One of the 12 Jyotirlingas Shrines of Shiva, Somnath Temple is also the specimen of fine architecture. Dubbed as Eternal Shrine, it is believed to be the place where Lord Krishna ended his Lila and thereafter for heavenly abode. This legendary temple is said to have vandalized numerous times in the history but with the help of zealot Hindu Kings the temple was rebuilt each time.
Here in this blog we bring to you facts and legends that are attached to this sacred and architecturally marvelous temple:
- The modern day Somnath Temple was built over five years, from 1947 to 1951 and was inaugurated by then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad.
- The Shivalinga in the temple is believed to have been safely hiding within its hollowness the famous Syamantak Mani, the Philosopher’s stone, which is associated with Lord Krishna. It is said that it was a magical stone, which was capable of producing gold. It is also believed that stone had alchemic and radioactive properties and could create a magnetic field around itself that helped it remain floating above ground.
- The temple finds its reference in the most ancient texts of Hindus like Shreemad Bhagavat, Skandpuran, Shivpuran and Rig-Veda which signifies the importance of this temple as one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in India.
- According to history scholars, the site of Somnath has been a pilgrimage site from ancient times as it was said to be the confluence point known of three rivers, Kapila, Hiran and the mythical Saraswati. The confluence was called as Triveni Sangam and is believed to be the place where Soma, the Moon god bathed and regained his lustre. The result is reckoned to be the waxing and waning of the moon or the waxing and waning of the tides at this sea shore location.
- The legend has it that the initial structure of the temple was first built by Moon God who constructed the temple with gold. The Sun God used silver for its construction, whereas Lord Krishna made it with the help of sandalwood.
- According to Hindu scholar, Swami Gajanand Saraswati, the first temple was built 7, 99, 25,105 years ago as derived from the traditions of Prabhas Khand of Skand Puran.
- The temple was suffer destruction at the hands of Mahmud Ghazni in 1024, Khilji’s army in 1296 , Muzaffar Shah in 1375, Mahmud Begada in 1451 and Aurangzeb in 1665.
- The temple is said to be situated at such a place that there is no land in straight-line between Somnath seashore till Antarctica. In an inscription in Sanskrit, found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh erected on the sea-protection wall at the Somnath Temple is stated that the temple stands at a point on the Indian piece of land, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.
- According to Skanda Purana, the name of Somnath Temple will change every time the world is reconstructed. It is believed when Lord Brahma will create a new world after ending the recent one, Somnath will acquire the name of Pran Nath Temple.
- On the walls of the temple, along with Shiva, the sculptures of Lord Brahma and Vishnu can also be seen. According to the Prabhaskhand of Skanda Purana, answering to the question of Parvati, Lord Shiva reveals that so far Somnath has been named 8 times.
- According another reference in the Skanda Purana, there have been about 6 Brahmas. This is the era of 7th Brahma who is called Shatanand. Lord Shiva also reveals that in the 7th Yuga, the name of the temple is Somnath and in the last Yuga the Shivlinga was called Mrityunjay.
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