Somnath temple, the first in the twelve jyothirlingas, is located at the Viraval port - Prabhas Pattan in Saurashtra - Gujarat.
Known as prabhAsa kshetra, Somnath occupied a much esteemed place in the Hindu holy places. It finds many references in the purANas & itihAsas.
The inner temple of the Garbhashay was supported to be aglow with the luster of these gemstones. The Nanda Deep was always kept lighted with Kannauji attar. The treasure of the temple was forever full of vast wealth and was kept safe.
For worship of the Lord-and Abhishek (worship with holy water) sandalwood scented water was brought from Haridwar, Prayag Kashi every day. However flowers for special festivities were imported from Kashmir. For the routine daily worship, one thousand Brahmins were appointed. About three hundred and fifty dancing girls were appointed for the regular music and dance concerts that took place in the Temple courts.
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.
Places to Visit:
Mahabat Maqbara, Durbar Hall Museum, Narsinh Mehta's Choro, Mount Girnar, Upperkot Fort, Jama Masjid and Ashoka's Rock Edicts.
By Air :-Nearest airport Keshod -95km.
By Rail :-Nearest railway Viravad.
By Road :-Veraval -7kms,Rajkot -99kms,Ahmedabad -400kms,Somnath -92kms,Mumbai -889kms,Junagadh -84kms.
Best time to Visit:From November to April.