The first Jyotirlinga “Somnath” is located at Prabhas Patan in Gujarat. It is one of the important pilgrimage sites of Gujarat. Devotees of Lord Shiva come from far and wide for his darshan. Situated by the sea, this temple makes the atmosphere more divine and pleasant.
This temple has been built many times since it was destroyed by invasions by many rulers in the past. The construction work of the present temple was started as per the order of Shri Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the construction of which was completed in May 1951 after the death of Sardar Patel.
Being a Triveni confluence, Somnath has been a place of pilgrimage since ancient times. It is the confluence of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran, and the mythical Saraswati.
Why is it called Somnath?
Each Jyotirlinga has its own distinct cause which is associated with different forms of Lord Shiva. It is believed that “Soma- The Moon-god” lost its power and luster due to some curse. To get it back he bathed in the confluence of the three holy rivers here. And Somnath (Soma-Chandra Dev) comes out from this tradition.
Not far from Somnath is another holy place famous as Bhalka Tirth where Lord Krishna is sitting under the Pipal tree. It is believed that a Bhil hunter named Jara shot an arrow at a deer which struck Lord Krishna and took his last breath at this place. His body was cremated at Triveni Sangam. The temple is located at a distance of 13 km from the Somnath temple. Vehicles to get there are easily found near the Somnath temple-like auto taxi.
Just by the touch of this Jyotirlinga, people are freed from incurable pain, which makes this temple known as auspicious. During the Mahabharata, when Yadava was cursed by Durvasa Muni, Lord Krishna said that the pilgrimage to Somnath could save him from the curse of Durvasa.
Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya was born on the 14 of Kartak Sud according to the Hindu calendar, so a fair is organized here for 4 days from this day. Millions of devotees gather here on the shores of the Arabian Sea for this noble celebration.