Somnath Temple, Gujarat
One of the most famous temples of Lord Shiva, the Somnath Temple is located on the banks of the sea in the Kathiawad region of Gujarat. It is included in the 12 Jyotirlingas, a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Among the 12 Jyotirlinga, Somnath Jyotirlinga is worshiped first. The Somnath temple has been demolished 6 times in history and renovated for the seventh time. Somnath temple is said to have another name for Moon. Moon had done penance to his adorable Lord Shankar for liberation from the decaying curse, then Lord Shankar appeared to him and released the curse. It is believed that Lord Shiva had established the form of Soma by giving darshan to the moon god. The gods established the Somnath Jyotirlinga at that place. This is the reason that this temple was named Somnath.
History of Somnath Temple
First of all, this temple came into existence before BC. The existence of the temple is told for the second time in 649 AD. It is said that in 649 AD, the Maithri kings of Vellabhi built the Somnath temple. This temple was such a beautiful and unique specimen that the eyes of the big Nawabs were left wide open by looking at the temple.
First in 725 AD, Al Junaid, the Muslim Subedar of Sindh, broke the temple. After which the Pratihara king Nagabhatta rebuilt the Somnath temple in 815 AD.
In 1024, when Mahmud Ghaznavi came to see the Somnath temple with his companions, he was stunned to see the beauty of the temple. He decided to dismantle the temple and looted the property of the temple along with 5000 companions and destroyed it. During that time many devotees who guarded the temple were killed.
Faith and reverence for the temple again restored the temple and King Bhimdev and King Bhoj of Malwa rebuilt the temple in 1093 with the help of Siddharaj Jai Singh.
The attackers did not stop attacking the temple, and in 1297, Sultan Alauddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate once again attacked and destroyed the temple. The people of Hinduism together built the temple again, but in 1395 Sultan Muzaffarshah of Gujarat broke the temple and plundered all the offerings.
After this, Somnath temple was broken twice during the period of Aurangzeb. The temple was demolished in 1665 and 1706.
In this way the temple was attacked many times. In 1783, Rani Ahilyabai of Indore built Mahadev Ji's temple to worship at some distance from the Somnath temple.
After the independence of the country in 1947, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel took the pledge to construct a new temple by taking sea water and renovated the temple in 1950 and in 1995, the then President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma dedicated this temple to the nation.
Somnath Temple is a temple dedicated to Lord Shankar. The Government of India established the Jyotirlinga here. This temple is very huge, which took a long time to build. Somnath Temple has three major parts. Garbhagraha, sabhamandapa and nrityamandapa. The peak of the temple is 150 feet in height. Devotees from far and wide come to see this temple and lakhs of devotees throng here. Situated on the top of the temple, the Kalash weighs 10 tons and the flag is 27 feet high.
The area of the temple is 10 kilometers. Which has about 42 temples. Statues of Lord Shiva, Mata Parvati, Mata Lakshmi, Maa Ganga, Saraswati and Nandi are also installed here. The temple has a huge lake named Gaurikund which adds beauty to the temple. There is a Shivling installed near the lake. It has special importance to offer water on it. Not only this, there is a wonderful confluence of 3 rivers Deer, Saraswati and Kapila near the temple.
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