Before independence, Prabhas Pattan was part of the princely state of Junagadh. On the eve of independence the Nawab (ruler) of Junagadh announced the accession of his state to Muslim-majority Pakistan, despite the state population being 80% Hindu. The people of Junagadh rose in revolt and set up a parallel government under Samaldas Gandhi. Unable to resist the popular pressure, the Nawab escaped to Pakistan. The government-in-exile or the Aarzi Hukumat ("temporary government") under Samaldas Gandhi formally asked the Government of India to take over. The Deputy Prime Minister of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel came to Junagadh on November 12, 1947 to direct the stabilization of the state by the Indian Army and at the same time ordered the reconstruction of the Somanath temple
When Sardar Patel, K. M. Munshi and other leaders of the Congress went to Gandhi with the proposal of reconstructing the Somnath temple, Gandhi blessed the move,but suggested that the funds for the construction should be collected from the public and the temple should not be funded by the state. He expressed that he was proud to associate himself to the project of renovation of the temple But soon both Gandhi and Sardar Patel died and the task of reconstruction of the temple continued under K. M. Munshi, who was the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies in the Nehru Government.
The ruins were pulled down in October 1950 and the mosque mosque present at that site was shifted few miles away. In May 1951, Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, invited by K M Munshi, performed the installation ceremony for the temple. Rajendra Prasad said in his address "It is my view that the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple will be complete on that day when not only a magnificent edifice will arise on this foundation, but the mansion of India's prosperity will be really that prosperity of which the ancient temple of Somnath was a symbol.". He added "The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction is always greater than the power of destruction"
This episode created a serious rift between the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who saw the movement for reconstruction of the temple as an attempt at Hindu revivalism and the President Rajendra Prasad and Union Minister K. M. Munshi, who saw in its reconstruction, the fruits of freedom and the reversal of past injustice done to Hindus.
The present temple, which was built by Patel and Munshi, is managed by Shree Somnath Trust.
The present temple is built in the Chalukya style of temple architecture or Kailash Mahameru Prasad Style and reflects the skill of the Sompura Salats, Gujarat's master masons.
The temple is situated at such a place that there is no land in straight-line between Somnath seashore till Antarctica, such an inscription in Sanskrit is found on the Arrow-Pillar called Baan-Stambh erected on the sea-protection wall at the Somnath Temple. This Baan-Stambh mentions that it stands at a point on the Indian landmass, which happens to be the first point on land in the north to the south-pole on that particular longitude.