Somnath Places to Visit
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Old Somnath Temple
Old Somnath Temple is an ancient temple enshrining the sacred Shivlinga, one of the 12 Shiva Jyotirlingas. It is located on the shore of Arabian Sea. Mythological evidences put the foundation of this temple by Soma, the Moon. This temple was constructed by the moon and dedicated to Shiva (Somnath) as the moon got reprieve from the curse of Daksha at this place.
This temple was destroyed many times by Muslim invaders and the first was by Mahmud Gazni in 1026 AD and the last time by Mughal emperor Aurangaseb in 1706. The temple was later renovated in 1950. The temple has a high tower of about 50 m height over the main sanctum. The ruins of the ancient temples are seen nearby.
Junagadh gate, a main attraction in Somanth, is the prime gateway to Somanth. One can enter the temple town from the nearest city Veraval only through this gate. This is a triple gate with historical significance and is an ancient structure which was built many centuries back. This is a striking gate with many intricate carvings on the gate walls.
It is through this gate the foreign invader Mahmud Gazni broke it to enter the holy city and destroyed the temples in the town and looted the great wealth.. The foreign invader ruined most parts of the structure as well during his invasion to the city.
Kamnath Mahadev Temple
The Kamnath Mahadev temple, built about 200 years ago by a Mayurdhwaj King, is a renowned temple located in Somnath. This is a large temple complex with a holy pond known as Dudhiyu Talav, a water well known as Gangvo Kuvo and a bathing pool named as "Mahadev no Kund".
The legendary stories claim that the pond water has majestic healing powers and it is believed that Mayurdhwaj King recovered from leprosy after taking bath in this place. There was a saying in Gujarat, which means, “He who does not bath at the Kund is as good as dead or is a living dead".
This is a very famous religious attraction in Gujarat. Thousands of devotees throng to this temple when grandeur fair is conducted at the end of Shravan Maas every year.
Bhaluka Tirtha (Bhalka Teerth) is a holy tirth (pond) in Somnath along Prabhas-Veraval highway. It is believed that this is the place where Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow shot by a hunter known as Jara. Lord Krishna was sitting under a Banyan tree in meditation when the hunter mistook the legs as a dear and shot at.
This tirtha is placed at the confluence of three holy rivers including the river Hiran. There is a small temple built under the Banyan tree on the bank of the tirtha with a majestic white idol of Lord Krishna. The pink colored foot of the Krishna and an image of the hunter Jara with folded hands are also seen in the temple.
Gita Mandir, placed at the confluence of three holy rivers known as Triveni Tirtha, is a Krishna temple built by Birla family in 1970. Mythology says that Lord Krishna walked about 4km from Baluka Tirtha to here after hit by the arrow by a hunter Jara.
Gita temple, also known as Birla temple, is a marvelous architectural beauty in Marbles. The images of Gita Hymns are depicted in the inscriptions of marble walls. The Mandir is constructed in such a way that one can hear the echo of his voice inside the temple, so that the Krishna bhajans by the devotees can be echoed in the environments.
Suraj Mandir, also popularly known as Sun Temple, in Somnath is also an ancient temple dating back to the origin of Somnath temple. This temple is situated at the north of the Triveni Ghat, the confluence of three holy rivers. The temple was set up to offer prayers to Sun God.
The temple architecture is amazing with many images of elephants, lions and other birds and animals. This temple also was attacked many a times by Muslim foreign invaders. But later it was renovated to present structure. The temple is a rare specimen of worshiping to nature and is praise worthy symbols of Hindu cultural heritage.
Lakshminarayan temple is located closeby to Gita Mandir (Birla temple) in Somanth. It is ideally located at a pristine location in the Somnath shore. The presiding deity of the temple is Lord Lakshminarayan, a manifestation of Lord Vishnu. This temple is placed in a very big complex in a spiritual environment. Daily Pujas are offered in this temple. The idols of many other Hindu Gods and Goddesses are also enshrine the temple.
The temple is built in modern Indian architectural style is an imposing structure. The glossy marbles with many intricate carvings depicting the puranic stories are real attractions of the temple. The temple has been visited by thousands of devotees every year.
Panch Pandav Gufa
Panch Pandava Gufa is a temple situated near Lalghati in Somnath. This is a marvelous temple founded by the late Baba Narayandas in the year 1949. This temple is dedicated to five Pandava brothers. This temple, located at an elevated place, offers a beautiful view of surrounding holy city.
Imposing idols of five Pandava brothers are enshrined. The idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Rama and Goddess Durga are also installed in this grand modern temple. The temple is built in a scenic environment and the ambiance offers a calm and cool spiritual atmosphere. A Sanskrit college is established in the compound of this temple.
Triveni Ghat in Somanth is the confluence of three holy rivers namely Kapil, Hiran and a mystical River Saraswathy. It is believed that the rivers flow to the ultimate destination of Sea from here. This symbolizes the human birth, life and death. This is a sacred location for taking dip in the Triveni Sangam. It is believed that the holy bath in the waters at this Ghat offers relief from all curses and ills happened in the whole life.
Triveni Ghat has a significant place in Hindu Mythology and Puranas. This ghat was mentioned many places in Puranas and great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is believed that Lord Krishna paid a visit to this holy spot after he was hit by an arrow shot by Jara, a hunter. This is a highly revered place in Somnath.
The famous temples Gita Mandir and Lakshminarayan temple are located on the banks of Triveni Ghat.
The Prasuram temple is located at a holy spot on the banks of the Triveni Ghat. It is believed that Prasuram, one incarnation of Lord Vishnu, had undergone a long period penance in this place to come out from the curse of killing the Kshatriya Kings. It was here Lord Shiva (Somnath) offer relief to him from the immaculate curse.
The temple is located at a scenic location with beautiful landscapes and two ancient Kunds (bathing pools). Many devotees visit this temple to pray to Lord Parasuram and spend their time in Dhyanam (meditation). This is one of the rare temples in India dedicated to Parasuram.
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