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Somnath, Gujarat Travel Guide

Somnath is in the Saurastra region of the Gujarat State on the western coast of India. The place is known for the Shiva temple hosting one of the twelve jyotirlingas of Shiva. It is close to Prabhas Pattanam and Veraval. It lies in the Prabhas Tirtha region (pilgrimage site) of the Jungad district. It is the same place upon which Gazani Mohammad invaded and destroyed the temple of Somnath in 1024 CE. Later on the temple encountered frequent raids by the foreign invaders and was rebuilt again and again. Alauddin Khilji raided upon it after Gazani. Aurangzeb had raided in the 17th century and had built a Mosque over the temple. Later, in the post-independence era the temple was reconstructed by the initiation of two prominent leaders: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and K.M.Munshi. This is the present day temple at the site. The temple was opened for the devotees in the year 1995. The temple is situated on the western seashore as a gateway. It is built in the Chalukyan style. From the historical purview the temple happens to be the main place of interest. The inblockedion on the ‘Baan Sthambh’ (Arrow pillar) should be noted.

Apart from this temple there are other temples built in the modern era such as, the Birla Mandir and the Laxmi Narayan Mandir. While coming from Veraval towards Somnath you pass through a gate (it is called Junagad Gate) which has historical significance. Mohammad Gazani had entered the temple through this gate (he entered from the Thar Desert area) and one can observe exquisite carvings on it.

You can reach Somnath via Veraval which is just about 6 km from Somnath. Veraval is connected to Mumbai and Ahmadabad by train route. Nearest airport is Diu, but to reach via Mumbai airport would be better. For domestic connections one can try Porbandar airport which is at a distance of 118 km from Somnath. Somnath is well connected to other cities by road.

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