Visit to Somnath, Dwarka and Nageshwar Mahadev – Part 1

With the ardent desire to accomplish the darshanam of Dwadash Jyotirlingas, detailed as appended :
1. Grishneshwar Temple Jyotirlinga located at a village called Verul, which lies 20 km from Daulatabad (near Aurangabad in Maharashtra) and approximately 100 kms from Manmad station.
2. Somnath Temple Jyotirlinga is situated at Somnath Patan (the south coast of Saurashtra), near Veraval in (Prabhas Kshetra) Kathaiwad district in Gujarat. Somnath is considered to be the first of the Dwaadash Jyotirlingas of Shiva.
3. Mallikarjun Temple Jyotirlingam is situated on Shri Shaila Mountain by the banks of the Patal Ganga, Krishna River in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
4. Mahakaleshwara Temple Jyotirlinga is located by the banks of river Kshipra, in the dense Mahakal forests in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
5. Omkareshwar Temple Jyotirlinga is situated on the mountain Mandhata by the banks of Narmada River in the Malva area in Madhya Pradesh.
6. Baidyanath Temple Jyotirlinga, also called Vaijnath Temple and Vaidyanth Temple is located at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas region of Bihar in the south west of Keeul Station
7. Bhimashankar Temple Jyotirlinga is situated in the ghat region of the Sahyadri hills in the village of Bhavagiri, 50-km north west of Khed, near Pune in Maharashtra
8. Rameshwaram Temple Jyotirlingam is situated in the island of Rameswaram, off the Sethu coast of Tamil Nadu and is reached via the Pamban Bridge across the sea
9. Nageshwar Temple Jyotirlinga or Nagnath Temple is located on the route between Gomti Dwarka and the Bait Dwarka Island on the coast of Saurashtra in Gujarat.
10. Kaashi Vishwanath Temple Jyotirlinga is located amidst the crowded lanes in the holy city of Varanasi also known as Kashi and Benares.
11. Shri Trimbakeshwar Temple Jyotirlinga is located at a distance of about 30-km from Nasik in Maharashtra near the mountain named Brahmagiri from which the river Godavari flows.
12. Kedarnath Temple Jyotirlinga : One of the holiest pilgrimages for the Hindus, Kedarnath Temple Jyotirlinga is located in the picturesque surroundings of Rudra Himalaya Range at a height of 12000 feet on a mountain named Kedar,
(There is an important shloka, reproduced as under, dedicated to the 12 Jyotrilingas in the Shiva Purana)

I, already having the darshanam of lord Kashi Vishwanath of Varanasi and Lord Rameshwaram, decided to start with Somnath, Nageshwar Mahadev and Mallikarjun Swami as enunciated at S.Nos. 2, 9 and 3, as above, respectively, and accordingly got booked the tickets. For Somnath and Nageshwar, I decided to visit from 09.10.2011 to 12.10.2011 and Mallikarjun Swami from 13.10.2011 to 15.102011 and accordingly got the tickets booked.

I, set out, from Chennai, the place where I am residing, for Ahmedabad on 09.10.2011 and boarded flight No. AI 981, scheduled at 1550 hrs, and reached Ahmedabad at 1930 hrs. For further journey I got booked a berth in sleeper coach (fare Rs. 194) of train No. 19221 (Ahmedabad – Veraval Somnath Express) scheduled to depart at 2200 hrs of 09.10.2011 from Ahmedabad junction. The Auto fare is around Rs. 150 from Airport to Rly. Stn. However as I was carrying a very light bag on my back and also having sufficient time and moreover above all to save the few pennies moved out of Airport on foot and walked a good 1 km to reach circle from there I took a auto which charged Rs. 20 for a place – Delhi Darwaza and from there a shared auto for Rly. Stn., popularly known there as Kalupur Rly Stn., (it would be better to call by this name only) charges Rs. 5 only. It took around half an hour to reach the Rly. Stn. Outside Rly Station I opted for having my dinner in a restaurant, just opposite the Rly Stn. Mine is a restricted diet to that of a Jaini Meal (Vegetarian and that too onion and garlic not mixed), which is really very very hard to find here in Chennai. Mind it if you are going to demand such food in any normal restaurant here in Chennai, you will surely be the target of some staring eyes as if you are an alien just landing from planet, Jupiter. Sometimes I am also bit worried as to why these Chennaites are not having their tea and coffee mixed with onion. Anyway in Gujarat I liked the outside food most, especially all the curries and dals there mixed with some sweet sakkar. There I took Jaini Paneer Tikka Masala with Chappatties costing some 60 Rs. only. The food was quite delicious.

The train reached at Veraval station in the morning of 10th at around 0600 hrs from there i took a shared auto for Somnath paying a fare of Rs. 10. It dropped me at a distance of just few steps from Somnath temple. There are a lot of dharmshalas, hotels starting from Rs. 200 for a day’s stay are available. As I do not wanted to stay there just searched some place for taking bath, for that also there places are available charging around fifty rupees. I opted for a place, just before the temple premises at the right hand side, from Nasha Foundation. It charges Rs. ten for the complete package of using basin, toilet and bathing. I paid Rs. 7 there and had brushed up my teeth and a bath and skipped using the toilet and hence the discount of Rs. 3, although those were clean enough. After that I went to the temple. Bags, camera, mobiles etc are not allowed in the temple. A cloak room for your luggage and well as shoes is available, free of charge, just inside the main gate of the temple.

Somnath temple

There was not mush rush inside the temple, and had the darshanam of the deity with 15 minutes. Inside the sanctum sanctorum, the main deity viz. A big shiva lingam is there, flanked by idols of Brahma and Vishnu on its right and left, respectively.

The temple is overlooking at the Arabian Sea and it is quite picturesque, you can find it very soothing to observe the waves touching the foot stones of the temple. On the right side in the courtyard of the temple itself you can find details of all the dwadash jyotirlingas depicted in style. At the time some stone carving work was also being carried on and some 15-20 sculptors were carving intricate designs out on the wall of the temple.

Outside the temple just few steps away Somnath Bus stand is there and in a refreshment centre, adjacent to the bus stand, I had tea and a plate of dhokla. From Somnath I had already got the reservation done for a seat of an express bus scheduled to depart at 1415 hrs for Dwarka. It is always advisable to get the reservation done in advance if you are opting for a state transport bus journey otherwise on boarding the bus you will find that some of the cream seats, obviously window sides already blocked, and also may be that you may not find the seat to sit if this practice is more popular. And it is very easy, just go through this link – and is quite cheap also as apart from the Basic fare of Rs. 119 I had only to pay Rs 5 and Rs. 4 as Reservation Fee and Service Charge and got the window seat No. 20 booked in the Trip code 1415SMNTOKHAEX5.

As I do have sufficient time left to board the bus as it was around 10 in the morning, I caught an auto for Golok Dham which is around 2 kms away from Somnath temple, which fared me Rs. 20. From Golok Dham Lord Shri Krishna is believed to have departed for his divine journey along with his body, subsequent to being shot by Jara, a hunter at a place known as Bhalka, on the way to veraval from Somnath.

The relevance of Golok Dham as depicted above

The place from where Sri Krishna departed for his divine journey is demarcated by a stone with his footprints engraved.

Panoramic views of Golok Dham on the bank of Hiranya River

Panoramic views of Golok Dham on the bank of Hiranya River

Information about the Dehotsarg Teerth

Dau ji ki gufa – Place, at Golok Dham, from where brother of Sri Krishna, Balram ji performed his last journey in his original serpent form

After having darshanam of Golok Dham I proceeded for Triveni ghat which is nearby, about 500 mts away and walking distance, where three river, Hiranya, Kapila and Saraswati meets.

Entrance to the Triveni Ghat

Views of Triveni Ghat

From Triveni ghat I returned to Somnath, being the centre point, by auto paying Rs. 20 and took shared auto for Bhalka teerth, a place where Sri Krishna was shot into his left foot by a hunter, Jara mistaking the same as a deer. The auto fare was Rs.10. After visiting the place I returned again to Somnath paying Rs. 5 in the same kind of auto, realising that while going I was cheated but really I would not mind to be cheated to this extent.

Photography is not allowed inside the temple even though I made an attempt to capture, from outside, the beautiful sculpture work of Shri Krishna with blood oozing out of his left foot and Jara sitting beside him with folded hands (which can be seen though not clearly)

Information about Bhalka Teerth

Bhalka Teerth

On the top of the temple the peepal tree is visible under which Sri Krishna was believed to be seated in yoga Samadhi when he was shot.

After returning back to Somnath at the main crossing I found a temple with South Indian architecture, out of curiosity went inside to find the same to be the temple of Sri Laxmi Narayan.

A temple with South Indian Architecture

Turned out to be Swami Laxmi Narayan Temple

Sri Laxmi Narayan Temple as seen from Shiv Ganga Restaurant

At Somnath one can find lot of restaurants, out of which I selected one, Shiv Ganga Restaurant and had my lunch there. The food was good, I had a Gujarati thali consisting of four tawa roti, two curries, dhal, a katori of rice and buttermilk, I was charged Rs. 70 for the food and that too in an air conditioned restaurant.

After having food I went inside the bus stand and waited there for about 30 mins. My bus arrived at the scheduled time and I took my pre allotted seat. Distance from Somnath to Dwarka is about 250 kms. The road is good but for few kms patches. The journey from Somnath to Dwarka is quite scenic and it is advisable to take seat at the left window side of the bus to have a better view of the sea. Almost the entire route follows the sea shore to the left and most of the time you are in between bushy shrubs giving a feel of passing through jungle. The view of sea is breath taking and at times you are almost into the sea. Also are seen hundreds of giants, at a glance, standing to your left for initial few hundred kms and then to your right for the rest of journey. They have been installed by suzlon energy to generate electricity. The panorama of these windmills and view of sea and more over greenery (though bushy) all along the way enhances the exquisiteness of the journey. As compared to the East Coast Road of Tamil Nadu, from which the view of the sea is lot more obstructed because of lot of cement constructions in between, I find this road and journey quite soothing. I packed my camera into the bag and kept it on the rack, not having the remotest of hope of such a scenic encounter.

The bus reached Dwarka at around 8.15 PM, I got down and went straight to Lohana Atithi Griha for which I have learnt from someone, but there I came to know that they do not offer their rooms for someone single. On the way, I saw one Murlidhar Guest House and immediately recalled that once about some 27 yrs ago, in 1984, I, then quite small of 13 yrs only, along with my mother, who is now no more, and brother visited Dwarka and took shelter in the same lodge. The dilapidated condition of the Lodge had the capacity to throw anyone away from it, whatsoever budget one may be on. But the tinge of nostalgia compelled me not to give any second thought but to stay in that. I went straight but found all single or double bedded rooms occupied, I opted for a four bedded room with attached toilet at a discounted rate of Rs. 200. During my visit during 1984, we went for darshanam in the morning and huge rush was there and due to which we but for me had the darsharnam of the deity. I being small then and was somewhat scared with the pushes and pulls of the rush could not bear to stand there. The lesson then I got is still in my mind and I used to avoid the so called auspicious muhurt and timings for the darshanam.

I regard the temple as an auspicious place as it gathers mostly positive vibrations by the visit of the elevated ones and also a person, in general, when visits the temple shirks the negativity or negative thoughts knowingly or unknowingly. Thus all the places of worship are nothing but abundance of positive vibrations. And to fully avail the benefit of such places we should just spend some time as near as possible to the garbh griha (sanctum sanctorum), and have dhyanam. The utility of a place of worship as per my view is so proved. That is why I decided to have the darshanam of Dwarkadheesh jee in the night itself as it was around 9 pm and at 9:30 in night temple closes for darshanam. Hence I rushed up immediately towards the temple and hired an auto for that, charging Rs. 20, that took just 5-6 minutes time and I reached temple.

After depositing my slippers at the place so specified within the premise itself, I went straight to the sanctum sanctorum only to find it closed. I was just wondering, and then a person there informed me that the temple has been closed for the night and I could have the darshanam in the morning only, he said that so authoritatively and also indicating towards a board displaying the timing of the aarti as 08.30 and saying that at 08.30 the temple closes. I had a doubt on that person’s version, as I had have the information that the temple is open up to 09.30 pm, I enquired two three more persons there, who told that the temple will open within some 5-10 mins and I could have a good darshanam. At the time there was almost no rush. Two-three persons were standing just outside the sanctum sanctorum, nearest place for having the darshanam. I too followed them and sat down in the front just after them and performed dhyanam.

After about 5 minutes the curtain covering the deity was removed, till then Bhantabhog or Sayan bhog was going on ( from 09.00 to 09.20), by the time a rush of about 50 persons gathered and I had a best possible darshanam from just in front. Darshanam goes on for just 10 minutes from 0920 to 0930 only. Here I would like to suggest to get darshanam of the Lord at this time, if feasible, being easier as compared to the early morning one, when there is lot of rush, more so if family consisting of small children are there morning time can be struggling one. After having the darshanam I preceded, by foot for the distance I guess was not more than a km to my guest house.

On the way I had my food near bhadrakali crossing at a restaurant, where I took Gujarati thali, unlimited one for Rs. 50. There are also lot of travel agents, one of whom I went to enquire about the tours conducted and came to know that they use to conduct local site seeing tour known as Dwarka Darshan daily twice (i) starting at 08:00 in the morning and returning at 01:00 in the noon and (ii) another one from 02:00 to 05:00. As my train from Dwarka was at 03:00 PM next day and I found having time sufficient enough for the first round of trip, I got booked by ticket for Rs. 70. It was around 10:30 in the night I looked here and there for getting my photo id Xeroxed but in vain as the shops were closed by that time. It is advisable to keep a Xerox copy of the identity while looking for a stay. On reaching the guest house, I freshened up in the night itself and took sleep and woke up at quarter to five in the morning. Took bath and proceeded straight to temple to have the morning darshanam.

But that will be covered in the next part, which will come soon…


  • Dear Ved Prakash,

    Welcome to ghumakkar and that too with a bang………………………………..

    Its an excellent post with beautiful pics and detailed narration. So Congratulations…………………………..

    Even I started in Ghumakkar with the post of Somnath and Dwarka ……………………………………

    And By lord Somnath’s Grace I may go to visit lord again this Christmas…………………………….

    Keep Travelling and Posting………………….

    • amit joshi says:

      hi ,ved it was nice excerpt on somnath to dwarka .i am from nagpur planning to travel same route with family 2+2 . one thing i want to know to specifically about freq of state and private buses from somnath since i am from 17 nov onward in season time . pls advise on bus travel or cab . will eleventh hr cab and hotel booking advise sable my cell 9823070016 u can missed call so that i will call or send sms if it woun’t bother u. thanks

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Ved Prakash,
    Excellent write up supported with beautiful pictures. Waiting for the next parts of the series.


  • ram dhall says:

    Thanks for sharing the detailed information about the Dwadash Jyotirlingas and taking us to a virtual tour of Somnath, Dwarka and Nageshwar Mahadev.

    A very informative post, equally well supported by some good pictures.

    Welcome aboard and please do keep on sharing your experiences.


    dear ved ji,

    thenk you much for giving details of lord krishna`s and balram golok dham.
    good to knows far about triveni sangam.
    these are new for me. waiting for part 2…


  • VED PRAKASH says:

    Vishal ji, Mukesh ji, Ram Dhall Ji and Sarvesh Ji… all the thanks for encouraging and giving support to this toddler. I also express my gratefulness and gratitude towards team for offering such a platform and also refining and recognizing my this endeavor…..

    ved prakash

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Ved Prakash ji,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us your experiences at Somnath and Dwaraka.
    Thanks also for the pics.

    I have had darshan of only 3 of the 12 jyotirlingas. Your post will be of immense use for all people planning to visit these places.

    Looking forward to your next post.

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Very informative post.

    Looking forward to your next post. keep sharing your travel experiences.

    • VED PRAKASH says:

      Dear Narayan Sir,
      Lot of thnx and believe it that I really got inspired watching here how much u ppl are taking pain, devoting time and energy, selflessly, guiding the ghumakkar family & visitors with ur beautiful and informative posts. Goaded with such inspiration this is my little effort. And also am committed to put in my best.
      Expecting that all the guidance and encouragement will ever be showered upon this toddler ved.

    • VED PRAKASH says:

      thnx Mahesh Ji for the appreciation. Committed to deliver my best.
      toddler ved.

  • Anil Misra says:

    Very well written. Congratulations.

    • VED PRAKASH says:

      thnx Anil Ji for all the compliments. Our efforts are successful if we find our posts helpful for anyone at any level.
      toddler ved

  • RAKESH GOEL says:

    To add something as a refinement.
    In Dwarka, found Aggarwal Bhawan quite reasonable ,cooperative @Rs. 200/-, Aditi or Aditya Road near Teen Batti Chowk. Birla Dharmshala was closed being under extensive repairs,Reliance (Ambani Bhawan) Hotel no vacancy,though it is very fine and reasonably priced . I think it is for their employees only and of course reffered VIPs. One more thing,as told by a sufferer, Vishoti Bhawan (hotel), just near Aggarwal Bhawan is a clear no, as drains blocked, taps broken,electrical points not working, sone-pe- suhaga, owner/manager extremely rude @ Rs.300/-.
    In main Dwarka mandir if you want to avoid long que, and at the time of Arti, take an entry from the side entrance and within 5 mins. you will be in front of the Lord and nobody will hasten you. This side entry is for locals, VIPS, and ofcourse those accompnied by pandas.Iwas able to get good view of the Lord for full 1 hr waiting the Arti to start, and all through it without being disturbed by anybody.In 2 days I used this method 5 times with utter satisfaction.
    Trust dining house at Bhadrakli chowk is not upto the mark ,can be avoided.
    Local visit takes 4 hrs.Rs.60/- by govt. bus & Rs70/-by pvt. bus. Agents /hotels will book for pvt., while for govt. you have book yourself at bhadrakali crossing office or Toran guest house.If you are on these conducted tours,no scope for availing langer at Bet Dwarka ,as langer workers are very very slow, taking 1 hour for the process and your bus will be missed.
    Last thing, 5.55 am Okha -Hawrah Express is always late by 7(seven) hours,daily.It is due naxal menace. Station Master told me that during the last 2 years perhaps it is the 2nd time that the train is on time. So they were very happy to inform all hotels , guest houses,pandas,mandir etc etc. 0n the night of 11/1/012 that train is going to be on time on12/1/2012. So , those intending to book/ avail the train must be extremely cautious,and avoid nightmare. Now coming to Somnath ——

    Some of the Trust guest houses are very dirty, taps broken/ not working etc , so one has to be very choosy. Only Lilavati guest houe of the Trust is satisfactory ,but somewhat difficult to get a vacancy. Pvt hotels usually have 12 noon ,Trust has 24 hrs as checkout time. Somnath Market near the temple is quite reasonable.Just opposite to it is Trust Bhojnalaya which is quite satisfactory and timings are 12-3 @ 7-11.
    Museum can be given a miss.
    I shall be glad to answer any specific query and revert if something special comes to my mind.

  • toddler ved says:

    Thnx a lot Rakeshji for appending valuable information, which, infact, have well accomplished the purpose of the post and will be of great help aspiring to visit Dwarka.

  • Panchanan Bisoi says:

    Thanks for very informative information and I hope I get a wide picture to visit the pilgrimage place

  • m dattatreya says:

    nice…. wonderful useful information we got … thanks !

  • Bhaskar Rudrakshala says:

    Hi Ved Prakash,

    I have to really thank you for the post. It had helped me to prepare a blue print for my tour to Somanth and Dwarka.. I have almost all the places that you have quoted in the post this August.
    Thanks again for your posts.. Keep rocking

    Bhaskar R

  • fernando says:

    very good information very useful during my visit covered all the places many thks for posting the details

  • kallayil01 says:

    I am planning to drive from Delhi to Ahmedabad and onward journey to Somnath and Dwarka and back to Delhi. I am planning to do the trip in Verna and have about Seven days time. Are these days sufficient for the trip

    I also need to know, is it possible to drive non stop from Delhi to Ahmedabad with halts for food in between and can this stretch be covered in a day. Also seek advise about the road condition for the entire planned tour.


    March2013 me wife ke saath somnath,dwarka & nageshwar darshan ke lia jaa raha hoon.aap ke trips
    se bahut laav hoga many thanks.

  • pavan verma says:

    who reach i delhi 2 sirdi , nasik , aurangabad & somnath temple

  • yc.rangaswamy says:

    informative narration and useful to middle class & below

  • kanta says:

    very useful post for us because we are also planning to visit somnath and dwarka

  • g.s.n.murthy says:

    thank you very useful information because weare alsoplanning tovist somanath temple

  • gour says:

    all are very good

  • We are planning to visit Somnath and Dwarka in the month of August-2015 from Hyderabad.
    We will be reaching Ahmedabad early in the morning. However, our train to Somnath is at 10PM. Hence, please suggest decent accommodation details in Ahmedbad. We will be travelling with two senior citizens and two kids.

    Thanks in advance.

  • nidhi sharma says:

    Im planning for Gujarat darshan trip… can you please tell which atithigruh are good safe and reasonable at Somnath also if anyone has any idea regarding good and safe reasonable place to stay at Girnar Taleti.

  • dilip kumar chatterjee says:

    Mr. ved prakash, It is indeed a very vivid description of the tour with many many inputs along with details and tips.Since I have travelled many parts of india during my earlier days I can realise how important is your tips. Me being a Sr,
    . citizen, I find these are very important guideline for a new visitor in this area. I have now planning a visit to somnath and Dwarka and nageshwar. LOOK forward to go thru your second part.
    you have done a extremely good job by providing the informations.Please continue to do such social service.
    Thank you



  • Mrs .n. Chandravadana says:

    Dear Ved Prakash,
    Thank you for an eloborate description of ur Somnath & Dwaraka temples visit.
    We,the Sr. Citizen couple are planning to visit these places with our younger son & our D on law in August this year.( from Chennai)
    Your trip description was very interesting.keep posting .God bless you.

  • sudhir says:

    well written with painful detailing

  • Shubha Agrawal says:

    Thanks for detailed information… Finally with God’s grace I had the darshan on 1st october 2018.

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