Holy Places in Somnath
| Introduction |
The holy town of Somanth located on the shores of Arabian Sea, is one of the most important pilgrim centers in India. This sleepy town lies close to Vereval where most of the leisure travelers and pilgrim puts up when they are visiting Somnath as it offers you a wide range of accommodation. The famous Somnath temple is situated here and is believed to have been plundered 6 times by Mahmud of Ghazni who raided the temple and took away its treasures to his homeland. According to Hindu mythology this is also the place where Lord Krishna was shot in the leg. The number of historical, mythical and religious associations with the Holy Places in Somnath makes it more attractive to the tourists.
References of this ancient city can be found in many of the early Indian texts. It was said that the Aryans took shelter over here before moving further in the South of the subcontinent. Somnath earns much of its claim to fame from the erstwhile Somnath Temple which is believed to house one of the twelve Shiv jyotirlingas. It is one of the most sought after Holy Places in Somnath. The legend associated with it is quite interesting. Supposedly it was built by the moon god or Soma in agreement to the curse that king Daksha put on him. As the legend goes he is said to have been cursed by Daksha with whose daughters he was binded by holy wedlock. However he loved his wife Rohini the most and ignored Daksha’s other daughters. Due to the curse the moon began to fade and Daksha advised Soma to visit the Prabhas to get rid of the curse. Somnath etymologically mean the Lord of the moon.
Another fact that is associated with Somnath Temple is the number of times it was rebuilt and besieged. Soma built it in gold. It was rebuilt in silver by Ravana. Again Lord Krishna built it in wood and later it was again built in stone by Bhima one of the Pandava brothers.