Somnath Temple is one of the ancient temples of India. This temple is thronged by numbers of devotees across the year. Not only for the architectural brilliance, Somnath temple outshines others because of the spiritual significance. Somnath temple is home to one of the 12 Jyotirlings of India, the Somnath temple is located in the state of Gujarat near Arabian sea. Best season to visit this temple is around October when the temperature drops.
The brief history of Somnath temple:
The original Somnath temple was built by the Moon god, it is said. It was made of gold when it was erected. However, it was reduced to debris due to an unknown reason and rebuilt again with silver by Ravana. The silver temple was knocked down again and was rebuilt in wood by Krishna. An edifice of stone was raised when it was destroyed again.
What are the other religious significances of Somnath temple?
The first among the twelve Jyotirlings were situated at the Somnath temple. Since time immemorial, Prabhas Patan was a pilgrimage center because it was the confluence of Sravasti, Hiranya and Kapila. It is also said that Lord Shiva’s Kaal Bhairav Linga is also located at the Prabhas Patan. This was associated with moon and it is said that the Moon god worshipped this Linga which is still done with utmost respect. According to what the foreign visitors had written in anthologies, this place was a colony of the Aryans in the ancient times. Built somewhere around 4 AD, this place had a lot of historical significance.
This temple is also considered holy because there is ‘Triveni Sangam’ or the convergence of three rivers namely Kapila, Hiran and Sravasti. The temple was made by Moon god and the name Somnath means the Moon god himself. It is said that the Moon God came here to take a holy plunge in the confluence of these three rivers because he was cursed and lost his shine. He was desperate to regain his beam so he came here to take a dip. The towns name is originated from that instance only because Prabhas means glow.
How was the Somnath temple destroyed?
The Somnath temple was looted, sabotaged many a times resulting in complete destruction. It is said that in 1026 AD, Mahmud Ghajini plundered this temple. Then came Afzal Khan, the commander of Ala-Ud-Din Khilji and then Aurangzeb. This temple, as per the history, was destructed as many as 17 times.
Mahmud Ghazini invaded the temple, broke the Shivling and stole 20 million dinars which brought the temple’s situation in a sorry-state. The temple, however, was again built in the year 1169 with excellent stone studded jewels until Alauddin Khilji wreaked havoc. There after, it was again rebuilt by Mahipala Deva, the Chudasama king of Saurashtra in 1308. Sadly, it was again destroyed by Zafar Khan, the last governor of Delhi Sultanate in 1935.
Surprisingly, Somnath temple still stands tall even after a number of others Muslim rulers Mahmud Begada plundering it again. It was even attacked by the Portugese later but in today’s time, it is towering over other temples in India.