79 kms from Junagadh and 25 kms from
Chorwad, Somnath Temple is
the legendary shore temple of Somnath, one of the twelve most sacred Shiva
shrines in India.
Legend has it that the Somnath Temple was originally built out of gold by Somraj, the moon god. Then, it was rebuilt by Ravana in silver and then again by Krishna in wood and yet again by King Bhimdev Solanki in stone in the 10th century. The temple was so rich that it had over 300 musicians, 500 dancing girls and even 300 barbers - just to shave the heads of pilgrims.
Mahmud of Ghazni, upon hearing the description of the temple by an Arab traveller by the name Al Biruni, raided the temple in 1024 AD and after looting it, carried away camel loads of jewels and gold.
Somnath was destroyed six times and rebuilt on every occasion. After the 1706 AD demolition by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, it was rebuilt the seventh time in 1950 AD with the support of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The temple contains one of the twelve sacred Shiva shrines known as 'Jyotirlingas'.