Gir Somnath Tourism, India: Places, Best Time & Travel Guides 2020
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One of the newest additions to the state of Gujarat and amongst the most remarkable places to visit in Gujarat, Gir Somnath was carved out of the Junagadh District in 2013. The two places are located in the Saurashtra region edging on the Arabian Sea in the south and are famous around the world for their stunning natural beauty and centuries-old heritage that even finds a mention in the Rigveda and Gita.

Though their names are often used interchangeably, Gir and Somnath have a distinctly unique beauty. While Somnath’s location next to the Arabian Sea adds richness to its landscape, Gir’s tropical forest cover lends a luxuriant and verdant charm looking like a sea of green extending across endless miles.

Believed to have been built by the Yadava dynasty in 649 CE, the Somnath temple is amongst the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. The architecture of the temple is influenced by the Chalukya style complete with a ‘shikara’ that is 15-metres in height, intricately carved walls, and ancient figurines of Shiva. One of the inscriptions in Sanskrit here says that Antarctica and the Somnath temple lie in a straight line without any land interrupting this line.

Gir’s National Park’s rare savannah & deciduous forest cover is the only place on the planet to house the Asiatic Lions besides other famous residents like Golden jackals, Ruddy mongoose, Honeybadger, Chinkara, Monitor lizard, etc. The park is also famous for its scenic water reservoirs like Hiran, Datardi, and Raval that also serve as water points for wild animals.

One of the best things to do here is to take a long stroll on the Chorwad Beach and try local snacks at the beachside shacks. Visit the Prabhas Patan Museum to explore ancient pictures and manuscripts about the history of the place. Visit the majestic and intricately adorned Junagadh gate, which is said to be the route taken by Mahmood Gazni to plunder the Somnath Temple. Enjoy a safari and overnight camping at Gir to spot the elusive Asiatic Lion and explore the coastal biodiversity.

Gir Somnath experiences hot and dry summer months (March-June) with temperatures rising ranging between 30-42°C. The winter months (October-February) are cold with temperatures ranging between 10-24°C. Their proximity to the coastal areas makes Gir Somnath experience heavy and humid monsoon rains (July-September) with possibilities of cyclones and sharp winds.

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