Somnath Jyotirlinga

Among the 12 Jyotirlingas scattered across India, the first one is Somnath. Its identity is described in the Skanda Purana as "Saurashtra Somnatham cha," indicating that it is located in Saurashtra.


सौराष्ट्रदेशे विशदेऽतिरम्येज्योतिर्मयं चन्द्रकलावतंसम्।भक्तिप्रदानाय कृपावतीर्णं तंसोमनाथं शरणं प्रपद्ये॥

According to the legend in the Skanda Purana, the Moon God (Chandra) performed penance in Prabhas and received a boon from Lord Shiva. To commemorate this divine blessing, Lord Shiva instructed the Moon God to build a temple dedicated to Shiva, combining the words 'Soma' (meaning Moon) and 'Nath' (meaning Lord or God). Thus, the God of the Moon came to be known as Somnath.

Jyotirlingas are revered as the abodes of Lord Shiva, and they hold immense significance for devotees. The term 'Jyotirlinga' signifies a radiant pillar of light, representing the timeless and boundless nature of these sacred sites. The legend behind the Jyotirlingas involves a divine contest between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, in which Lord Shiva manifested as an eternal pillar of light. The sites where these divine columns descended are believed to be the locations of the revered Jyotirlingas. Among the 12 Jyotirlingas, the Somnath Jyotirlinga holds the highest level of sanctity and reverence.

Somnath Jyortirlinga History


Geographical Area as per Skanda.

Located in Prabhas Patan, Saurashtra, in the western state of Gujarat, India, the Somnath temple stands at the confluence of the vedic Saraswati, Hiranya, Nyanku, Vrajani, and Kapila rivers, which are collectively known as the Triveni Sangam. This sacred site holds great significance as it is considered the primary Jyotirlinga, marking the place where Lord Shiva first revealed his divine presence.


Core Story

According to ancient lore, Chandra(The Moon God) participate into a matrimonial alliance with the 27 daughters. Legend holds that the original Somnath temple was constructed with gold by the Moon God during the Satya Yuga. In the Treta Yuga, it was rebuilt by Ravana using silver, and in the Dwapara Yuga, Lord Krishna reconstructed it using sandalwood.

Throughout history, the temple has faced numerous invasions and destruction by various conquerors. Mahmud of Ghazni (1024), Afzal Khan, commander of Ala-ud-din Khilji (1296), Muzaffar Shah (1375), Mahmud Begada (1451), and Aurangzeb (1665) are among those responsible for looting and demolishing the temple.

Several rulers and kings undertook the task of rebuilding the temple. Shri Vikramaditya of Ujjaini did so approximately 2500 years ago. The Vallabhi kings contributed to its restoration between 480 and 767 CE.

Bhimadeva of Anhilawada reconstructed it in the 11th century AD, while Khangara, the king of Junagadh, did so in 1351 AD. These are just a few examples, as the temple has been reconstructed approximately 17 times throughout its history.

The modern structure of the temple, made of sandstone, was erected by India's former deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, between 1947 and 1951.

Interesting facts about Somnath Jyotirlinga

The Somnath temple holds great significance in various ancient scriptures, such as the Skanda Purana, Prabhasa Khanda, Rig Veda, and the Bhagavat.

One intriguing aspect of the temple location is that there is no land directly to its south until reaching Antarctica. This unique geographical feature has been recorded on one of the temples pillars since 7 AD, highlighting its distinction as a site protected by the sea.

According to beliefs, the sacred Shivalinga was concealed within the hollow space of the Syamantak Mani, also known as the philosopher's stone, which is associated with Lord Krishna.

This legendary stone was said to possess alchemical properties capable of transmuting substances into gold. Moreover, it was believed to possess magnetic properties that allowed the Shivalinga to remain suspended in mid-air, further enhancing the mystical aura surrounding the temple.

The tomb is located in the village of Rawza (Rawdza), 4 kilometers northeast of Ghazni The gates of the tomb were removed by the East India Company in 1842, claiming that they belonged to the Somnath Temple, and are now located in the Agra fort.