The Somnath temple is also called Deo Patan. It is a Hindu temple located in Prabhas Patan, Gujarat, India, and the most sacred pilgrimage site for them. They believed it the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. It was reconstructed several times in the past after repeated demolishing by Muslim invaders and rulers.
It is unclear when the first version of the Somnath temple was built but some historians said Somnath’s first temple is said to have existed 2000 years ago. After demolishing the Muslim invaders, in 649 AD, King Maitre of Vallabhini built a second temple in place of the temple and renovated it. But the temple’s history is still unresolved disputes among historians. The colonial-era historian studied Somnath in the 19th century when it was ruined and converted into an Islamic mosque. It was reconstructed by Hindus after their independence in 1947. They constructed it in the Māru-Gurjara style of Hindu temple.
The reconstruction of Somnath was started under the order of the first Home Minister of India Vallabhbhai Patel. It was completed in May 1951 after his death. Now the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the chairman of Shree Somnath Mandir’s trust.
It is about 400 km southwest of Ahmedabad and about 7 km southeast of the Veraval railway junction. The Somnath temple is located near the ancient trading port of Veraval. Persian historian Al-Biruni states that Somnath has become so famous because “it was the harbor for seafaring people.
The Somnath place has been a pilgrimage place since ancient times due to Triveni Sangam. In Hinduism, the Triveni Sangam is a confluence of three rivers, considered a pilgrimage destination for Hindus. In 2019, the Sangam will be celebrating its 4000th anniversary. The confluence is of utmost importance in Hinduism as all the three major rivers of the Hindu faith, the Ganga, Yamuna, and Sarasvati, come together here. It is believed that when the Sarasvati River was lost, the Ganga and Yamuna were joined at this place to become one river.
Ruined Somnath temple in 1869
The history of Somnath is full of ups and downs but one thing remains intact, which is Somnath’s position as one of the sacred shrines in Hinduism. The temple is believed to be the first of its kind, the first temple dedicated to the god Shiva.
The Somnath temple is a famous Hindu temple in Gujarat. In the year 1991, a new Somnath temple was built based on the original temple, which was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in the early 11th century. The temple is an important landmark as it is considered to be one of the 12 jyotirlingas, where Shiva is worshipped.
Mahmud, also known as Mahamud or Mahmood of Ghazni was the founder of the Turkic Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 998 to 1030. His empire was based in today’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, and eventually extended to the Punjab region. He was the first ruler to hold the title Sultan, signifying the scope of his power and his claim to be the rightful due to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He is also noted in history for his raids into northwestern India, which led to the conquest of the Hindu Rajput kingdoms and the temple of Somnath.
The temple of Somnath is a key place for Hindus. The jyotirlinga of Somnath is one of the twelve jyotirlingas in India and a major pilgrimage site for Hindus. It is located in the Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Gujarat. The Somnath temple was looted twice by foreign armed forces. The first time was by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024. The second time was by the Mughal army led by Aurangzeb in 1665.
Reconstruction during 1950 – 1951
In the October of 1947, the people of Junagadh consisted of Hindus, residing in Junagadh’s walled city, and Muslims residing in the city’s suburbs. The Hindu community was led by the Maharaja, who was supported by the Nawab of Junagadh. A struggle ensued between the Hindus and Muslims in Junagadh over the accession of Junagadh to Pakistan. This struggle between the Hindus and Muslims in Junagadh, along with the accession of Junagadh to Pakistan, is referred to as the ‘Junagadh Crisis’. Finally, the Indian army invaded the state and it was annexed by the Muslims. Thus, Patel became the Deputy Prime Minister of Junagadh on 12 November 1947. Patel, K. M. Munshi ordered the reconstruction of the temple.
When the Deputy Prime Minister and other leaders of the Congress went to Mahatma Gandhi with their proposal for the reconstruction of the Somnath temple, Mr. Gandhi blessed the move and ordered reconstruction. The big challenge for the Deputy Prime Minister was that the state was out of funds. In this regard, Mr. Gandhi appealed to the public for the collection of funds.
The public was proud to associate himself with the project of renovation of the temple. Right after the inauguration of the reconstruction Gandhi and Sardar Patel died but the task led to its completion.
The Somnath temple is a beautiful temple located in Prabhas Patan, Gujarat, India. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is considered the first of the twelve Jyotirlingas. This temple is considered so sacred that it is believed that anyone who takes a dip in the sea here and puts the ashes of their loved ones in the water will be forgiven of all their sins. This is why it is so popular with Hindus, as well as people of other religions. We hope you have enjoyed reading our blog about the Somnath temple