Somnath templeThe Somnath Temple located inthe Prabhas Kshetra near Veravalin Saurashtra, on the western coastof Gujarat, India, is one of thetwelve Jyotirlinga shrines of theGod Shiva. Somnath means "TheProtector of (the) Moon God". TheSomnath Temple is known as "theShrine Eternal", having beendestroyed six times and rebuilt sixtimes. Most recently it was rebuiltin November 1947, when SardarVallabhbhai Patel visited the areafor the integration of Junagadh andmooted a plan for restoration. AfterPatels death, the rebuildingcontinued under Shri K. M. Munshi,another minister of theGovernment of India.
SignificanceAccording to the legend, Soma orthe Moon God built the temple ingold, Ravana in silver, and ShriKrishna in wood. Soma was cursedby his father-in-law Daksha to wanebecause Soma loved only one of hiswives, all of whom happened to beDakshas daughters. His other wivescomplained about this negligentbehavior of Soma to their fatherDaksha, and thus the curse. He thenbuilt a Shivlinga at the Prabhas tirth(a Hindu pilgrimage) and prayed toLord Shiva who removed the cursepartially because asked upon bySomas one wife (the one that heloved more than others). Thus,causing the periodic waning ofmoon. Pleased by the prayers ofSoma (Moon god), Lord Shivadecided to rest in that Lingam tilleternity, and thus the Jyotirlingam.
LegendAs per Shiv Mahapuran, onceBrahma (the Hindu God of creation)and Vishnu (the Hindu God ofsaving) had an argument in terms ofsupremacy of creation. To testthem, Shiva pierced the threeworlds as a huge endless pillar oflight, the jyotrilinga. Vishnu andBrahma split their ways todownwards and upwardsrespectively to find the end of thelight in either directions. Brahmalied that he found out the end, whileVishnu conceded his defeat. Shivaappeared as a second pillar of lightand cursed Brahma that he wouldhave no place in ceremonies whileVishnu would be worshipped till theend of eternity.
LegendThe jyotirlinga is the supremepartless reality, out of which Shivapartly appears. jyothirlinga shrines,thus are places where Shivaappeared as a fiery column of light.Originally there were believed to be64 jyothirlingas while 12 of themare considered to be very auspiciousand holy. Each of the twelvejyothirlinga sites take the name ofthe presiding deity - eachconsidered different manifestationof Shiva. At all these sites, theprimary image is lingamrepresenting the beginningless andendless Stambha pillar, symbolizingthe infinite nature of Shiva.
LegendAt all these sites, the primary imageis lingam representing thebeginning less and endless Stambhapillar, symbolizing the infinitenature of Shiva. The twelvejyothirlinga are Somnath in Gujarat,Mallikarjuna at Srisailam in AndraPradesh, Mahakaleswar at Ujjain inMadhya Pradesh, Omkareshwar inMadhya Pradesh, Kedarnath inHimalayas, Bhimashankar inMaharastra, Viswanath at Varanasiin Uttar Pradesh, Triambakeshwarin Maharastra, vaijanath temple inMaharashtra, Nageswar at Dwarkain Gujarat, Rameshwar atRameswaram in Tamil Nadu andGrishneshwar at Aurangabad inMaharashtra.
ArchitectureThe present temple is built in theChalukya style of templearchitecture or Kailash MahameruPrasad Style and reflects the skill ofthe Sompura Salats, Gujaratsmaster masons.The temple issituated at such a place that thereis no land in straight-line betweenSomnath seashore till Antarctica,such an inscription in Sanskrit isfound on the Arrow-Pillar calledBaan-Stambh erected on the sea-protection wall at the SomnathTemple. This Baan-Stambhmentions that it stands at a point onthe Indian landmass, whichhappens to be the first point on landin the north to the south-pole onthat particular longitude.
Gujarat is blessed with rich andvibrant tradition ofHandicrafts. It is widelydiffering in its proportions of itspatterns to the element ofwonderful exquisite Artefactsin various forms. It stands uniquewith diverse arts and crafts – amixed combination with aestheticappeamous. Gujarat is famousfor its needlework, pottery,zari, temple culture, woodwork,textile culture, patola,beadwork,jewellery, furnishingsand tie – die.
The relief is low in the most parts of thestate and involves diverse climateconditions. The winters are mild, pleasant,and dry with average daytimetemperatures around 29 °C (84 °F) andnights around 12 °C (54 °F) with 100percent sunny days and clear nights. Thesummers are extremely hot and dry withdaytime temperatures around 41 °C (106°F) and at night no lower than 29 °C (84°F). In the weeks leading up to the arrivalof the monsoon rains the temperatures aresimilar to above but with high humiditywhich makes the air feel hotter. Reliefcomes when the monsoon season startsaround in mid June. The day temperaturesare lowered to around 35 °C (95 °F) buthumidity is very high and nights arearound 27 °C (81 °F). Most of the rainfalloccurs in this season, and the rain cancause severe floods. The sun is oftenoccluded during the monsoon season.Though mostly dry, it is desertic in thenorth-west, and wet in the southerndistricts due to a heavy monsoon season.