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Somnath temple, the center of attraction of all the temples in Gujarat is well known for its history and architecture. Apart from Somnath temple there are also other important and historical places at Somnath to visit. The place also has some other small temples, a museum, beaches and other historical sites. Apart from the Somnath temple, the place can be a good one to make a one day trip visiting all other sites located in and nearby Somnath.
Archaeological Museum in Somnath
The archaeological museum at Somnath is just to the north of the temple and all the remains of the old Somnath temple are preserved here. Ancient stone sculptures, pottery, inscriptions and other things related to the old temple can be seen here. The museum is open from 8:30am - 12:15pm and 2:30pm - 6pm.
Temples in Somnath
Apart from Somnath temple, there are many other temples. Situated inside the Somnath temple are other temples like the Hanuman temple, Shri Kapardi Vinayak and the VallabhGhat. Vallabghat is good to see and more beautiful during sunset. The temple is illuminated in the evenings and a Sound & Light Show “Jay Somnath” is conducted every evening. Another temple of Mahakali built in 1782 by queen mother Shri Ahalyabai Holker is also present here.
Bhalka Teerth: This is the place where a poacher has shot an arrow at Lord Sree Krishna when he was resting under a Peepal tree.
A temple was built at this location and this is located just 5 km on Prabhas Veraval highway.
Dehotsarg Teerth: This is the place from where Sree Krishna has taken his last divine journey. After hit by the arrow, Krishna reached this place and performed Neejdham Prasthan Leela on the banks of the holy river Hiran. A Gita Mandir was built here in remembrance of Lord Sree Krishna. The mandir has 18 marble pillars with each pillar having a chapter of Bhagavad Gita inscribed on it. Also another place to visit here is the Baldev Gufa (cave), where Lord Krishna's elder brother Baldev has also taken his last journey in the form of Sheshnag.
Other temples near Somnath include Parushram temple located on the holy banks of river Triveni. Other important place is the Triverni Sangam where three rivers Hiran, Kapila and Saraswati meet together with the ocean. The place is most sacred for Hindus and is considered to be a place to take a holy bath. Another important temple at Somnath is the Shashibhushan temple located at a distance of 4 kilometers on the Somnath-Veraval highway. It is said that the temple is built by Shri Bhav Brihaspati. It is also said that Jara, the poacher who shot an arrow at Sree Krishna also took his aim from this spot. Lord Sashibushan along with Bhidbhanjan (Another form of Ganesh) is worshiped here.
Mai Puri Masjid: The ancient historical place is gateway to Somnath and is just one kilometer away from Junagadh gate. It a sacred religious place for Muslims and has a great architecture.
The Sana caves which are earliest caves dating back to 2nd century are a group caves scattered at different levels. The caves have stupas, carvings, rock cut pillows, domes and halls inside.
Beaches in Somnath
Somnath has beautiful virgin beaches to spend peaceful time during sun rise and sunset. The Somnath beach near the temple is a good place to go for a camel ride and is a nice place to spend time. Ahmedpur Mandvi beach is another good beach near Somnath and is less known to the outer world. The beautiful Diu Island is just near to this beach. The place has many water sports and dolphins can be sighted quite often here.
Veraval: Veraval is quite interesting place to visit. Most of the fishing boats are built at the Veraval's dockyard and the place is well known for its fisheries. The sea food industry flourishes here and exports are done to many foreign countries from the Sea Port at Veraval.
Apart from these important historic and ancient locations, Somnath has good number of places to visit and explore. A well planned one day visit can be enough to visit all these places.