Important Krishna Temples and Places at Somnath


"Oh Descendant of Kuru! Darkness, inactivity, madness, disinclination to perform duties and illusion get manifested when there is mode of ignorance." (Bhagavad Gita 14.13)

      Somnath is located in Saurashtra in the state of Gujarat. It is approximately 225 km from Dwarka and 10 km from Veraval, famous harbour close to the Arabian Sea. It is also close to Prabhas Kshetra, a place where Lord Krishna spent His last few hours on Earth before returning to His Heavenly Abode, Vaikunta. Somnath is also famous for the Shiva Temple which is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas in India.

      The journey from Sudamapuri (Porbandar) to Somnath was very similar to the picturesque drive from Dwarka to Sudamapuri. Most of the journey took us close to the banks of the Arabian Sea. I saw hundreds of windmills during the journey. The view was simply breathtaking. Wind energy seemed to play an important part in generating electricity in this part of the country.


      Balka Teerth is four kilometres from Veraval, on the way to Somnath. While driving from Veraval to Somnath, this temple comes on the left. As I passed through the main gate, I saw a pond on the left. This pond is considered sacred because it has a Shiva Linga at the bottom. To the right of the sacred pond is the main temple. When I entered it, I saw a huge life-like' idol of Lord Krishna in a reclining pose. The idol is made of pure white marble. It looks so realistic that I felt the Supreme Lord was really sitting there! It takes a few minutes to realise that it is only an idol. His right leg was resting on a dais and the left leg was slightly raised in the air. I could see all the sacred symbols on the arch and the heel of His left foot. As in the case of many other Lord Krishna Temples in Gujarat, here as well, the Lord was four-armed, holding His Sudarshana Chakra and Shanka.

      To the left of the idol of Lord Krishna is the idol of a hunter, kneeling down and with folded hands, begging the Supreme Lord for forgiveness. He is horrified that he has shot an arrow into Krishna's left toe, mistaking it to be the eye of a deer. The Supreme Lord is sitting relaxed and is smiling at the hunter. He knows that the hunter has done what he was ordained to do and he was just a tool' facilitating His return back to Vaikunta.

      To the right of the altar is a huge Pipal tree. People believe that this is the same Pipal tree under which Lord Krishna was resting when He was hit by Jara's arrow. To the right of this tree is a Shiva Linga with a snake serving as the hood. At the extreme right side of the main hall is a white marble idol of Lord Krishna playing the flute.

      As I came out of the main temple, I noticed that the entire area was filled with lots of Pipal and Banyan trees. It was quite easy to imagine that, during Krishna's time, the vegetation here would have been much thicker and the entire area would have been a dense forest. It was not difficult to understand why the hunter mistook the Lord's foot for a deer's eye. Next to the sacred pond is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva Shri Pragateshwar Temple. The altar has a black Shiva Linga with a serpent hood.

      In the local dialect, Bal means arrow, hence, this place is known as Balka Teerth since an arrow from the quiver of Jara, the hunter, was responsible for ending Lord Vishnu's eighth avatara on this planet.


      This sacred place is four kilometres from Balka Teerth. It is believed that when Lord Krishna was hit by an arrow from the bow of the hunter, Jara, He walked four kilometres and reached this spot. He and His brother Balarama left their mortal bodies and proceeded towards Vaikunta which is also known as Goloka. Hence this sacred place is known as Sri Prabhas Golok Dham.

      When I entered the sacred Golok Dham, the first thing that struck me was the serenity and calmness here. It took me to a different era. As I visited the different sacred spots, I began to feel as if I was witness to those incidents that took place here 5000 years ago!


      Entering Golok Dham, I noticed lots of temples on the left and River Hiran on the right. The first temple that I came upon was the Gita Temple. At the altar is a beautiful huge white idol of Lord Krishna playing the flute. This is known as Gita Temple because it has Sanskrit inscriptions of the entire Bhagavad Gita on the walls near the main deity.


      Next to the Gita Temple is the Sri Seshavatar Temple with a cave adjoining it. As the name indicates, this is a temple dedicated to Lord Balarama who is the incarnation (avatara) of Lord Sheshnag.

      As I entered, on my left I saw a huge idol of Lord Balarama, made of white marble. Lord Balarama, also known as Sri Baldevji, was holding His divine weapon, the Plough, in His left hand. On the right, I saw five steps leading me to a cave below. This cave is known as Balaram Ji Ni Gufa which means Balarama's Cave in Gujarati.

      This cave has an orange colored carving of a snake on the wall. The Snake symbolises the sacred event of Lord Balarama leaving His mortal Body and transforming Himself into His original Self as Serpent King Sheshnag, before proceeding to Vaikunta.

      In front of the snake carving on the wall are Balarama's footprints carved on white marble to indicate His presence here. To the right is a stone idol of Sheshnag.


      As I walked from Seshavatar Temple towards the banks of the river Hiran on the right, I came across a white mandapa-shaped enclosure, known as Sri Krishna Neejadham Teerth. The place was so quiet and tranquil that I could hear the soft and gentle sounds of the river that flowed nearby. This is the place where Lord Krishna left His mortal body and proceeded towards His Heavenly Abode, Vaikunta. Since He went back to His original sacred place', this spot is known as Sri Krishna Neejadham Teerth. This place is also known as Dehotsarg Teerth, since He gave up His mortal body here (Deha).

      The white enclosure has white marble footprints of Lord Krishna to commemorate His visit to this sacred place. Hence, this spot is also known as Bhagwan Sri Krishna Charan Paduka. When I saw the footprints of Krishna, I felt sure He was nearby.


      As I went back from Sri Prabhas Golok Dham towards Balka Teerth. on my left I saw the sacred Triveni Sangam. This Sangam is also known as Hiran Kapila Saraswati Triveni Sangam since it is a confluence of the three sacred rivers Hiran, Kapila, and Saraswati with the Arabian Sea. There were hundreds of devotees bathing here.

      After this sacred cremation, people have begun to believe that anyone who bathes in these holy waters will get a passage to heaven. It is believed that since this sacred spot was the last place Lord Krishna visited before He began His heavenly journey, anyone who bathes here will also attain heaven when he leaves his mortal body.

      Thus ends the stay of Lord Krishna in His mortal form on earth and marks the beginning of His journey to His Holy Abode, Vaikunta. There were a few people in Brij Bhoomi and Dwarka who had the pleasure of seeing Him and watching His divine pastimes. However, there are millions of people who would like to see Him now, but may not know how to achieve this. There are also millions of people who would not like to be born again in this material world, but would like to stay in the spiritual world, the Holy Abode of the Supreme Lord.

      So how can one achieve this?

      It is stated in the Srimad Bhagavatam that when a person dies, he will give birth as per his desires and his karma. How does one liberate oneself from this cycle? How does a person ensure that his soul is liberated from being born again? How does he reach the kingdom of God? Srimad Bhagavatam states that for a person to reach the kingdom of God, he should meditate on and chant God's name and worship God at the time of death. However, how will a person know when he is dying, in order to chant the holy name? The solution is simple! Throughout your life, always remain immersed in the divine thoughts of God and chant His holy name. Always think of Him and pray to Him to take you to His Holy Abode.

      As Lord Krishna Himself tells Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita.

      "Always think of Me, just become My devotee, worship Me and offer your obeisance unto Me. You will certainly come to Me, I truly promise you because you are dear to Me." (Bhagavad Gita 18.65)

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