The Somnath is known as the Eternal
Shrine as it has withstood the shocks of time and the
attacks of the destroyers. It has risen like a phoenix
each time it was destroyed.
Somnath is also known by several other names like Deo
Pattan, Prabhas Pattan, or Pattan Somnath.These names
were acquired during its long and eventful history.
Somnath was once the most revered shrine in the country,
for it had one of the twelve pre-eminent Jyotirlingas,
which held a special significance for the Hindus. Somnath's
glory and fame are legendary. It is said that people
from the remotest parts of the country came to worship
at the shrine; revenues collected from ten thousand
villages were spent on the maintenance of the temple.
The temple faces to east and once had an enormous central
hall with three entrances, each protected by a lofty
porch. The fragments that lie scattered at a short distance
from the site give some idea of the sculpture decorating
The richly carved doorways, the sculptured representations
of Nandi, Shiva's bull, and the figures of goddesses
and their female attendants must once have presented
a grand ensemble of great beauty. In the recesses of
the balconied corridor, there is a mutilated form of
Nataraja, the dancing Shiva.
Situated 79 kms from Junagadh and 25 kms from Chorwad,
is the legendary shore temple of Somnath, one of the
twelve most sacred Shiva shrines in India.
It is said Somraj, the moon god, originally built the
Somnath Temple out of gold. Then, Ravana rebuilt it
in silver and then again Krishna did it in wood and
yet again by King Bhimdev Solanki in stone in the 10th
century. The temple was so rich that it had over 300
musicians and 500 dancing girls.