Somnath Gujarat – Home to the Most Ancient Temples in India

Somnath is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies in Gujarat state. It is located in the Gir Somnath district. one of the oldest towns in the state and is known for its ancient temples. It also has a rich cultural heritage and is a popular tourist destination.

Somnath temple

The Somnath Gujarat temple is the first Jyotirlinga temple in India. The temple was originally built by the moon god Soma and the sun god Ravi. The temple was constructed in stone, sandalwood, and gold. But throughout the ages, it has been looted and destroyed by Muslim rulers. In 722 CE, Junamad destroyed it, and then the Muslim ruler Mahmud of Ghazi destroyed it in 1024 CE. Muslim rulers again attacked the temple in 1299 CE, and in 1546, the Portuguese destroyed it. In 1702, the Muslim ruler Aurangzeb destroyed the temple. After this, the temple was rebuilt with the people’s spirit and devotion.

Somnath Gujarat
Somnath Gujarat

A third time the temple was rebuilt was in 815 AD by Guru Pratihara King Nagabhatta. This time, the temple was built using red stones. In 1024 AD, an attack took place at the temple by Mahmud Ghaznavi, who had traveled to India and had intended to loot the temple.

Gita Mandir

Gita Mandir in Somnath is a popular Hindu temple in Somnath. It is located on the banks of the Triveni Sangam and is a popular pilgrimage destination. It has exquisite architecture carved in white marble. The sanctum of the temple houses an idol of Lord Krishna. 

  • It is flanked by idols of Lord Laxminarayan and Lord Sita-Ram. 
  • It is also famous for the footprint of Lord Krishna. 
  • Gita Mandir is part of a small complex of three to four other Hindu temples. 

The main temple is in the heart of the town, while smaller Hindu temples are located around the main one.

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If you are visiting Gita Mandir, it is important to know how to reach it. Somnath is about 233 kilometers away from Dwarka. You can reach this town in about 4 hours by driving through NH51.

Triveni Ghat

Triveni Ghat is a sacred Hindu site. 

  • It is located at the confluence of three rivers: Saraswati, Kapil, and Hiran. 
  • The three rivers are considered holy and represent the three stages of life. 
  • The three rivers have been mentioned in the Puranas, Ramayan, and Mahabharata. 

Legends say that Lord Krishna once visited Triveni Ghat before being killed by the hunter Jara.

The confluence of the three rivers is best viewed by boat. The boat ride takes about 10 minutes and will take you to the confluence center. It is difficult to tell where the rivers join from the ghat, and there is a lot of water.

Lord Shiva

Somnath, Gujarat, is an important pilgrimage center for worshipping Lord Shiva. It is home to the holy Triveni Sangam, where the rivers Kapila, Hiran, and Sarasvati meet. The river Sarasvati is cursed by the Moon God Soma. The temple of Lord Shiva is located here.

Lord Shiva was a child whose birth was cursed by Prajapati. The gods pleaded with him to retract the curse, but he refused. Then, one of them, Daksha, suggested that Chandra visit Lord Shiva in Somnath. The goddess Daksha accompanied him to the temple, where he prayed to Lord Shiva. The gods granted him the power to return the world to its former glory. The temple was built in the same location where the moon had its waning and waxing phases. The Rig Veda also mentions the river in its texts.

Mata Ahilyabai

Mata Ahilyabai was a pioneer in building Hindu temples and Dharamshala in India. She also helped to restore Hindu pilgrimage sites after the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had defiled them. Her contributions to society are lauded worldwide, and her legacy lives on today.

Medieval Muslim hordes repeatedly attacked the temple, but it has always been rebuilt. This symbolizes the belief that terror can never crush faith and truth. Although destructive powers may have conquered the world for a time, they cannot suppress the human spirit for very long.

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