The small shore town of Somnath in Gujarat earns much of its claim to fame for being one of the most important pilgrim places in Gujarat. It lies in the confluence where River Saraswati is said to flow into the sea. This sleepy town situated on the shores of the Arabian Sea houses of one of the most important temples in Indian mythology namely Somnath Temple. According to Hindu mythology this is also the place where Lord Krishna was shot in the leg. Somnath Temple is one of the most frequented temples in the whole of India.
This temple is believed to be one of the twelve Shiv jyotirlingas. It is dedicated to Siva. It has an interesting legend about why and how it was built. It was built by the moon god or Soma in agreement to the curse that king Daksha put on him. He is said to have loved Rohini more than his other wives who incidentally were also Daksha's daughters. Due to the curse the moon began to fade and Daksha advised Soma to visit the Prabhas to get rid of the curse. Somnath etymologically mean the Lord of the moon.
Another fact that is associated with Somnath Temple of Gujarat is the number of times it was rebuilt and besieged. Soma built it in gold. It was rebuilt in silver by Ravana. Again Lord Krishna built it in wood and later it was again built in stone by Bhima one of the Pandava brothers.
Somnath Temple was seized by Mahmud of Gazni in 1026. He raided the temple and took away all the treasures including a solid silver gate. It was raided again in 1297, 1394 and for the last time during the reign of Aurangzeb.
The present temple as you see it was re constructed in 1950. This temple has a crowning tower of 50 meters. The temple is large and spacious but not artistic. The temple is famed to have served 200 Brahmins who dedicated their life to Shiva.