Gujarat, known for its vibrant culture, historical significance, and thriving industries, is not often associated with hill stations. However, some hidden gems within the state offer a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In this article, we will learn about the hill stations in Gujarat, where the beauty of nature meets peace. Here Are the 12 Best Hill Stations in Gujarat...
Somnath Temple, located in the Prabhas Patan near Veraval in Saurashtra, Gujarat, is one of the most revered and ancient pilgrimage sites in India. Devotees from across the country and around the world visit this sacred place to seek blessings and witness the grandeur of this historic temple. If you’re planning a Somnath tour, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to reach Somnath Temple.
How to Reach Somnath Temple
The nearest airport to Somnath is the Diu Airport, which is approximately 65 kilometers away. You can also consider flying into Rajkot Airport, which is about 195 kilometers from Somnath. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or use other available transportation services to reach the temple.
Veraval Railway Station, located a mere 6 kilometers from Somnath, serves as the closest railway station. Veraval has strong connections to major cities such as Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and Mumbai. Upon arrival in Veraval, you have the option to hire a taxi or take an auto-rickshaw to reach Somnath Temple.
If you’re traveling from Ahmedabad, Somnath is roughly 400 kilometers away. You have the option to either take a state-run bus or hire a taxi to cover the distance. The journey typically spans around 7-8 hours, contingent on the chosen mode of transportation.
- From Junagadh: Junagadh is around 90 kilometers away from Somnath. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Somnath in approximately 2 hours.
- From Dwarka: If you’re coming from Dwarka, Somnath is around 231 kilometers away. You can choose to travel by bus or taxi, and the journey usually takes around 4-5 hours.
- From Rajkot: Rajkot is approximately 200 kilometers from Somnath. Regular bus services and taxis are available for the journey, taking around 4 hours.
Somnath Temple welcomes visitors every day of the week. The darshan timings (viewing of the deity) vary, so it’s recommended to check the temple’s official website or inquire locally for the most up-to-date information. Participating in the evening aarti (prayer) at the temple, particularly during sunset, offers a spiritually enriching experience. The schedule is as follows:
- Darshan: 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM
- Morning Aarti: 7:00 AM
- Afternoon Aarti: 12:00 PM
- Evening Aarti: 7:00 PM
Once you reach Somnath, local transportation options include auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws. You can also explore the area on foot, as the temple is located near the coast, offering a serene atmosphere.
Several hotels and guesthouses are available in Somnath for accommodation. It’s advisable to book your stay in advance, especially during peak pilgrimage seasons, to ensure a comfortable visit.
Best Time to Visit:
Consider planning your trip to Somnath during the winter months (October to March) when the weather is pleasant and conducive to exploration. The scorching summer temperatures can make outdoor activities less enjoyable, so it’s advisable to avoid the peak summer season.
While in Somnath, take the opportunity to explore nearby attractions. The Prabhas Patan Museum, Bhalka Tirth, and Triveni Sangam are some places of historical and cultural significance that add depth to your pilgrimage.
When visiting the temple, it’s essential to respect the religious and cultural practices. Dress modestly, remove your footwear before entering the temple premises, and maintain a quiet and reverent demeanor during prayers. Photography might be restricted inside the temple, so be sure to check and adhere to any guidelines.
Ensure your safety during the journey by keeping your belongings secure and being cautious about your surroundings. Carry a first aid kit, stay hydrated, and be aware of the local emergency contact numbers. It’s advisable to inform someone about your travel plans and expected return time, especially if you’re traveling alone.
Shopping in Somnath:
Somnath offers an array of shops and markets where you can buy religious souvenirs, traditional handicrafts, and local artifacts. The markets around the temple are ideal for purchasing mementos to remember your spiritual journey.
Connectivity and Communication:
While planning your visit, ensure that you have local SIM cards for seamless communication. Mobile networks and internet connectivity are generally good in Somnath, but it’s always wise to be prepared.
Plan for Religious Festivals:
If possible, plan your visit during festivals like Mahashivratri, Kartik Purnima, or Diwali when the temple is adorned with lights and decorations, and the festive atmosphere adds a special charm to the pilgrimage.
Departure from Somnath:
As your spiritual journey comes to an end, make sure to check the departure schedule for your chosen mode of transportation. Whether you’re heading back by air, train, or road, plan your departure to accommodate any travel-related logistics.
Reaching Somnath Temple is a journey that involves a combination of air, rail, and road travel, depending on your starting point. Whether you’re traveling from within Gujarat or from other parts of India, the diverse transportation options make Somnath accessible to pilgrims and tourists alike. Plan your trip well, and embark on a spiritual journey to experience the divine aura of Somnath Temple.