The small and sleepy town of Somnath earns much of its claim to fame for housing one of the twelve rare Jyotilingas. The Somnath temple here has been raided six times and all its treasures plundered by Mahmud of Ghazni. There are myths and facts about this small town which will leave you dumbfounded. For instance the Somnath temple was build firstly with gold, then with silver, and later on with stone and wood. Secondly Lord Krishna was said to be fatally wounded here by a poacher who took him to be a deer. This quaint town lies at the confluence of three rivers namely Saraswati, Hiran and Kapila. Amongst the many Holy Places in Somnath, Ahilyabai Temple deserves a special mention.
History of Ahilyabai Temple, Somnath:
The history of Ahilyabai Temple and Somnath Temple is closely interlinked. It is said that this temple was constructed as a substitute for the main Somnath temple when it was raided and ravaged. This temple was built by Rajmata Ahilyabai Holkar who patronized Hindu religion in all its glory. When she saw the derelict condition of Somnath temple she built another temple which acted as a substitute to the original one. Even to this day Shiva is worshipped in this temple.
Description of Ahilyabai Temple, Somnath:
Many Hindus believe that Ahilyabai Temple contains the original Jyotirling which was hidden here assuming that the original Somnath temple is going to be raided.
The best time to visit Somnath is from October to March. Somnath is well accessible from Junagad and Veraval. There are daily buses plying from one place to the other. To avoid last minute hassles make your hotel bookings early. You can also visit many other places in and around Somnath like Gir National forest which is the only place in India where you would find Asiatic Lions. It lies at a distance of 43 kilometers from Somnath. You can also visit the sea side resort of Chorwad.