Shree Somnath is first among the twelve Aadi Jyotirlings of India.

It is the holy place of the Aadi Jyotirling Shree Somnath Mahadev and it also has the sacred soil from where Bhagvan Shri Krishna took his last journey to his neejdham. Ancient Indian traditions maintain a close relationship of Somnath with release of Chandra (Moon God) from the curse of his father-in-law Daksha Prajapati. Moon was married to Twenty-Seven daughters of Daksha. However, he favoured Rohini and neglected other queens. The aggrieved Daksha cursed Moon and the Moon lost power of light. With the advice of Prajapita Brahma, Moon arrived at the Prabhas Teerth and worshipped Bhagvan Shiva. Pleased with the great penance and devotion of Moon, Bhagvan Shiva blessed him and relieved him from the curse of darkness partially, thus causing the periodic waning of moon. . Pauranic traditions maintain that Moon had built a golden temple, followed by a silver temple by Ravana, Bhagvan Shree Krishna is believed to have built Somnath temple with Sandalwood. Located as it is, it is widely believed that if one were to sail from here in a straight line, the end of the journey would be at the North Pole, without having to travel over land. The research based on ancient Indian classical texts show that first Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratistha was done on the auspicious third day of brighter half of Shravan month during the tenth Treta yug of Vaivswat Manvantar. Swami Shri Gajananand Saraswatiji, Chairman of Shrimad Aadhya Jagadguru Shankaracharya Vedic Shodh Sansthan, Varanasi suggested that the said first temple was built 7,99,25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skand Puran. Thus, this temple is a perennial source of inspiration for millions of Hindus since time immemorial. The later sources of history account for several desecrations by Muslims invaders during eleventh to eighteen century A.D. The temple was rebuilt every time with the reconstructive spirit of the people. The modern temple was reconstructed with the resolve of Sardar Patel who visited the ruins of Somnath temple on November 13 1947. Then President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, did the Pran-Pratistha at the existing temple on 11 May 1951. Somnath temple stands at the shore of the Arabian ocean on the western corner of Indian subcontinent in Gujarat State. This pilgrimage is one of the oldest and finds its reference in the ancient texts like Skandpuran, Shreemad Bhagavat, Shivpuran etc. The hymn from Rig-Veda quoted below mention the Bhagvan Someshwar along with the great pilgrimage like Gangaji, Yamunaji and Eastward Saraswati. This signifies the ancient value of this Tirthdham. Somnath is in Prabhas Patan very near to Veraval. Somnath means “The Protector of Moon God.” The Somnath Temple is known as „the Shrine Eternal,‟ as although the temple has been destroyed six times it has been rebuilt every single time. Brahma, one of the trinity, installed the Brahmashila, and paved way for the construction of the temple. On the request of the Chandrama and other gods Bhagwan Shankar assumed the name Somchandra (Jyotirlinga) and resided there eternally. He became famous by the name Somnath in the three worlds. Since, it was the Prabhas Kshetra where Bhagwan Shri Krishna performed all his Lilas. In this temple there is a small cave in which a lamp burns continuously. The Skanda Purana describes the Sparsa Linga of Somnath as one bright as the sun, the size of an egg, lodged underground. The Mahabharata also refers to the Prabhasa Kshetra and the legend of the moon worshipping Shiva. Ransacking and Rebuilding of Somnath Jyotirlinga The present temple is the seventh temple reconstructed on the original site. The first temple of Somnath is said to have existed before the beginning of the Christian era. The second temple, built by the Maitraka kings of Vallabhi in Gujarat, replaced the first one on the same site around 649. In 725 Junayad, the Arab governor of Sind, sent his armies to destroy the second temple. The Pratihara king Nagabhata II constructed the third temple in 815, a large structure of red sandstone. In 1024, Mahmud Ghazni raided the temple from across the Thar Desert. During his campaign, Mahmud was challenged by Ghogha Rana, who at the ripe age of 90, sacrificed his own clan fighting against this iconoclast. The temple and citadel were ransacked, and more than 50,000 defenders were massacred; Mahmud personally hammered the temple‟s gilded lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni, where they were incorporated into the steps of the city‟s new Jamiah Masjid (Friday mosque). The fourth temple was built by the Paramara King Bhoj of Malwa and the Solanki king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhilwara) or Patan between 1026 and 1042. The wooden structure was replaced by Kumarpal who built the temple of stone. The temple was razed in 1297 when the Sultanate of Delhi conquered Gujarat, and again in 1394. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the temple again in 1706. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, then Home Minister & the first Deputy Prime Minister of India, took a pledge on November 13, 1947 for its reconstruction for the seventh time. A mosque present at that site was shifted few miles away. It was completed on December 1, 1995 and President of India, Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, dedicated it in the service of the nation. The present temple was built by the Shree Somnath Trust which looks

and the idol of iron. A thousand Brahmans were employed in worshipping the idol and attending on the visitors. until at last it rested on the ground. in accordance with their doctrine of transmigration. others differed. “The king looked upon the idol with wonder. It was held in the highest honor among the Hindus. Some coincided. they decided to leave a light on every mountain they visited. and whoever beheld it floating in the air was struck with amazement. Before embarking on a further search for their son on each mountain. Near it was a chain of gold weighing 200 mans.“When the king asked his companions what they had to say about the marvel of the idol.H. Among the wonders of that place was the temple in which was placed the idol called Somnath. and marvels of Things Existing” by Asaru-L Bilad. This idol was in the middle of the temple without anything to support it from below. Together. and that the idol used to incorporate them at its pleasure in other bodies.000 villages.They used to bring the water of this river to Somnath every day. implored Lord Shiva to look for their son. or to suspend it from above. They believed that the souls of men used to meet there after separation from the body. Elliot’s footnote: The enormous treasures found at Somnath have been a theme of wonder for all who have written on that conquest. hut was lighted by jeweled chandeliers of great value. In spite of being restrained by his parents. but met with no obstacle. He arrived there in the middle of Zi-l k‟ada. in the hope that the Hindus would then become Muhammadans. “When the Sultan Yamin-ud-Daula Mahmud Bin Subuktigin went to wage religious war against India.after the entire complex of Shree Somnath and its environs. and the temple was endowed with more than 10. he made great efforts to capture and destroy Somnath. But. which he did. and wash the temple with it. and would then assemble there to the number of more than a hundred thousand. Everything of the most precious was brought there as offerings. The edifice was built upon fifty-six pillars of teak. The value of the things found in the temples of the idols exceeded twenty thousand thousand dinars.D. This angered him. The shrine of the idol was dark. situated on the shore of the sea. and gave orders for the seizing of the spoil.” May the Jyothirlinga of Shri Somnath temple remove all the negative energies with in us and inspire us to be a better human being. The following extract is from “Wonders of Things Created. and the appropriation of the treasures. the distance is 200 parasangs. when more were taken away it inclined still further. It contains the following description of Somnath temple and its destruction: The following is a long quotation: “Somnath: celebrated city of India. covered with lead. Parvati was very distraught at having to be away from her son. When a portion (watch) of the night closed. after learning about his parents coming after him to Krouncha Mountain. 416 A. Sri Mallikarjuna Bhramaramba devalayamu: Srisailam When Kumar Kartikeya returned to Kailash after completing his trip around the earth. all of which had been sent there by the greatest personages in India. Kumara went away a further three Yojanas. and 500 damsels sung and danced at the door–all these were maintained upon the endowments of the temple. between which and Somnath. Permission was obtained from the Sultan to remove some stones from the top of the canopy to settle the point. From that day. they went to Kumara. There is a river (the Ganges) which is held sacred. “The ebb and flow of the tide was considered to be the worship paid to the idol by the sea. 1025 A. The king directed a person to go and feel all around and above and below it with a spear. he heard about Ganesha’s marriage from N arada. and washed by its waves. One of the attendants then stated his opinion that the canopy was made of loadstone. When two stones were removed from the summit the idol swerved on one side. and of its staying in the air without prop or support. (December. this chain used to be shaken like bells to rouse a fresh lot of brahmans to perform worship. There were many idols of gold and silver and vessels set with jewels.). whether he was a Musulman or an infidel. The Hindus used to go on pilgrimage to it whenever there was an eclipse of the moon. he touched their feet in obeisance and left for Krounch Mountain. a 13th century Muslim geographer. and that the ingenious builder had skillfully contrived that the magnet should not exercise a greater force on anyone sidehence the idol was suspended in the middle. that place came to be known as . several maintained that it was upheld by some hidden support.

Once. The Kings chose to attack and were successful. If he deposits the lingam anywhere on the earth. who was blessed by Lord Brahma to be invisible. if Shiva went to Lanka with Ravana. the city of Ujjain was called Avantika and was famous for its beauty and its status as a devotional epicenter. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders. jarkhand According to the stories narrated in the Shiva Purana. The Lord also blessed his devotees and declared that people who worshipped Him in this form would be free from the fear of death and diseases. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. However. in the course of his journey. Lord Shiva resided in His light form as Mahakala in a Lingam that was formed on its own from the powers of the Lord and His consort.JyotirLinga Mallikarjuna. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this palce on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami. Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out. Also. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. felt that his capital would not be perfect and free from enemies unless Mahadeva (Shiva) stays there forever. One day. Shrikhar started to pray and the news spread to a priest named Vridhi. According to legend. There should not be a break in his journey to Lanka. Hearing this. started to pray to Lord Shiva at the river Kshipra. He was shocked to hear this and upon the urgent pleas of his sons. Visiting this JyotirLinag not only blesses one with innumerable wealth. It was also one of the primary cities where students went to study holy scriptures. There was a self-raising Swyambhu SivaLinga. she witnessed a miracle. it was in the Treta yuga that the demon Ravana. Rivals of Ujjain. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day. It was bright and shining like the sun rays. Ultimately Shiva got pleased and permitted him to carry his lingam with him to Lanka. a farmer's boy named Shrikhar was walking on the grounds of the palace and heard the King chant the Lord's name and rushed to the temple to start praying with him. Mahadeva advised him not to place or transfer this lingam to anyone. they would be granted worldly treasures and be under the protection of the Lord himself. there was a ruler of Ujjain called Chandrasena. throwing flames in all directions. Ravana was happy as he was taking his return journey to Lanka. primarily King Ripudamana and King Singhaditya of the neighboring kingdoms decided to attack the Kingdom and take over its treasures around this time. Chandravati prayed to Siva in this JyotirLinga. Parvati. Upon hearing the pleas of His helpless devotees. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Upon the request of his devotees Shrikhar and Vridhi. sinking into the ground. . He paid continuous meditation to Mahadeva. The other gods objected to this plan. maha kali – Ujjayini According to the Puranas.[13 Vaidyanath – Deoghar. respectively. From that day on. it would remain fixed at that place forever. with the help of the powerful demon Dushan. king of Lanka. and looked like it was burning. She received salvation and Mukti. then Ravana would become invincible and his evil and anti-vedic deeds would threaten the world. they plundered the city and attacked all the devotees of Lord Shiva. who was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva and worshiped him all the time. Lord Shiva appeared in his Mahakala form and destroyed the enemies of King Chandrasena. but also name and fame and fulfils all the desires. Lord Shiva agreed to reside in the city and become the chief deity of the Kingdom and take care of it against its enemies and to protect all His devotees. the guards removed him by force and sent him to the outskirts of the city near the river Kshipra. Mahakaleswar. Lord Shankara was very pleased with her.

. Ravan failed miserably in his attempt to uproot the linga. Ravana requested Ganesh pretending as shepherd to hold the linga while he completes sandya-vandana and also guided him not to place the linga on ground at any movement. When Ravana after returning from sandya-vandana tried to move the linga. Ganesh. pretending to be vexed by Ravena's delay. Ganesh then appeared as a shepherd who was rearing sheep nearby. but he could not. it was time for Ravana to perform sandya-vandana and he could not carry out sandya-vandha with Shiva linga in his hand and therefore searched for someone who could hold it for him. The Gods were happy with Shiva linga not reaching Ravana's place. The moment linga was kept down. Ganesha warned Ravana about leaving the linga on the bank of the river and walking away if he doesnot return soon.On his way back from Mount Kailash. set the linga down on earth. it got fixed to the ground.