Things to Do in Gir Somnath

Shree Somnath Jyotirlinga Temple
This Chalukya-style temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is one of the most thronged Places to visit in Somnath and has many fascinating mythological stories attached to it. One such is that Moon God who lost his light and glory due to curse by Daksha got back his lustre by praying fervently to Lord Shiva at Somnath Temple and that Bhagvan Shree Krishna had built Somnath temple with Sandalwood.

There are inscriptions on the Arrow-Pillar or Baan-Stambh of the temple which says that there is no piece of land in straight line between the temple and Antarctica to the south. A flag flutters atop the main spire which is 15 metres tall. The Sound & Light Show “Jay Somnath” featured every night from 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm is definitely worth watching.

Location: Somnath Mandir Rd, Veraval, Gujarat

Timing for Darshan at Somnath Temple: 6.00 am to 9.00 pm

Timing for Aarti: 7.00 am, 12.00 Noon and 7.00 pm
"Jay Somnath" Sound and Light Show: 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Somnath Beach
Somnath Beach is located 6 km east of the port town of Veraval and just about 750 metres from the Somnath temple. The beach looks serene and one can spend hours watching the waves rumbling to the shoreline and breaking the silence that fills the air.

While swimming on the beach is not recommended, one can enjoy came and horse rides at the beach. There are also streetside eateries by the shore, where you can enjoy light snacks like tender coconut and corn. Tourists can shop for souvenirs like seashell crafts at the shops lining the shore. The beach is usually crowded by locals and tourists alike.

Location: Near Access Road to Temple, Somnath

Timing: 07.00 AM - 07.00 PM on all days

Best Time to Visit: From November to February
Prabhas Patan Museum
This archeological museum is one of the most-visited tourist places in Somnath. The museum was established in 1921 and has an astounding reminiscent collection of about 3500 objects which includes sculptures and carved stones from ancient temples, inscriptions, five domes, 12th-century toranas, sacred waters of many rivers, pillars, 11th-century statues of Lord Agni, Uma Maheshwara, Lord Vishnu, Parvati and Natya Bhairava, seashells, and pottery shards.

Apart from these heritage collections, the museum has an interesting exhibit of waters from the rivers overseas like St. Lawrence, Tigris, Plate, Danube, Nile, and Murray and from the seas of Tasmania and New Zealand.

Location: Prabhas Patan, Gujarat

Price: Students - INR 5 per head; Indians - INR 5 per head; Foreigners - INR 50 per head

Timing: 10.30 AM - 5.30 PM Thursday - Tuesday; Closed on Wednesdays and public holidays

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Surya Mandir
Also known as Suraj Mandir, Surya Mandir is one of the ancient Places to see in Somnath. The temple is believed to be 5000 years old and is located in the northern part of Triveni Ghat. Sun God is the main deity at the temple and just above the entrance doorway lies the image of Surya with his two wives riding on seven horses.

There is a circumambulatory passage around the main shrine with three niches. The temple walls have sculptures of lions, birds, elephants, etc., The temple is small and is located within a residential area. There is a small water body, the Surya Kund within its premises.

Location: Near Triveni Ghat, Gujarat

Timing: 7.00 am - 7.00 pm on all days

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Triveni Sangam Atithigruh

Triveni Sangam is the confluence point of three holy rivers - Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati as they join the Arabian Sea. Triveni Sangam is considered as one of the holiest places to visit in Somnath as it is believed that Lord Krishna took a dip at Triveni Sangam before his journey towards Goloka Dham.

And today, pilgrims take a dip here to attain salvation. A small dam has been built at Triveni Sangam so that this riverbank stays perennial. There are also boat ride facilities that take the tourists right to the confluence point of the three rivers.

Location: Opp Triveni Sangam ghat, Prabhas Patan, Somnath, Gujarat

Timing: 06.00 AM - 06.00 PM on all days

Best Time to Visit: All round the year

Kamnath Mahadev Mandir And Sarada Math
Located opposite Triveni Sangam, the temple complex of Kamnath Mahadev was built by King Mayurdhwaj. The temple is 200 years old and the main deity at the temple is Lord Shiva, known here as Kamnath. The story behind the temple’s history is that Lord Shiva reduced Kama to ashes here by opening his third eye and hence, is called “Kamnath”.

There are two water bodies within the temple complex, the waters of which are believed to have cured King Mayurdhwaj’s leprosy and is considered therapeutic. This temple is the seat of Shri Sharada Peetam of Sri Adi Shankara and the cave structure within the temple is where Adi Shankaracharya is said to have meditated.

Location: Prabhas Patan, Gujarat 

Timing: 07.00 AM - 07.00 PM

Best Time to Visit: All round the year. The fair held at the temple complex at the end of the month of Shravan draws thousands of pilgrims to the temple.
Gita Temple
Gita Temple is built on the banks of Triveni Sangam and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. As per mythology, when Lord Krishna was shot by an arrow at Bhalka Tirth, he walked towards Triveni Sangam and took rest right at the place where Gita Temple is built. There is footprint carving of Lord Krishna here too in the divine memory of his Needham Prasthan Leela.

The temple’s current white marble structure was built by the Birla Group and hence is also referred to as “Birla Mandir ''. The 18 marble pillars at the temple portray the Bhagavad Gita by beautiful inscriptions on them. The temple is built in a way that one can hear his own echo within the temple.

Location: Veraval, Somnath, Gujarat

Timing: 07.00 am - 07.00 pm Mon-Sun

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Hari Har Van
HariHar Van is a beautiful garden in Somnath along Triveni Sangam with nice landscapes. The garden has a good green cover and one can spend a relaxed evening under the canopy of tall trees. If you are visiting Somnath with kids, this park is one of the must-visit Somnath tourist attractions to give yourself a break from the temple hop trip.

Location: Prabhas Patan, Somnath, Gujarat

Timing: 6.00 AM - 6.00 PM on all days

Best Time to Visit: November - February
Sana Caves
Shana Dungar Buddhist Caves at Vankiya or shortly referred to as "Sana Buddhist Caves" are artificial caves that were carved out of rocks and excavated by the Buddhist monks. The caves are actually a complex of 62 caves spread over the hill consisting of stupas, chaityas, pillows, and benches.

Cave 2 which is named Bhima-ni-Cori is the largest cave and the caves have archaeological symbols representing Buddhism. These caves were created between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD to provide shelter during the monsoons. Sana Caves are one of the most interesting places to visit in Somnath to know about the influence of Buddhism in the western parts of India

Location: Shana Vankiya, Gujarat

Timings: 6.00 am - 6.30 pm Mon-Sun-Mon

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Bhidbhanjan Mahadev Temple
This ancient Hindu temple located by the seashore is dedicated to Lord Shiva as Shri Shashibhushan Mahadev and Bhidbhanjan Ganpati Ji. Pooja Acharya Shri Bhav Brihaspati is said to have built this temple. According to mythology, it was from this place that the Jara hunter took aim before shooting his arrow at Lord Krishna.

There is also a Harshit Mata Mandir within this temple premises. There are two big Shiva Lingas on the beach near the temple called Baan Ganga and it is a beautiful experience to visit these lingas.

Location: Somnath Una Highway, Bilesware Street, Somnath, Gujarat

Timing: 06.00 AM - 8.30 PM 

Best Time to Visit: Festive days at this temple are Shivaratri, Sawan Somwar, Janmashtami, Golokdham Utsav, Diwali, Kartik Purnima Fair and Somnath Sthapana Divas
Dehotsarg Teerth
The Dehotsarg Tirth is located on the banks of River Hiran at a distance of two kilometres from Somnath temple. One of the most divine Places to see in Somnath, Dehotsarg Teerth is the place where Lord Krishna left behind his human form and went on His Needham. The temple has a beautiful tribhangi idol of Lord Krishna playing his flute and a footprint of Bhagvan Shree Krishna which reminds the devotees of the Shree Krishna Needham Prasthan Leela.

There is an ancient holy cave called “Dauji-ni Gufa '' within the temple which is believed to be the place where Balram, Lord Krishna's elder brother renounced his human body. Sunsets at the temple are magnificent and a must-watch.

Location: Bhalka, Veraval, Gujarat

Timing: 07.00 am - 7.00 pm on all days

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Bhalka Tirth
Bhalka Tirth is one of the most historical Somnath tourist attractions and is a must-visit for any traveller. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna who was sleeping under the pipal tree was mistaken for a deer by a hunter who hit him with his arrow fatally.

Lord Krishna divinely forgave the hunter and renounced his human body. It was at this place where the incident happened and a beautiful temple has been raised to commemorate the incident. The tirth has a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, called Mahaprabhuji's Bethak.

Location: Bhalka, Veraval, Gujarat

Timing: 06.00 AM - 09.00 PM

Best Time to Visit: The temple gets festive on days like Janmashtami, Shivaratri, Shravan, Golokdham Utsav, Diwali|Kartik Purnima Fair, and Somnath Sthapana Divas
Veneshwar Mahadev Temple
Veneshwar Mahadev Temple in Somnath is one of the most interesting places to visit in Somnath that is located opposite the Somnath Trust Dharamshala Gate. This east-facing temple with an unusual spire is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has a history behind its name. In 1025 AD, Mahmud Gazni decided to invade Somnath but failed in his attempt. So, he devised a cunning plan of kidnapping Veni, the princess of the kingdom who visited the Shiva temple outside the fort every day.

When Ghazni tried to kidnap her, Veni sought Lord Shiva's help to save her. On hearing her earnest plea, the shiva linga opened into two, engulfed her in, and closed itself back. At that time a ‘Veni’(a strand of her hair) was left out and Lord Shiva and henceforth worshipped as Veneshwar. 

Location: Somnath Mandir Rd, Prabhas Patan, Gujarat

Timing: 07.00 am - 07.00 pm on all days

Best Time to Visit: All round the year
Laxmi Narayan Temple
Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Laxmi Narayan Temple is perched beautifully on the serene shores of Somnath. It is well-known for its magnificent architectural design that is full of intricate carvings on its 18 pillars. These carvings depict the sacred messages of Krishna which are propagated in Bhagavad Gita.

Attracting a number of devotees throughout the year, the temple is one of the most famous places to visit in Somnath. It is renowned for being a gorgeous replica of the Laxmi Narayan Temple which is in Badrinath. When visiting here, don’t forget to relish some tranquil moments while watching a brilliant sunset on the banks of River Hiren.

Location: Somnath Mandir Rd, Prabhas Patan, Gujarat 362268.
Timings: All days of the week from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Best Time to Visit: Throughout the year.
Shree Parshuram Temple
If you are seeking a religious respite away from the troubles of life, then a visit to Shree Parshuram Temple is most recommended. It is one of the most sacred places to visit in Somnath and located on the banks of River Triveni.

It is believed that this was the spot where Bhagwan Parshuram performed a strict penance and eventually got relieved by Bhagwan Somnath from the curse he had got because he killed Kshatriyas. The beautiful temple also consists of shrines which are dedicated to Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesh.

The temple is also well-known for having two ancient kunds along with the prominent structures-sabhamandap, a central mandap and a garbhagriha. When you are here, you can also see a structure which is dedicated to Renuka, Parshuram’s mother. It is a great place to visit if you are interested in mythology and legends.

Location: Sree Parshuram Temple, Somnath, Gujarat.
Chorwad Beach
A few kilometres away from Somnath, Chorwad Beach is one of the most scenic places to visit in gir Somnath. In the past, the beach was hailed to be the royal home for the Nawab of Junagadh. The beach captivates everyone with its serene and tranquil ambience.

It will also take you back in time to admire its historical and cultural heritage. One of the lesser known places among the tourists, it is famed for enthralling you the postcard perfect views during the time of sunrise and sunset. Though the beach is not ideal for swimming, the relaxing sea breeze will definitely calm your senses.

Location: It is located 25 km away from Somnath.

Best Time to Visit: October to March.
Kamleshwar Dam
Located inside the Sasan-Gir National Park, Kamleshwar Dam is one of the most beautiful water bodies in Gir. Along with being one of the prominent places to see in Gir, it is being hailed to be an integral source of water supply.

The place is a rearing site for crocodiles and offers a delightful visit for all nature lovers. Many species of birds also flock here which makes birdwatching an enthralling activity at Kamleshwar Dam. Offering the glittering views of Hiran River, Kamleshwar Dam is a stupendous getaway to be enjoyed with friends and family.

Location: On Hiran River, Visavadar, Near Gir Forest National Park, Junagadh, Gujarat 362135.

Timings: 6 am to 6 pm (Closed on Sundays).

Best Time to Visit: Monsoon season.
Durbar Hall Museum
Also known as the City Palace in Uparkot, this is one of the most important historical places to visit in Gir Gujarat. The museum has an extensive collection of silver articles, paintings, costumes, thrones and tapestries. One of the most famous attractions of this museum is the carpet that was woven in the Jail of Junagadh.

Moreover, here you can browse through various paintings from the royal galleries. The items in this museum will take you back to some different era and enchant you with it's amazing illustrations. Here, you can catch a glimpse of the royal Nawabi life through the unique antiques. It also boasts of being the place where the songs of the movie 1920 London were picturised.

Location: Durbar Hall Museum,Junagadh,Gujarat,India.

Timings: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

Best Time to Visit: October to March.
Uparkot Fort
Believed to be built by Chandragupta in 319 BC, Uparkot Fort forms one of the oldest regions of Junagadh. It is famed to enable Junagadh to stand the conquest attempt which lasted for 12 years. There are caves here which are believed to belong to 1st and 4th Century AD and enchant everyone with their beautiful pillars and carvings.

Another attraction of this place is the 300 feet moat where you can spot many crocodiles. The fort is marked by beautiful insignias of Uparkot rulers and has temples of Ganesh, Hanuman and Shakti. Other prominent architectural sites spotted here are Baba Pyara Caves, Navghan Kuvo, Jami Masjid, Buddhist Caves and Adi-Kadi Vav.

Due to the strategic location of the fort, it is said that it has survived about 16 sieges over a period of 1000 years. It is one of the most attractive and intriguing places to visit in Gir for the history buffs and culture vultures.

Location: Jagmal Chowk Rd, Mullawada, Junagadh, Gujarat 362001.
Nalsarovar Lake
An idyllic getaway for nature lovers, Nalsarovar Lake is known as one of the critical wetlands in India. It has a vast population of waterfowl and is a host to many species of birds.

The universally acclaimed wetland is a rejuvenating getaway near Ahmedabad. It is also renowned for being one of the largest bird sanctuaries in India.  It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Gir Gujarat if you are a nature lover and like to indulge in bird watching.

Location: Nalsarovar Lake, Gujarat.

Best Time to Visit: Winter season.

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