Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple
Somnath Temple

Somnath Temple Claimed

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Temple Info

Main Deity:
Other Deities:
Year Established:
1 BC
Functioning Temple:
Architecture Style:
Endowment Control:
Nearest Airport:
Diu Airport (DIU)
Nearest Railway Station:
Veraval Railway Station (VRL)



The Somnath temple, also called Somanātha temple or Deo Patan, is a temple located in Prabhas Patan, Veraval in Gujarat, India. It is one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus and is believed to be first among the twelve jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The temple was reconstructed several times in the past after repeated destruction by multiple Muslim invaders and rulers, notably starting from an attack by Mahmud Ghazni in the 11th century. It is unclear when the first version of the Somnath temple was built with estimates varying between the early centuries of the 1st-millennium to about the 9th-century CE. The Somnath temple was actively studied by colonial era historians and archaeologists in the 19th- and early 20th-century, when its ruins illustrated a historic Hindu temple in the process of being converted into an Islamic mosque. After India’s independence, those ruins were demolished and the present Somnath temple was reconstructed in the Māru-Gurjara style of Hindu temple architecture. The contemporary Somnath temple’s reconstruction was started under the orders of the first Home Minister of India Vallabhbhai Patel and completed in May 1951 after his death.


It is believed that the original temple was built by the Moon God with gold in the Satya Yuga; by Ravana in Treta Yuga in silver; and by Lord Krishna in Dwapara Yuga in sandalwood.
This temple has been looted and demolished many times by various invaders – by Mahmud of Ghazni (1024), Afzal Khan, Ala-ud-din Khilji’s commander (1296), Muzaffar Shah (1375), Mahmud Begada (1451), and later Aurangzeb (1665).
Many rulers reconstructed the temple: Shri Vikramaditya of Ujjaini (about 2500 years ago), the Vallabhi kings (in the period 480-767 CE), Bhimadeva of Anhilawada (in 11th century CE), and Khangara, the king of Junagadh (in 1351 CE) among many others.
It has been reconstructed about 17 times! The modern structure has been constructed by India’s former deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel between 1947 and 1951 in sandstone.


It is believed that Chandra, the moon god, was married to the 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapati. However, he favored Rohini over all the rest. This angered Prajapati, who insisted that he be impartial in his affections. When Chandra did not heed his warnings, Prajapati cursed him and made him lose his luster. Without moonlight, the world became dark; so all the gods requested Prajapati to retract his curse. Daksha suggested that Chandra pray to Lord Shiva, which is why the Lord is referred to as Somnath or Someshwar, Lord of the Moon. It is said that Chandra also bathed in the Saraswati river to regain his luster, which is the reason for the waxing and waning of the moon and the tides in this seashore location.

Architecture Details

The floor plan and ruins of a pre-1000 CE temple were unearthed during the archaeological excavations led by B.K. Thapar. Most of the temple is lost, but the remains of the foundation, the lower structure as well as pieces of the temple ruins suggest an "exquisitely carved, rich" temple.
The present temple is a Māru-Gurjara architecture (also called Chaulukya or Solanki style) temple. It has a "Kailash Mahameru Prasad" form, and reflects the skill of the Sompura Salats, one of Gujarat's master masons.
The architect of the new Somnath temple was Prabhashankarbhai Oghadbhai Sompura, who worked on recovering and integrating the old recoverable parts with the new design in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The new Somnath temple is intricately carved, two level temple with pillared mandapa and 212 relief panels.

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