SITUATED ONE THE COAST with a view of the Arabian Sea, the Somnath Temple is revered as one of the 12 most sacred sites dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s legendary wealth made it the target of successive plundering armies, beginning with Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026, who is said to have made off with camelloads of gold and precious gems, leaving the edifice in ruins. The cycle of pillage and reconstruction at Somoath continued over the next seven centuries. The present temple, made of stone, was built in 1950. East of the temple, at the confluence of three rivers, is Triveni Tirth. The ghats going down to the sea at this spot are said to mark the place where Lord Krishna’s funeral rites were performed, after a hunter mistook him for a deer and killed him.