This very sacred pilgrim centre is also called Prabhas Teerth. The temple houses one of the oldest consecrated Jyotir Lingas mentioned in Rigveda, Skanda Purana and Mahabharata. It is believed that the Shivlinga placed in the sanctum (Garbha Griha) of the temple actually freely levitated in air without any support. This is mentioned in the Puranas and also in the account given by Zakaria Al Qazwini, the famous astronomer and geographer. The present Somnath Linga is the largest of the 12 Jyotir Lingas. It is a greyish cylinder formed stone made of granite about 1m high and 60cm in diameter. The top is rounded and the Lingam is placed in a large silver plated Yoni.
In AD 1026, Mahmud of Ghazni first looted the temple, and then came Afzal Khan, the commander of Ala-ud-din Khilji and later Aurangzeb. It is said that the temple was looted and destroyed as many as seventeen times. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was instrumental in the construction of this present temple, an edifice reminding visitors of the splendour of the original Somnath temple. Renowned temple architect Prabhaschandar designed it and the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad installed the Jyotirling in the new temple on May 11, 1951. The present temple is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture and reflects the inherent skill of sompuras, Gujarat’s master masons. It has the Shikhara, the Garbhagriha, the Sabha Mandap and the Nritya Mandap.
|The temple of Somnath that resurrected from ashes many a times.|
Close by is the very old Sun Temple, which dates back to time of the original Temple of Somnath and gives a clue what the original temple looked like. This very old temple give an indication of what the original Somnath Temple was like.
|Sun Temple near Somnath temple|