Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Somnath temple HISTORY


The legend associated with this temple is that when Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were arguing regarding their supremacy, Lord Shiva intervened in between and to reach to a reasonable conclusion, he assigned them the task of finding the end of the light of the pillar he had pierced through the three spheres. While Brahma tried to lie that he had reached to the end of the light, Vishnu acknowledged his defeat. This led Shiva to curse Brahma that he would not be worshiped in any religious ceremonies, whereas Vishnu will be worshiped by the mankind till the end of time.
The column of light is now symbolic to Lord Shiva, commonly known as Jyotirlinga. Such structures were erected in 64 locations, out of which one is the Somnath Temple.
Another legend associated with this temple is that there were three different temples built by Soma or the Moon God, Ravana and Shri Krishna. While Soma had built the temple of gold, Ravana’s temple was made of silver, while that of Shri Krishna was made of wood. Soma was known to have cursed by none other than his father-in-law because Soma was known to love only one of the many daughters of Daksha whom he was married with. The curse was that the glow of Soma or the moon will decline. Soma then built the temple and prayed to Shiva. One of his wives whom he used to love the most then pleaded to Shiva to remove the curse. Shiva then removed the curse, partially though, which is said to be the reason why the intensity of moon decreases.
The temple has been destroyed not just once or twice, but for six times. Every time, it was rebuilt and thus it got the name “The Shrine Eternal”.
Brighly lit Somnath TempleIt is said that the very first temple was present at the site even before the common people existed, while the second temple is believed to be built by the rulers of Yadava Dynasty in the sixth century.
In the seventh century, the temple was destroyed by the armies sent by the governor of Sindh. The third temple, however, was built in the eight century by a ruler of the Pratihara Empire, Nagabhata II.
The temple was destroyed and rebuilt again for the coming centuries, as it was always under the radar of the conquerors of the state.
Another interesting incident related to this ancient temple is the “Proclamation of The Gates” incident. It is said that Mahadaji Shinde, a ruler of the Maratha Dynasty, brought along Three Silver Gates after he won the war against the ruler of Lahore, Muhammad Shah. He wanted these gates to be installed in the Somnath Temple, but was unable to do so as the pundits and the ruler of the state refused to do so. These gates were later placed at the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga Temple and Gopal Temple of Ujjain city in Madhya Pradesh.
Around a century later, the 1st Earl of Ellenborough issued an order to reclaim these gates, which are said to have been taken by the Mahmud of Ghazni to be installed in his tomb. A lot of efforts were put to bring back the gates; however, the gates that were brought back to India were just replicas. The authorities sent these replicas to the Agra Fort, where they are still lying in the store-room.
The last restoration of the temple was done by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was the Deputy Prime Minister of India after independence. The initiative of merging Junagarh state into the newly established Union of India and reconstruction of Somnath Temple in a simultaneous order was administered by Vallabhbhai. Unfortunately, he died before the reconstruction of the temple was over, which was then supervised by K.M. Munshi.
The temple is consisting of Garbhgruh, Sabhamandap and Nrityamandap with a 150 feet high Shikhar.
The Kalash at the top of the Shikhar weighs 10 tons and the Dhwajdand is 27 feet tall and 1 foot in circumference. The Abadhit Samudra Marg, Tirsthambh (Arrow) indicates the unobstructed sea route to the South Pole. The nearest land towards South Pole is about 9936 km. away. This is a wonderful indicator of the ancient Indian wisdom of geography and strategic location of the Jyotirling. The temple renovated by Maharani Ahalyabai is adjacent to the main temple complex.

Inside Somnath TempleHari Har Tirthdham is here in Somnath. This is the holy place of Bhagvan Shri Krishna's Neejdham Prasthan Leela. The place where Bhagvan Shri Krishna was hit by an arrow of a poacher is known as Bhalka Tirtha. After being hit by the arrow, Bhagvan Shri Krishna arrived at the holy confluence of Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati and their Sangam with the ocean. He performed his divine Neejdham Prasthan Leela at the sacred and peaceful banks of river Hiran.

The Geetamandir is built here where the divine message of Shrimad Bhagavat Geeta is carved on eighteen marble pillars. Shri Lakshminarayan Mandir is close by. The Balramjiki Gufa is the place from where Bhagvan Shrikrishna's elder brother Balaramji took journey to his nijdham-patal.

Here is the Parshuram Tapobhumi, where Bhagvan Parshuramji carried out penance and he was relieved from the sin of Kshatriya killings. The Pandavas have said to have visited this place and taken holy bath in the Jalprabhas and built five Shiv temples.


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