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Introducing Somnath

Best time to visit : October to March
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Located on a beautiful and quiet beach in the state of Gujarat, the holy coastal town of Somnath has great significance in Hindu religion and mythology as well as in the Indian history. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Somnath Temple in the town is among the most important attractions of Somnath. In addition, the town has many other temples, pilgrimage sites and holy ghats which attract huge numbers of pilgrims from all parts of the world. Apart from pilgrims, the golden history and fabulous architecture of the temple summon different sections of tourists to this popular western India destination.


Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of Somnath (Lord of the Moon). According to the popular legends, the original temple was made of gold, which was ransacked and replaced by a silver structure. Lord Krishna got it constructed in sandalwood. Somnath Temple was burgled by foreign Muslim invaders a number of times. It is believed that the temple’s unlimited wealth was the top reason that tempted the invaders. Today, it is a stone temple made in Chalukya architectural style. Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas (endless pillars) and enjoys a coveted position in Hinduism. The temple is also known as the Shrine Eternal, with the ability to re-emerge again and again. An amazing aspect of the temple is that there is no piece of land, but only water, as one travels from Somnath in the straight line towards Antarctica. Summers here are hot, though the climate remains pleasant for sightseeing in Somnath round the year.

Hotels run by the temple trusts are the best places to enjoy food which is strictly vegetarian. Bhabha and Prasadam are the two well-known of these places near to the temple. Bhojanalyas and bhojan bhandars (run by different communities) also serve tasty foods. There is an Amul Counter where chocolates, ice-creams and refreshing buttermilk can be purchased.

Somnath has small shops that sell idols and images of Lord Somnath and other Hindu deities. Hindu items for worship, handmade items (embroidered stuff and mirror work) and interesting souvenirs can also be found at these shops. There are no big stores in the town.

Nearby Places:
  • Veraval (about 5 km.): An historic town, known for its virgin beaches and ruins of royal forts and palaces.
  • Chorwad (about 29 km.): One of the best beaches in Gujarat, the place is also known for its pleasing environment.
  • Gir National Park (about 69 km.): A famous wildlife destination, Gir is world-famous for its diverse flora and fauns, especially the endangered Asiatic lions.
  • Diu (about 85 km.): Beaches, forts, museums, churches and Hindu temples make the island of Diu an exciting tourist destination worth visiting. 
  • Una (about 80 km.): The town is home to a number of temples, mosques and the exquisite Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach located nearby.
  • Junagadh (about 88 km.): Witness to a long history of different royal dynasties, the city today is known for its rich heritage and monuments. 

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