Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple


Somnath Temple, located in Gujarat, India, is a renowned Hindu temple that honors Lord Shiva as one of the 12 jyotirlingas of India. Its history is notable as the temple has been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times over the centuries. According to legend, the temple was originally built in gold by Lord Soma and later rebuilt in silver by Lord Rama, in wood by Lord Krishna, and finally in stone by Bhimdev Solanki in the 11th century. Despite being demolished by various invaders, including Mahmud of Ghazni and Aurangzeb, the temple was reconstructed in the 1950s by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel after India gained independence from British rule. The temple's intricate carvings and stunning architecture are a testament to India's cultural heritage and attract Hindu pilgrims from across the country. Somnath Temple remains a significant cultural and religious icon in India, welcoming thousands of visitors every year.


Somnath Temple's history is rich in fables and mythology. Hindu mythology attributes the temple's original construction in gold to Lord Soma, the moon god, during the creation of the universe. The temple was destroyed and reconstructed many times throughout history. Arab invaders led by Junayad destroyed the temple in the 7th century AD, but it was later restored by King Mularaja in the 10th century. Mahmud of Ghazni razed it to the ground again in the 11th century, but it was rebuilt once more by the Solanki dynasty under King Bhimdev's patronage. Despite its magnificence, the temple faced further destruction at the hands of the Sultanate of Delhi's army in 1297 and Aurangzeb in the 17th century. Following India's independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel undertook the reconstruction of the temple in the 1950s as a symbol of India's determination to safeguard its cultural heritage. Today, Somnath Temple remains a revered pilgrimage site for Hindus and symbolizes the Indian people's unwavering devotion to their gods.


The architecture of Somnath Temple is a blend of diverse styles and periods as it has been repeatedly destroyed and reconstructed by different rulers over many centuries. The present structure is built in the Chalukya style of architecture and follows a traditional temple plan, using stone with intricate carvings and sculptures.

The entrance of the temple is an elaborately carved doorway that leads to the Sabha Mandap, a large hall supported by 56 pillars. The hall has beautiful carvings portraying scenes from Hindu mythology.

The main idol of Lord Shiva is housed in the Garbhagriha, the temple's sanctum sanctorum. The cylindrical structure of the Garbhagriha features ornate carvings and sculptures on its walls, and the idol is made of gold and is believed to have been installed by Lord Soma in Hindu mythology.

The temple's shikara or tower stands at around 150 feet tall and displays intricate carvings and sculptures representing scenes from Hindu mythology. It is an impressive example of traditional Indian temple architecture.

The temple's exterior walls showcase exquisite carvings of gods and goddesses, floral designs, and geometric patterns. The temple's Triveni Sangam, a large water tank, is also a significant feature, where three rivers - the Hiran, Kapila, and Saraswati - meet.

The architecture of the Somnath Temple reflects the skill and artistic talent of Indian craftsmen and highlights the cultural and spiritual importance of the temple.


The Somnath Temple is a site of immense significance for Hindus, as it is counted among the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are regarded as the most sacred shrines of Lord Shiva in India. It is believed that seeking blessings and offering prayers to Lord Shiva at the temple can fulfill one's desires and grant blessings.

The temple's history of being demolished and rebuilt several times by different rulers over the centuries is also considered as an emblem of great symbolic importance for the Indian people. It is seen as a testament to the resilience and potency of the Indian culture, which can withstand the test of time and emerge stronger than ever.

Furthermore, the temple's location on the coast of Gujarat overlooking the Arabian Sea has made it a significant landmark for maritime trade and navigation in the region. It has also been regarded as a symbol of political and economic power by the rulers who held control over it.

In conclusion, the Somnath Temple's spiritual, historical, and cultural significance has established it as a revered and highly respected site for devotees of Lord Shiva and visitors from all over the world.

Features Of The Temple
  • Chalukya Style Of Architecture : The current structure of Somnath Temple blends North Indian Nagara and South Indian Dravidian styles, which is known as the Chalukya style of architecture.
  • Sabha Mandap : The temple's entrance leads to the Sabha Mandap, a large hall with 56 intricately carved pillars supporting the roof. The hall features beautiful carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
  • Garbhagriha : The temple's sanctum sanctorum, Garbhagriha, houses the main idol of Lord Shiva. The cylindrical structure of Garbhagriha is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures.
  • Shikara : The temple's shikara, or tower, is visible from a distance and stands around 150 feet high. It features intricate carvings and sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
  • Exterior walls : The temple has a large water tank called the Triveni Sangam, where three rivers, the Hiran, Kapila, and Saraswati, converg.
  • Light and Sound Show : The temple offers a spectacular light and sound show, which showcases the temple's rich history and cultural significance.
Timings And Entry Fees

The Somnath Temple is open to visitors from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day, and there is no entry fee for the temple. However, visitors can donate money to the temple if they wish to do so. The light and sound show is held every evening at 8:00 PM, and tickets for the show can be purchased at the temple. The show is available in multiple languages, including English, Hindi, and Gujarati.

Festivals Celebrated
  • Mahashivratri : The Somnath Temple celebrates Mahashivratri, which is the most important festival for Lord Shiva devotees. The festival falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Phalguna (February-March). The temple is decorated with lights and flowers, and thousands of devotees gather to offer prayers and seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
  • Kartik Purnima : The Kartik Purnima festival is celebrated in the month of Kartik (October-November) and marks the end of the four-month-long Chaturmas period, which is considered to be an inauspicious time for Hindus. Devotees take a holy dip in the Triveni Sangam and offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
  • Somnath Mahotsav : The Somnath Mahotsav is a three-day festival held every year in December to celebrate the anniversary of the temple's reconstruction. The festival features cultural programs, musical performances, and a grand procession.
  • Holi : The festival of Holi, which is celebrated in the month of Phalguna (February-March), is also celebrated at the Somnath Temple with great enthusiasm. The temple is decorated with colors and flowers, and devotees gather to play with colors and offer prayers to Lord Shiva.
  • Diwali : The festival of Diwali, which is celebrated in the month of Kartik (October-November), is also a significant festival at the Somnath Temple. The temple is decorated with lights and diyas, and devotees gather to offer prayers and seek blessings from Lord Shiva. The temple also hosts a grand fireworks display on the occasion.
Places To Visit Nearby
  • Gir National Park : One of the best places to visit near the Somnath Temple is Gir National Park, which is located around 45 km away. It is home to the Asiatic lion and offers exciting wildlife safaris.
  • Diu Island : Located around 90 km away from the temple, Diu Island is a beautiful destination known for its pristine beaches, historic forts, and Portuguese architecture.
  • Bhalka Tirth : Bhalka Tirth is an important pilgrimage site located around 6 km away from the temple. It is believed to be the spot where Lord Krishna was accidentally shot with an arrow and took his last breath.
  • Junagadh : Junagadh is a historic city located around 80 km away from the temple. It is home to several ancient monuments, including the Uparkot Fort and the Mahabat Maqbara.
  • Porbandar : Porbandar, located around 125 km away, is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and is home to several historic sites and temples.
  • The Fern Residency Somnath : A luxury hotel located around 4 km from the temple, offering modern amenities and comfortable rooms.
  • Lords Inn Somnath : A mid-range hotel located around 2 km from the temple, offering comfortable rooms and a swimming pool.
  • Hotel Sun Plaza : A budget hotel located around 1 km from the temple, offering basic amenities and comfortable rooms.
  • Hotel SukhSagar : A budget hotel located around 1 km from the temple, offering basic amenities and comfortable rooms.
  • Madhuram Dining Hall : Situated close to Somnath Temple, Madhuram Dining Hall is a vegetarian restaurant that serves a range of dishes including Gujarati thali and South Indian cuisine.
  • Sukhsagar Restaurant : Another famous restaurant near the temple is Sukhsagar, which offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, including seafood.
  • Woodland Restaurant : Located near the temple, Woodland Restaurant serves North Indian, South Indian, and Chinese cuisine.
  • Swad Restaurant : Swad is a multi-cuisine restaurant near the temple that offers Indian, Chinese, and continental dishes.
  • Bawarchi Restaurant : Situated inside the temple premises, Bawarchi Restaurant is a vegetarian eatery that serves delicious Gujarati thali and other vegetarian dishes.
Best Time To Visit

The Somnath Temple should be visited in the winter, from November to February, when the temperature is nice and cool. The summer months from March to May can be hot and humid, and the monsoon season from June to October can have heavy rainfall, making it difficult to visit the temple. However, the monsoon season also adds to the natural beauty of the temple surroundings. It is recommended to check the weather forecast before planning a trip to the temple.

How to Reach
  • By Air - The nearest airport to Somnath Temple is the Keshod Airport, located about 60 km away. The airport has regular flights from Mumbai. Alternatively, you can also fly to the Diu Airport, which is about 85 km away from the temple.
  • By Train - The nearest railway station to Somnath Temple is the Veraval Railway Station, which is about 7 km away. The railway station is well-connected to major cities in Gujarat, as well as to other parts of India. You may get to the temple via cab or local bus from the railway station.
  • By Road - Somnath Temple is well-connected by road, and there are several buses and taxis available from nearby cities like Ahmedabad, Dwarka, and Rajkot. The temple is located on the Veraval - Kodinar Highway, which is a well-maintained road that connects it to other major cities.
Somnath Temple

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the significance of the Somnath Temple?

The Somnath Temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, which are considered to be the most sacred shrines of Lord Shiva in India. Visiting the temple and offering prayers to Lord Shiva is believed to bestow blessings and grant wishes.

What is the history of the Somnath Temple?

The temple has a history of destruction and reconstruction by different rulers over several centuries. It is seen as a testament to the resilience and strength of the Indian culture and its ability to withstand the test of time and rise from the ashes.

What are the features of the Somnath Temple?

The temple features the Chalukya style of architecture, a Sabha Mandap with intricately carved pillars, a Garbhagriha with the main idol of Lord Shiva, a 150 feet high shikara with intricate carvings, exterior walls adorned with carvings of gods and goddesses, a large water tank called the Triveni Sangam, and a spectacular light and sound show.

How can one reach the Somnath Temple?

The temple can be reached by air via the nearest airport in Diu, by road via state-run buses and private taxis, and by rail via the nearest railway station in Veraval.

Copyright 2012-2024 Indiamap Digital Private Limited. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Use