One of India's most iconic temples is the majestic Somnath temple. Made famous by its destruction due to multiple attempts by invading armies, the temple has always managed to bounce back with greater vigour than before. The temple is the cornerstone for believers of Shiva within the state of Gujarat and is proudly used as an example of how India rebuilds itself after every calamity. Its location next to the sea only serves to enhance the natural beauty of the temple. Junagadh City: The charming little city of Junagadh and its environs were once part of the princely state of Junagadh, one of the most enlightened within India. The city is a charming throwback to the Raj era with many fine Victorian buildings interspersed with ancient temples and charming gardens. The city boasts of a fine marketplace with excellent handicrafts and tribal art. Junagadh is well served by road and rail, and is a very safe city that is perfect for an outing with the entire family.
Next day we headed towards the Somnath Temple
The Somnath Temple is one of Gujarat's beautiful Shiva temples. It's a 7 hour drive or so from Gir. We arrived just in time for the entrancing aarti, or prayer ceremony, which takes place every evening. It does get a bit crowded, so it's best to arrive early. There's also a really nice open space behind the temple, to breathe in the sea breeze, and cleanse the mind...
This temple, like most Hindu temples, is large and magnificent with a rich history. It has an impressive Nandi idol and the central Shiva Linga. In the vast courtyard is the main shrine. Through a side door the sea is visible shimmering in the sunlight. Try slipping out to gaze at the roaring waves below, which, though not safe for swimming, present an exhilarating spectacle. A truly enriching and peaceful experience, one can't miss this temple when in Gujarat.