Somnath Temple

Somnath Mahadev Temple Gujarat Somnath Temple the  abode of Lord Shiva is the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, the holiest of holy shrines of Lord Shiva. Located in Prabhas Patan near the town of Veraval in Western part of Gujarat. Veraval is reached from Rajkot. There is an interesting story associated with the emergence of this Jyotirlinga, mentioned in the Puranam . Somnath Temple is dedicated to Someshwara, the Lord Shiva, with moon on his head. It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot of Gujarat. The temple's imposing architecture includes intricate carvings, silver doors, an impressive Nandi idol and the central shivalinga. In the vast courtyard stand the massive man

Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. He was partial to Rohini, his favorite and neglected the others. An angered Daksha cursed him to wane into nothingness. A disturbed Chandra, came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped the Sparsa Linga of Somnath after which he was blessed by Shiva to grow and shine in the bright half. As the moon regained his light here, this town came to be known as Prabhasa. Bhrama, one of the trinity, installed the Bhramasila, and paved way for the construction of the temple.

In its external design the Somnath temple compares well with the temple of Rudramala at Siddhapur and is more or less of the same size in length. The dome, however, is as large as any other built in this period. The temple faces to east and once had an enormous central hall with three entrances, each protected by a lofty porch. The fragments that lie scattered at a short distance from the site give some idea of the sculpture decorating the temple. The richly carved doorways, the sculptured representations of Nandi, Sivas bull, and the figures of goddesses and their female attendants must once have presented a grand ensemble of great beauty. In the recesses of the balconied corridor, there is a mutilated form of Nataraja, the dancing Shiva. Although essentially a Brahmanical temple, the influence of Jain architecture is clearly discernible.

Mylthology of Somnath Temple- The Skanda Purana, in a chapter on Prabhasa Khanda, describes Somnath. Legend has it that Shiva in the previous aeons was referred to as Mrityunjaya, Kaalagnirudra, Amritesa, Anamaya, Kritivasa and Bhairavanatha at Somnath.

Legend has it that the Kalabhairava Shivalinga (Bhairavanatha) at Prabhasa was worshipped by the moon, and hence Shiva here is referred to as Somnatha. The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva.

Legend goes that the moon was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. He was partial to Rohini, his favorite and neglected the others. An angered Daksha cursed him to wane into nothingness. A disturbed Chandra, came down to Prabhasa with Rohini and worshipped the Sparsa Linga of Somnath after which he was blessed by Shiva to grow and shine in the bright half. As the moon regained his light here, this town came to be known as Prabhasa. Bhrama, one of the trinity, installed the Bhramasila, and paved way for the construction of the temple.