Considered to be the first among the twelve “Jyotirlinga” shrines of Lord Shiva in India, Somnath is an extremely holy temple located in the western coast of Gujarat. This sacred temple is also known as “Shrine Eternal”. This religious site also possesses a history of having been “destroyed and rebuilt” several times by the Mughals and Hindu Kings over centuries. Important travel information about this important Hindu pilgrimage site is as follows.
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a. Best time to visit:
The ideal time to visit this holy site is from October to March since the climate is extremely pleasant during this period with, the temperatures ranging from a maximum of 32 degrees Celsius to a minimum of 10 degrees Celsius.
b. How to reach Somnath ?
1. By train:
The closest railway station to Somnath is located in Veraval. The Veraval Railway Station is well connected to cities such as Jabalpur, Pune etc.
2. By road:
There are a number of bus services from Somnath that connect to major cities in the country such as Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot, Surat etc.
3. By air:
The nearest airport to Somnath is located in Keshod. The Keshod airport is well connected to a big city like Mumbai.
c. Religious significance:
The Somnath temple is supposed to have been constructed by Lord Chandra i.e. Moon God himself. According to a popular myth the Moon God once disobeyed his father-in-law Daksha. In response an agitated Daksha cursed his son-in-law by stating that “Thou shall wane”. In the hope to eradicate the curse the Moon God prayed to Lord Shiva at the Prabhas Patan near Somnath. Having being impressed with the devotion of the Moon God, Lord Shiva decided to reduce the curse to an extent. And hence the name “Somnath” which means “Protector of the Moon God” was quite aptly given to the temple.