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History of Somnath
Somnath is the famous temple of God Shiva located near Veraval in Suarastra. It is on the western coast of Gujarat state. Somnath temple has one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva.
The temple is believed to have appeared first in gold, at the behest of the moon-god, next in silver, created by the sun-god, a third time in wood at the command of Krishna , and finally in stone, built by Bhimdeva. The present temple is 7 th temple built in the same style.
Facing the wide open Arabian Sea, the temple at Somnath is an imposing structure offering a spectacular sight to the beholders. There is a grey sand beach outside the temple attracting tourist. A short distance from the Somnath temple is BakhlaTirth, where Lord Krishna was said to have been struck by the stray arrow of a Bhil tribal The temple has imposing architecture and is a beautiful sight facing the blue expanse of the Arabian Sea.
   Somnath Beach
Not recommended for swimming, but a wonderful escape into the roaring silence of nature. It also offers some more active patches where you can enjoy a camel ride and light snacks.
   Sun Temple
With the help of locals, you might be pleasantly surprised to find this fascinating temple built in the 14th century. Situated adjacent to the Sitala Mata Temple, it has an imposing entrance porch, and idols of the Sun God and his two attendants.
   Sana Caves
The hill has 62 rock shelters scattered at different levels. The most interesting group has ornate carvings and stupas, rock cut pillows, benches and chaityas. Some caves also have a dome and pillared hall. Experts believe that these are among the few earliest caves of Western India dating from 2nd century BC.
   Bhalka Tirtha & Dehotsarg
North of Somnath, en route to Veraval, is the famous Lord Krishna temple, Bhalka Tirtha, on the site where Krishna is said to have been mistakenly shot in the foot. Nearby is Dehotsarg, where he succumbed to his mortal wound. The temple at Bhalka Tirth is known as Mahaprabhuji's Bethak, and a tulsi tree has been planted in Lord Krishna's memory. At the Dehotsarg Tirth, in the 9th century AD Shri Vallabhacharya gave discourses on Shrimad Bhagvat Gita for seven days, as well as the revered
Gita Mandir, which has eighteen marble pillars with a chapter from the Bhagvat Gita inscribed on each one. The temple also contains a beautiful tribhangi idol of Lord Krishna playing his flute. Nearby is a place known as Baldev Gufa (cave). According to legend, Lord Krishna's elder brother Baldev disappeared through this cave and went to the netherworld, as he was considered to be an incarnation of Sheshnag, the king of snakes.
   Mai Puri Masjid
This ancient structure is one kilometer from the Junagadh Gate which is the main gateway to Somnath from Veraval. Mai Puri Masjid is an impressive piece of architecture, covered with blue and white tiles. It is an important religious spot for Muslims along with other tombs and mosques in Somnath.
   Ahmedpur Mandvi Beach
On a 6 km stretch of clear Arabian waters kissing the beach, Ahmedpur Mandvi is one of Gujarat's lesser-known gems and finest pieces of coastline. Adjacent to the island of Diu, which lies just across a creek, it continues as Ghogla Beach into the adjoining part of mainland Diu. From lazing on a hammock with a book to bathing in its pristine waters, this beach also offers many water sport adventures and opportunities for dolphin sightings. Situated where Gujarat and Diu come together.
Ahmedpur Mandvi provides a rich blend of cultures from Saurashtra and the Portuguese influence from Diu, in several lively fishing hamlets.
   Chorwad Beach
Located 37 kms from Somnath, this beach was once home to the royal palace of the Nawab of Junagadh. Today it remains in a ruined state. The beach is unsafe for swimming, but it is relatively clean, ideal for relaxing and enjoying the ocean breeze. It does not offer any accomodation facilities but serves as an ideal excursion from Somnath.
You might not find a major hotel chain near Somnath. For the pilgrims and tourists, there are guesthouses, rest houses and inns etc. Services are simple but reasonable for a comfortable stay. Accommodation options are also available in Veraval.
   Veraval Beach
Just about 5 km from the Somnath Temple is this amazing beach, which is great place to relax and refresh your body, mind and soul.
   How to Reach to Somnath
   By Air
The nearest airport from Somnath is Keshod 55 km away and linked to Mumbai. There are regular buses and taxis plying between Keshod and Somnath.
   By Rail
The nearest railhead is seven km away at Veraval, which is connected by train to Ahmedabad and some other cities in Gujarat.
   By Road
State transport corporation buses and private coaches run regular service to other cities in the region. Somnath is connected by a good road network to the other nearby places like Veraval 7 km, Mumbai 889 km, Ahmedabad 400 km, Bhavnagar 266 km, Junagarh 85 km, and Porbandar 122 km.
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