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Somnath Darshan - A Divine Experience

A powerful experience – when you stand in the majestic courtyard of the Somnath Temple with an endless vista of the Arabian Sea ahead of you roaring and rejoicing the presence of one of the first of the 12 Jyotirlingas towering along the seashore. 

We reached the temple at around 6:30 in the evening by driving 55 kilometres from Junagarh where we stayed. The maha-aarti started sharp at 7 PM with thousands of awestruck devotees who came together, filled with reverence and unworldliness. The elaborately decorated jyotirlinga deeply fascinated us. There was a big LCD screen telecasting the live aarti of Lord Shiva jyotirlinga. Watching the aarti was beatific – all our sophisticated senses were numb – sharing a feeling of oneness with the mass – the unprecedented religious zeal that kept intensifying with the sound of dhol kartal being played at its loudest best. 

The aarti was a booster in the true sense, it knocked up our life force, we felt elevated emotionally, and found a discreet calmer soul within that unlike our usual egos and super-egos wanted to sink into the sheer goodness of humanity – spirituality achieved in all sense. 

To see the sea waves breaking over the beach at the base of the Temple was as invigorating as it could be – like a slice of watermelon on a sweltering afternoon, it kept us entranced until we realized that we had to make a move as the way back to Junagarh passed through the jungles of girnar. 

Nevertheless, you are religious or not, remember - no vehicles are allowed near the temple due to security reasons. No Camera, purse, bags, belts are allowed - there is a locker room where you can keep your belongings, lock the box and keep the key with you and return it to take back your belongings. 

Aarti is performed 3 times a day at 7 AM, 12 PM and again at 7 PM. The Darshan is well-managed, quick and easy as there is no one inside the main temple who keep harassing the devotees for anything, unlike other Hindu temples. While at Somnath, make sure you are fully and decently clad while entering the temple premises, especially if you are a woman.

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