is the foremost of the twelve Jyotirlinga Shrines of
Shiva. It is held in reverence throughout India and
is rich in legend, tradition, and history.
Somnath Jyotirlinga is situated in Veraval in (Prabhas
Kshetra) Kathaiwad district. It is said that Chandra
Devan worshipped Siva here to free himself of the curse
of Daksha and hence built a temple here and name came
upon to be Somnathar.
According to the Shiva Purana, Daksha Prajapati had
27 daughters who were all wedded to Chandra Devan. Amongst
all his wives, he deeply loved Rohini, one of the daughters
of Dakshan. Seeing this partiality and negligence of
the other daughters Daksha cursed Chandra that will
diminish in power and beauty, as moon without beauty
will make the whole world lifeless. When Chandra asked
for forgiveness, Dakshan said that only Lord Shiva could
free him from this curse. So Chandra started praying.
Pleased by this devotion Lord shiva blessed him of immortality.
He blessed him that he would undergo waxing and waning
accordingly in a month. On the request of Chandra Devan
and other Gods Lord Shiva assumed the name of Somchandra
(Jyotirlinga) and dwelled there forever. In this temple
there is a small cave in which a lamp burns continuously.
The inner temple of the Garbhashay was supported to
be aglow with the luster of these gemstones. The Nanda
Deep was always kept lighted with Kannauji attar. The
treasure of the temple was forever full of vast wealth
and was kept safe. For worship of the Lord-and Abhishek
(worship with holy water) sandalwood scented water was
brought from Haridwar, Prayag Kashi every day. However
flowers for special festivities were imported from Kashmir.
For the routine daily worship, one thousand Brahmins
were appointed. About three hundred and fifty dancing
girls were appointed for the regular music and dance
concerts that took place in the Temple courts.
Somnath Jyotirlinga Somnath Jyotirling has been destroyed
and rebuilt a number of times in the history: * Accounts
of glory and wealth of Somnath by the Arab traveler
Al Biruni prompted a visit by Mahmud of Ghazini who
ransacked and destroyed the temple in 1025 CE. It was
immediately rebuilt by King Bhima of Gujarat and King
Bhoja of Malwa. * Somnath temple was destroyed again
by Alaf Khan, the general of Allauddin Khilji in 1300
CE. It was rebuilt again by King Mahipala of the Chudasama
dynasty. * Somnath shrine was destroyed yet again in
1390, 1490, 1530 and finally in 1701 by Aurangazeb.
It was rebuilt with perseverance each time after it