The city of Junagadh offers a spectacular serene and quiet environment and makes the tourists to remain captivated and charmed with the many wonder in the city. At the base of the mighty Girnar Hills, Junagadh is located. The majestic Girnar Hills towers over the city in a protective gesture. Many a number of appealing and interesting locations are present around the Durbar Hall Museum. From the fort that surrounds the entire city, the name of the city Junagadh has been taken.
During the Partition, the Junagadh’s Nawab’s wish was to make this little state, a part of Pakistan; however the citizens of the place, mostly Hindus, did not support the decision. Ar a result he went to Pakistan himself.
The Girnal Hills stands like a mighty tower, hovering over the city. The hill is a sacred location for the people who follow Hindu and Jain faith. The top of the hills are dotted with temples. In order to reach the temples, one has to climb a mighty 9999 steps. The experience of climbing such a huge number of steps and then seeing the spectacular view is one of a kind. In the most ancient part of the city, there is an old step-well situated, which has not been built but hewn out of rock. One can go down these steps, deep inside the earth.
The history of Junagadh is very rich, with inputs from many a civilizations continuing for predominant span of time, such as of the Jain, Hindus, Buddhist and Islam. All these civilizations have left their influences on the city. One can also visit the amazing Gir National Park, which has the Asiatic Lions.
A popular tourist destination of India, Junagadh contains numerous interesting and attracting tourist locations to visit. Many historical monuments and relics in the city catch the eye. Every year hundreds and hundreds of people come to this place for a trip. It is also a location for pilgrimages. A few number of saints hailed from here in the past. Narsinha Mehta was the most renowned person from here. He was a Gujarati saint-poet.
THINGS TO SEE
Uparkot: Uparkot, is the upper citadel, which is situated in the most ancient portion of Junagadh. It is must see for anyone visiting this city. The age of this place is more than 2300 years. The heights of the walls are 20 meters. A prolonged attack of 12 years on Junagadh was survived just because of this citadel. It is so considered that these caves date back to sometime between 1st and 4th century AD. The place is covered with exquisite pillars, gateways, halls for assembly and cells for meditation. A moat is situated in the inner side of the walls. The depth of the moat is 300 feet. Crocodiles were present in this moat previously.
Jama Masjid: Upon conquering Suarashtra’s princes, Sultan Muhammad Begda transformed the Ranakdevi, the initial palace situated in this spot, into the Jama Masjid. This is the reason that many people think this masjid to be a fort.
Adi-Kadi Vav & Navghan Kuwo: The structure of these two step-wells are unique for many a reasons. They differ from the other step wells of other places in Gujarat. Unlike in the other step wells, these two have been cut out of stone; thus the well has been done without taking it out from the original rock. In simpler words it means that no additional construction in terms of structure has been done.
The age of Navghan Kuwo is wavering on the verge of 1000 years. A unique feature about this step well is that, the steps which takes one to the same level as the water level, is 52 meter in length and the stair twists around the well shaft. Under attack, Uparkot was made to survive with the help of water obtained from Navghan Kuwo. In the 15th century, Adi-kadi Vav was constructed. It has been carved completely out of hard stone. One has to travel as many as 120 steps in order to come to the well shaft.
Buddhist Caves: In reality, these caves are not caves but three distinct rooms, which have been cut and made out of stones. These used to function as living space for monks and that is how the name for the caves came into existence. The age of the caves add up to a little bit over 2000 years.
Khapara Kodia is the most ancient cave. This caves dates back to sometime between 3rd and 4th century AD. Adjacent to the Sudarshan Lake and on the northern corner of the Uparkot, these caves are situated. The most important portions of the caves are the western wing, which is rectangular in shape and another wing of ‘L’ shape. Here the Monks used to take refugee during the rainy season. These caves are believed to be the initial dwelling place for the monks in this region. However later, the place was vacated. The reason for this was the breaks in the roofs caused the water to drop inside the place where they actually used to live; thus making the caves unfit for use.
Ashok Edicts Junagadh City Uparkot: On the way to the Mount Girnar Hills, there are as many as 12 numbers of edicts of Ashoka. These Ashoka’s Rock Edicts dates back to the 250 BC. The edict made out of rock is a gigantic stone structure. The engravings are written in Brahmi Script, Pali language. Opposition to lust, sacrificing of animals, enhancing the idea of pure thinking, secularism, courtesy and thankfulness – all these things are mentioned in the stone edicts’ carvings. Ashoka became the most admired and venerable ruler of India, when he switched to Buddhism and gave up battles and wars and any form of violence. During this time, he constructed these edicts and had them located all over locations in India.
The Junagadh Museum: The visiting time for the museum is from 9 am to 12 noon and again from 3 pm to 6 pm. Here the ancient stones, bone implements, stone carvings and bronzes belonging to the 9th century era, documents, items made of silver, glass craft works, carvings made of wood, textiles and other precious things are displayed for the public eye.
Next door is the Sakkarbaug Zoo: The visiting time for this zoo is between 9 am and 6.30 pm. This place is especially famous and popular for the preservation of the Asiatic Lions, which can be seen in the Gir National Park.
The Darbar Hall Museum: The visiting time for the museum is 9 am to 12 noon and again from 3 pm to 6 pm. The museum displays items dating back to the reign of the Babis of Junagadh along with the gorgeous furniture, clothing, paintings and pictures belonging to the same era.
Baba Pyara Caves, Junagadh: Babya Pyara is the name given to the caves, which are located close to the Modhimath. The clusters of caves which lie in the northern corner consist of 4 numbers of caves. In the south direction of the eastern corner of the first cluster of caves, the second group of caves is located. All of the caves of this set have same structures with huge courts and a chaitya hall. The features of the architecture of the caves, like the pillars and the door jambs, give hints of the influence of the architectural style of the Satavahanas reign, thus the caves can be traced back between sometime between 1st and 2nd century AD.
Satguru Rohidass Ashram: In the state of Gujarat, the Satguru Rohidass Ashram is located in Junagadh district’s Sarsai Village. As supposed by the stories, that Satguru Ravidass ji dwelled in this village for as many as 15 years of his life. He got renowned and was popularly known as Satguru Rohidass Ji. An ideal location to worship for the devotees of Satguru Rohidass, is this Satguru Rohidass Ashram situated in the Sarsai Village. The ashram houses an ancient Satguru Ravidass Ji’s temple. A historic Yagya Hawan Kund exists in the front portion of the temple. As per the mythical stories, there existed 7 numbers of Kunds, which were linked to Satguru Ravidass; however, at present, only as few as 3 Kunds remain.
Shram Kund is the name of one of the kunds. Here leather works were carried on by Satguru Ravidass. The Shaan Kund is the name of the second kund. The tales of Pandit Ganga Ram and Ganga are linked to this second kund. Hemano Kund is the name of the third kund. ‘Pind Daan’ was carried out in the Kund by the devotees of Satguru Ravidass.
Pania Wildlife Sanctuary: The Pania Wildlife Sanctuary is set amidst the hilly terrain covered in grass. This place is also known as Chanchai-Pania. Many a number of species, which are rare and endangered, can be found here. In the year 1989, the status of Sanctuary was given to this conservation park. The area of the sanctuary is 39.63 square kilometers. It is a continuation of Gir Sanctuary. Some of the major species of animals, which can be seen here, are the mighty lions and leopards. This wildlife has been made a separate entity from the Gir National Park in order to highlight the protection of the Chinkaras and Antelopes. Chinkaras are known as Indian Gazelle. Hyena, wild cat, civet cat, antelopes bearing four horns, pangolins, and foxes are the other animals that can seen here roaming amidst the tall grasses, running away from the catch of the mighty lions.
Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary: The Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary is set against a countryside backdrop with a savage wilderness, hilly terrain covered with grasses with a great height and semi-dry deciduous trees. The area of the sanctuary is 18.22 square kilometers. The status of a sanctuary was given to the Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 2004. One can see the Asiatic Lions and spotted deer in the sanctuary. The grass covered rough ridge in Mitliyala serves as a protective environment for two prides of lions and a solitary lions, which adds up to a count of 11 to 12 lions. Leopards, spotted deer, Bluebulls or nilgai and wild boars are also seen here apart from the mighty lion. The winter months are the ideal to visit the sanctuary.
HOW TO REACH
By Air: In Keshod, an air terminal is located. The distance between this place and Junagadh is a mere 37 Kms. Many a number of flights of important airlines fly in and out of Junagadh from Mumbai.
By Rail: Trains between numerous major Indian cities and Junagadh runs on a daily basis.
By Road: Many a number of buses, both government and private buses, ply between Junagadh and other cities of Gujarat.