudra, Homatmak Lagurudra, Savalaksha Samput Mahamrutunjay Jaap, Savalaksha Mahamrutunjay Jaap, and Mahadugdh Abhishek, Kalsarpa yog Nivaran Vidhi, Santan Gopal Mantra Pooja, Shodshopachar Pooja, Gangajal Abhishek, Aavartan and Sam. Mahamrityunjay Jap etc.
Where To Stay
There is Sri Somnath Temple Trust which avails 200 rooms at a cheap rate. There are dharamshalas too which avails rooms along with beds at judicious price. They also provide food to visitors on extra payment.
Where Else To Stay
Yatri can also have their stay at hotels near Somnath Temple as they provide luxury to devotees. These hotels are: Hotel Rakesh, Hotel Shri Radhe, Hotel Shubh Suvidha, Hotel Tulsi, Hotel Radhika and Hotel Nandi etc.
Somnath Mahadev Fair is celebrated in the month of November in the honour of birth ofLord Shiva’s son- Kartikeya. This fair is also called as Kartik Purmima Mela. The tourists are attracted towards this temple during the festival of shivratri which is celebrated in the month of February – March every year.
There are other fascinating places near this to visit and enjoy. These places are: Bhalka Teerth, Dehotsarg Teerth, Somnath Museum, Junagadh Gate, Ahalyeshwar Mahadev Temple, Lakshmi Narayan temple, Balramjiki Gufa, Mahaprabhuji's Bethak, Triveni Sangam, Shree Parashuram Temple, Sun Temple, Prachi and Shashibhushan Temples, Shree Veneshwar Mahadev Temple, Chorwad Beach and Gir National Park.
Yatri should bring video camera to have a complete picture of the visit. They also should have personal diary to have a complete record of feelings at that moment. They should not have Non- Veg and alcoholic drink during the holy visit. They also should have first aid along with the travel guide who provides every sort of information of the whole trip.
Hence, the purification of heart and soul can be attained by this sacred visit.