- Prime minister recently virtually inaugurated the Circuit House near Somnath Temple in Gujarat.
- Somnath, literally translated as the Lord of Moon (Soma) houses the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas or the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva.
- This highly famed pilgrim destination is located at the Veraval Port or Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra, Gujarat.
- The temple is positioned in such a way that not a single piece of land is visible from the Somnath seashore until Antarctica.
- Recently Prime minister was elected new chairman of the Shree Somnath Trust (SKT), the religious body which manages and maintains the temple.
History of Somnath Temple
- It is said the first version of the temple came into being even before the start of Christian era.
- The second version of the temple came into being under the initiative of the Vallabhi king around 408 AD-768 AD.
- This temple is often referred to as the ‘eternal shrine’ because historical records say that this temple has been destroyed several times by invaders and have been resurrected several times too.
- Archaeological investigations point out that the temple of Somnath had been rebuilt nearly thrice before the raid of Muhammad Ghazni in the year 1026 (It is said that the temple was looted and destroyed as many as seventeen times).
- The latest rebuilding of Somnath temple was done in 1947 under the initiative of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then deputy PM.
- Renowned temple architect Prabhaschandar designed it and the first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad installed the Jyotirlinga in the new temple on May 11, 1951.
- Today’s temple is the 7th version.
- Some of the ancient texts tell that the temple was built for the first time in gold by king Somraj during Satya Yuga.
- In Treta Yuga, Ravana had built it out of silver while in Dwapara yuga lord Krishna had built it out of wood.
- Later King Bhimadev had built the temple out of stone.
Architecture of Somnath Temple
- The present structure is built in the Chalukyan style.
- The main spire of the temple is 150 foot high and has a flag post of 27 foot tall.
- A Kalash of weight 10 tons was put on the top of the spire.
- The Baan-Stambh or the arrow-pillar located on the sea-protection wall indicates that the point is the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.
- The Tirsthambh located at the temple indicates that the nearest landmark (South Pole or the Antarctica) is located at about 9936 km away indicating the geographical wisdom of ancient India.
- The temple has a Grabha griha with Jyothirlingam enshrined on it and a Sabha mantapa and Nrithya mantapa.