|Somnath Temple||Near the Somnath beach|
|Laxminarayan Mandir||Located adjacent to the famous Gita Mandir in the Dehotsarg Campus|
|Gita Mandir||Sited in Dehotsarg campus adjoining the Laxminarayan Temple at the Triveni Tirtha|
|Shri Parshuram Temple||Situated at the sacred Triveni Tirtha about 5 kilometers away from Somnath along the Somnath Veraval highway|
|Shri Shashibhushan Mahadev and Bhidbhanjan Ganapatiji Temple||Located approximately 4 kilometers away from the Somnath Mahadev Temple along the Somnath-Veraval Highway|
|Shri Veneshwar Mahadev Temple||Located just opposite the Somnath Trust Dharamshala Gate|
|Suraj Mandir||Located to the north of the sacred Triveni Teerth|
|Kamnath Mahadev Temple|
|Triveni Sangam Snanghat||Near Laxmi Narayan Temple|
|Dehotsarg Teerth||Located roughly one and a half kilometers away from the Somnath Temple|
|Bhalka Teerth||Located along the Prabhas-Veraval highway about 5 kilometers away from Somnath|
|Panch Pandava Gufa||Established near Lalghati in Somnath|
|Junagarh Gate||Located close to the Somnath Temple|
|Mai Puri Masjid||Positioned at the distance of just one kilometer from the Junagarh Gate|
|The Somnath Museum||Located to the north of the Somnath Temple close to the check post|
|Somnath Beach||Positioned right behind the imperial Somnath Temple|
|Veraval Beach||Located along the south-west coast of Saurashtra at the fishing port Veraval approximately 5 kilometers away from the Somnath Mahadev Temple|
The Somnath Temple dedicated to the Lord of Moon; Lord Shiva is eminently renowned in every corner of the country and globe as the temple that was decimated and resurrected several times over the centuries. Regarded as one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of India where Lord Shiva Himself is believed to be eternally residing, the Somnath Temple is tremendously aggrandized by Hindus. The devotees of Lord Shiva affirm that taking a Darshana of Lord Somnath is extremely fortuitous and auspicious. The present day temple of Lord Somnath was raised after the Independence under the initiative and aegis of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi. The installation ceremony of the Somnath Temple was performed in the year 1951 by the hands of Dr Rajendra Prasad; the first President of the Republic of India. In his public address Dr Rajendra Prasad had exclaimed that, “The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction”.
Currently administered by ‘Shri Somnath Trust’, the Somnath Temple designed in ‘Kailash Mahameru Prasad Style’ reveals the Chalukya order of temple architecture. The swaggering structure of Somnath Temple ceaselessly sings the sagas of the artistic ingenuity of the ‘Sompura Salats’; the master masons of Gujarat. 155 feet tall temple of Somnath crowned with an intricately carved pyramidal dome bears a lofty stone Kalasha that weighs nearly 10 tones. The elaborate carvings embellishing the temple, the grand silver doors, the huge mandapa, the Baan-Stambh, the striking Nandi idol and the ostentatious Shiva Lingam are the most noteworthy attractions of the Somnath Temple. Every evening this temple is entirely illuminated with millions of lights which creates a truly awe inspiring spectacle. The light and sound show named ‘Jai Somnath’ performed everyday between 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm is both entertaining and informative.
Laxminarayan Temple of Somnath located adjacent to the famous Gita Mandir in the Dehotsarg Campus is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laxmi. Positioned along the pristine Somnath Beach this Laxminarayan Mandir is revered for enshrining the divine ‘Shreevigraha’ of Bhagwan Laxminarayan. Supposed to be fashioned after the Laxminarayan Temple of Badrinath, this temple is built in modern Indian style of architecture. This daunting structure erected in glossy marbles and ornamented with beautiful carvings and engravings is distinguished for its commanding architectonics. The carvings on the temple walls depict the episodes chronicled in the Hindu Puranas. Apart from the arresting idol of Lord Laxminarayan, this temple also enshrines several other idols of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Greatly honored by the Vaishnavites, the Laxminarayan Temple of Somnath receives myriads of devotees every year. The daily poojas offered at the temple and the chanting of the mantras yield a pacifying spiritual ambience inside the temple premises.
Gita Mandir also sited in Dehotsarg campus adjoining the Laxminarayan Temple at the Triveni Tirtha is an impressive shrine dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna and the Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta preached by him. This Krishna Temple constructed by Birla Family in 1970 AD is also popularly reckoned by the title the ‘Birla Temple’. As the legend goes, the Gita Mandir is nested at the very exact spot where Lord Shri Krishna after being shot by a hunter at the Bhalka Teerth had rested for a while before departing for the final journey to His ‘Neej Dham’. Lord Krishna with his bleeding toe is said to have walked about 4 kilometers from Bhalka Teerth to the present location of Gita Mandir.
Marvelously built in polished marble stone, the Gita Mandir enshrines the idol of Lord Krishna in its sanctum. This idol of the presiding deity is flanked by two statues of Lord Laxminarayan and Lord SitaRam. The most remarkable aspect of the Gita Mandir is its eighteen marble pillars that bear the 18 Adhyays of Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta carved on them. The interiors of the temple are decorated with several paintings depicting various life episodes of Lord Krishna. The Gita Mandir is constructed in such a way that any sound made within the temple is echoed. As a result, the Krishna Bhajans and Stotras recited inside the temple echo in the environment and create a spiritual appeal.
Shri Parshuram Temple
Lord Parshuram; the son of Goddess Renuka and a pious sage Jamadagni is believed to be the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and one of the seven immortals (chiranjiv) stated in Hindu mythology. Shri Parshuram Temple is situated at the sacred Triveni Tirtha about 5 kilometers away from Somnath along the Somnath Veraval highway. Also venerated by the laurel ‘Parshuram Tapobhoomi’ this locale is believed to be the very place where Lord Parshuram had performed a severe penance in the honor of Lord Somnath in order to get rid of the sin of Kshatriya Vadh. The Parshuram Temple of Triveni Tirtha happens to be one of the rare temples dedicated to Lord Parshuram.
This baroque temple adjoined by two ancient bathing water tanks (holy kund) is a much sought after religious destination near Somnath where devotees spend time in prayers and meditation. The temple edifice is divided into three sub structures; sabhamandap, central mandap and a garbhagriha. The garbhagriha of this shrine houses the idol of Lord Parshuram sided by two idols of Kala and Kama. Moreover, the temple complex also comprises the sub shrines dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha. Additionally, a smaller shrine consecrating the Goddess Renuka; the mother of Lord Parshuram is also positioned behind the main temple.
Endowed with its religious and mythological significance as well as its charismatic scenic background, this temple of Lord Parshuram is much frequented by the devotees and the tourists all round the year.
Shri Shashibhushan Mahadev and Bhidbhanjan Ganapatiji Temple
Shri Shashibhushan Mahadev and Bhidbhanjan Ganapatiji Temple located approximately 4 kilometers away from the Somnath Mahadev Temple along the Somnath-Veraval Highway is a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha. Positioned against the chimerical backdrop of the sublime Arabian Sea this temple is regarded to have been built at the very spot from where the Jara poacher is said to have shot the toe of Lord Krishna taking it for a small bird. This temple is said to have been founded by Shri Bhav Brihaspati; the erstwhile Poojacharya of the Somnath Temple. Lord Shashibhushan Mahadev along with his son Lord Bhidbhanjan Ganapati is worshipped in this temple. The devotees hold a belief that the Lord Ganesha of this temple possesses the powers to relieve you from your worldly troubles (Bhidbhanjan).
Shri Veneshwar Mahadev Temple
Shri Veneshwar Mahadev Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located just opposite the Somnath Trust Dharamshala Gate. As the legend goes, when Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Somnath in 1025 AD, the local king of Somnath gave a tough fight against his army. As the king was not surrendering, Mahmud of Ghazni had to hatch a new plan. He found out that the king had a daughter named Veni who used to pay a visit to a certain Shiva Temple stationed outside the fort wall of Prabhaspatan everyday. Mahmud of Ghazni decided that he would kidnap Veni and then force the king to yield.
As per the plan when Veni was offering homage at the feet of Lord Shiva, the soldiers of Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the temple. Veni immediately submitted herself to Lord Shiva and appealed the God to save her from the calamity. At that moment a miracle occurred and the Shiva Lingam was opened into two from the middle. The princess Veni was accumulated inside and the Lingam was closed. At that time a ‘Veni’ i.e. a strand of her hair was left out. Veni acquired the eternal salvation and Mahmud of Ghazni failed in his scheme.
The prints of the Veni as well as the marks of the Shiva Lingam being split open can still be seen on the Lingam of Shri Veneshwar Mahadev. The Lord Shiva of this temple receives its appellation Veneshwar after the name of Princess Veni. This incredible episode of Princess Veni’s deliverance is elaborated in his novel by the prolific Gujarati novelist K. M. Munshi.
Suraj Mandir or Surya Mandir of Somnath dedicated to the Sun God is located to the north of the sacred Triveni Teerth. This ancient temple estimated to be as old as the original Somnath Temple is an exceptional specimen of nature worshiping prevalent in Indian culture since primordial era. The most striking feature of this sun temple is its bravura architecture festooned with dazzling motifs of lions, elephants and other birds and animals.
Kamnath Mahadev Temple
The Kamnath Mahadev Temple constructed by a Mayurdhwaj King approximately 200 years ago is a celebrated shrine dedicated to the God of destruction; Lord Shiva. This renowned temple of Somnath is particularly exalted for the three blessed water bodies to be found within the temple premises. They are: Dudhiyu Talav, Gangvo Kuvo and Mahadev no Kund. As per the prevailing saga, the water of the Dudhiyu Talav possesses mystical healing powers and the aforementioned Mayurdhwaj King had recovered from his skin disease leprosy after bathing in the waters of this holy pond. There was a saying in this part of Saurashtra that he who has not bathed in the Dudhiyu Talav is as good as dead. The Kamnath Mahadev Temple is thronged by thousands of devotees when the annual fair is held at the end of the holy month of Shravan every year.
Triveni Sangam Snanghat
Triveni Sangam Snanghat of Somnath established at the confluence of the three holy rivers Saraswati, Kapil and Hiran is a sacrosanct locale highly revered by Hindus as the ‘Moksha Teerth’. This is the place where the three blessed rivers flow into the Arabian Sea. As the sea is the ultimate destination of a river, obtaining ‘Moksha’ is the ultimate goal of the human life. The three rivers Saraswati, Kapil and Hiran stand for the three stages of the life; birth, life and death. Triveni Sangam Snanghat is the sacred site for taking a divine and sin cleansing dip in the Triveni Sangam. All the ill deeds performed during our lifetime are said to be washed away at the Triveni Sangam of Somnath.
Apart from that, this Snanghat is also acclaimed as the place where ‘Pitru-tarpana’ can be offered to your departed ancestors. Triveni Sangam Snanghat of Somnath also finds citations in the Hindu scriptures like Puranas and the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. It is also said that Lord Shri Krishna after being hit by the arrow of Jara paid a visit to this Triveni Sangam. The famous temples of Somnath like Gita Mandir and Laxminarayan temple are also positioned on the banks of the Triveni Sangam Snanghat itself. Presently, the bathing facilities at the Triveni Sangam Snanghat are being renovated by Shri Somnath Trust with the support from the Gujarat Government.
The term ‘Dehotsarg’ means ‘leaving the body’. Dehotsarg Teerth located roughly one and a half kilometers away from the Somnath Temple is the very vicinity from where Lord Shri Krishna injured by the arrow of Jara commenced his final journey to ‘Neej Dham’. As the life span of the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu got over, his Shesh Nag who had accompanied him to earth in the form of his elder brother; Lord Baldev or Balabhadra also left this world and went to Vaikuntha. As the legend goes, Balabhadra entered a nearby cave named ‘Balramjiki Gufa’ or ‘Baldev Gufa’ and disappeared. In 9th century AD Shri Vallabhacharya delivered discourses on Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta at the Dehotsarg Teerth for seven days.
Bhalka Teerth, located along the Prabhas-Veraval highway about 5 kilometers away from Somnath is the very place where Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow shot by a hunter named Jara. Lord Krishna was sitting under a Banyan tree in meditation when the Jara hunter mistakenly took his legs as some animal and shot them. Today a small temple dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna is built at the Bhalka Teerth where the same Banyan tree still survives. A splendid white idol of Lord Krishna is enshrined here. The pink colored foot of Shri Krishna and an image of the hunter Jara with folded hands are also depicted in the temple. Photography is not allowed at this temple of Bhalka Teerth.
Panch Pandava Gufa
Panch Pandava Gufa established near Lalghati in Somnath is a cave temple instituted in the year 1949 by the late Baba Narayandas. Positioned at an elevated locus and offering the panoramic prospects of the adjoining Somnath city, this marvelous temple is dedicated to the five Pandava brothers from the Mahabharata. Apart from the commanding idols of the five Pandavas, this temple also enshrines the idols of Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga, Lord Rama, Devi Sita, Laxman and Hanuman. Set up amidst the picturesque milieu and the calm and cool spiritual ambiance, the Panch Pandava Gufa temple also accommodates a Sanskrit college in its compound.
Junagarh Gate located close to the Somnath Temple is the primary gateway to cross the threshold of the Somnath City from Veraval. Acknowledged as one of the prime tourist attractions of Somnath, the Junagarh Gate boasts of its rich historical as well as architectural heritage. This is a threefold gateway which is believed to have been erected many centuries back. This ancient structure bejeweled with many intricate carvings is the very conduit through which Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Somnath, demolished the holy temple and plundered the great wealth.
Mai Puri Masjid
Mai Puri Masjid positioned at the distance of just one kilometer from the Junagarh Gate is an ancient edifice erected during the sovereignty of Mahmud of Ghazni. This antique structure accommodating a number of tombs allures its visitors with its extraordinary façade bedecked with blue and white tiles. Revered as a vital religious destination for the Muslims, Mai Puri Masjid also beckons the tourists of other religious faiths.
The Somnath Museum
The Somnath Museum, also known as ‘Prabhas Patan Museum’ is an archaeological museum located to the north of the Somnath Temple close to the check post. Managed by the Government of Gujarat this museum of Somnath is celebrated for preserving some of the important remnants of the former Somnath Temple constructed during the reign of the Chalukya King Shri Mularaja Deva Solanki of Anhilvada Patan. Though deficient of the accurate documentation, this museum is highly commended for conserving inscriptions, stone and pottery sculptures and other relics from various centuries. The Somnath Museum can be visited from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm and from 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm.
Somnath Beach, positioned right behind the imperial Somnath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is an enticing stretch of velvety white sand skirted by the sapphire blue waters of the unfathomable Arabian Sea. Though devoid of shade and also not recommended for swimming, Somnath Beach offers a perfect retreat into the boisterous quiescent in the intimacy with nature. The lovely Somnath Beach coupled with creamy sweeps of sand, extensive contour of the relentless waters of the sea and the breathtaking tableaus of the setting sun in the evening is a perfect escape in the lap of Mother Nature. Taking a stroll along the littoral or enjoying the pleasing splash of the rejuvenating water are the favorite activities indulged in here. Sipping the cool and fresh coconut water and staring at the infinite sea or experiencing the thrilling ride on the back of a camel or a pony is something no one would want to miss at the Somnath Beach.
Veraval Beach located along the south-west coast of Saurashtra at the fishing port Veraval approximately 5 kilometers away from the Somnath Mahadev Temple is an astounding sea shore most idyllic to repose and revitalize in the vicinity of tranquil nature. Furnished with benches and a jogging path, the Veraval Beach is an excellent seaboard both for leisurely saunters and health giving exercises. Bathing in the lukewarm waters of the Arabian Sea in the early morning is undoubtedly the most vivifying craze sought after at the Veraval Beach. The most engaging spectacle witnessed at the Veraval Beach is its thriving fishing port where thousands of fishermen, trawlers, dhows and country crafts can be seen disencumbering their seize. Sided by the most remarkable ruins of the Junagarh Gate and Patan Gate and also an old palace facing the sea, the Veraval Beach apart from its scenic beauty will surely transport you back to the bygone era. The Veraval Beach also serves as the major seaport for pilgrims headed to Mecca. This fishing harbor popular among the tourists for sunbathing, swimming, jogging and camel riding also tenders its visitors with delectable seafood. The best time to visit the Veraval Beach is from July to March.