First and the most ancient amongst the twelve jyotirlingas, Somnath is in Gujarat. The temple was built in stone in the 1st century. In 649, Raja Dharsen constructed a new temple on the same site to replace the old dilapidated temple. In the 18th century the marauding Arabs destroyed this temple. In 1025, Mahmud of Ghazni attacked and looted the enormous wealth of the temple. The temple was once again destroyed by Allauddin Khilji, Muhammad Begada and Aurangzeb. Later in 1783 Ahilyabai Holkar reconstructed the temple.
After independence the temple was renovated in 1951 under the initiative of Sardar Vallabbhai Patel. Rajendra Prasad, the then President performed the installation ceremony of the Shiva idol.