Veraval, home of Somnath temple, is where we headed for after a soul satisfying visit to Land of Krishna; Dwarka. Veraval is located 235 kms from Dwarka and takes approximately four hours drive.
We left from Dwarka post lunch as per our plans. The road journey is beautiful. At places, the road runs parallel to the sea which adds to the beauty. One can site sedges of cranes in the wetland along the highways in the winter season. We had planned to visit Porbandar and also have a short halt at Madhavpur beach on the way.
We reached Porbandar or the Sudamanagari at 3 pm. Porbandar is the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and as per mythology Sudama, Shri Krishna’s friend also belonged here. It is from here that Sudama had gone to Bet Dwarka to meet Shri Krishna and gifted him with a handful of rice. Porbandar was originally named Pao bunder because of the bread (Pao) factories located here.
A visit to the Kirti Mandir takes one back in time to the life and times of Mahatma Gandhi. The house where Mahatma Gandhi was born is co-located and well preserved. There are old paintings and black and white photos of Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi on display.
Sudama Mandir is in the centre of main market of Porbandar. It was built in 20th century to commemorate Sudama’s friendship with Lord Krishna. The only temple in the world dedicated to Sudama, it is simple in architecture standing on beautiful marble pillars.
Porbandar also has a beautiful sandy beach.
The road runs parallel to Madhavpur and Mangrol. The drive is refreshing and de-stressing. We took a short halt at Madhavpur. It is a neat beach and because of COVID had hardly any tourists. The setting sun in the backdrop of the sea presented a lovely opportunity for a photo suit.
We reached Somnath around 7.30 pm and after a relaxing shower in the hotel headed for Somnath temple. What a captivating site it is. The majestic temple standing tall on the shores of Arabian sea, so well lit, immediately catches your attention and the image gets imprinted forever on the mind.
The Somnath temple is believed to be the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The temple was desecrated many times between 11th to 18th century by invaders but reconstructed each time by the devotees. The present temple was inaugurated on 11 May 1951 on the initiative of the then Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The open spaces around and the sea in the backdrop creates a perfect setting for a peaceful meditation and one on one interaction with the creator.
The old temple constructed by Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar in 1782 is in the close vicinity. It is said that this temple maintained the ‘pooja prampra’ of Lord Shiva when the main temple was attacked and desecrated by the invaders.
The other pilgrimage places in Veraval include Bhalka Teerth and the Triveni Sangam. Triveni is the confluence of three rivers Kapila, Hiran and the Saraswati. Bhalka Teerth is the place from where, as per mythology, Lord Krishna set on his heavenly journey.
Veraval is very well connected and can be reached by road, train, or air. Nearest airports are located at Diu and Rajkot.
I am attaching a small slide show of the various attractions.