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The shiva linga in Somnath Temple is believed to be one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India, where Shiva appeared as a fiery column of light. The jyotirlingas are taken as the supreme, undivided reality out of which Shiva partly appears.
According to the Shiva Purana, as a result of an argument between Brahma and Vishnu regarding the supremacy of creation,Shiva pierced the three worlds as a huge endless pillar of light, the jyotirlinga, to test them. Vishnu and Brahma split their ways to downwards and upwards respectively to find the end of the light in either directions. Brahma lied that he found out the end, while Vishnu conceded his defeat. Shiva appeared as a second pillar of light and cursed Brahma that he would have no place in ceremonies while Vishnu would be worshipped until the end of eternity.
Each of the twelve jyotirlinga sites take the name of a different manifestation of Shiva. At all these sites, the primary image is a lingam representing the beginningless and endless stambha pillar, symbolizing the infinite nature of Shiva. Even though there are believed to have been 64 jyotirlingas, twelve of them are considered to be very auspicious. In addition to the one at Somanath, the others are at Varanasi, Rameswaram, Dwarka etc
Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Sasan Gir, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. It is located 43 km (27 mi) north-east of Somnath, 65 km (40 mi) south-east of Junagadh and 60 km (37 mi) south-west of Amreli. It was established in 1965, with a total area of 1,412 km2 (545 sq mi), of which 258 km2 (100 sq mi) is fully protected as national park and 1,153 km2 (445 sq mi) as wildlife sanctuary.It is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests ecoregion.
The 14th Asiatic Lion Census 2015 was conducted in May 2015. In 2015, the population has been 523 (27% up compared to previous census in 2010). The population was 411 in 2010 and 359 in 2005. The population of lions in Junagadh District has been 268, Gir Somnath District has been 44, Amreli District has been 174 (highest increase) and Bhavangar District has been 37. There are 109 males, 201 females and 213 youngs/cubs