Saturday, July 18, 2015
SOMNATH SHIVA TEMPLE SAURASHTRA ,GUJARAT
The Somnath Temple is located in Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra on the western coast of Gujarat, India
Somnath The temple is dedicated to Someshwara, the Lord Shiva, with moon on his head.
In the Shivapurana and the Nandi Upapurana, Lord Shiva is quoted as saying, 'I am omnipresent, but I am especially in twelve forms and places.' These places are known as jyotirlingas, and Somnath is the first to be found in the world. Around the linga the moon god Soma built a mythical temple of gold as an ode to Lord Shiva's glory and compassion. Like the waxing and waning moon, and fittingly for a place associated with Lord Shiva's cosmic dance of creative destruction, the Somnath temple has risen unfailingly from repeated acts of devastation.
This religious place of worship was earning the produce of ten thousand villages. Among the twelve JyotirLingas (Lingas of light) Somanath is considered as the primary one. Because this deity is supposed to be Swayanbhu (self-born) and is always awake, lakhs of devotees visited this temple and considered themselves blessed and to have achieved piety. Offerings made by crores of devotees amounted to crores of rupees which kept the Somnath Temple always rich and abundant. Along with this, the Sun worshipping foreigners (probably Parsis) also contributed a pat of their profits to the temple treasury which kept its coffers full, all the time.
On Kartik Sud 14 in the Hindu calendar, the day of Shiva's son Kartikeya's birth, a fair is held for four days at the shrine of Somnath. Millions of devotees converge here for these ebullient celebrations on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
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 temple. The richly carved doorways, the sculptured representations of Nandi, Sivas 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. Although essentially a Brahmanical temple, the influence of Jain architecture is clearly discernible