Junagadh Travel Guide
Places of Interest
Places of Interest
* GIRNAR The mountain, 6 km. from Junagadh city, has five principal peaks. It has roughly 8,500 steps. The third peak, Gorakhnath, at 3,661 ft (1,116 m) above sea level, is the highest. The area of the hills is approximately 10 km. To ascend the hills a stepway is built UPERKOT certainly worth seeing Jain tamples. Spots to visit Bhimkund, Satpuda, Gaumukhi Ganga, Pathar chati, Bhairavjap, Bharatvan Sheshavan, Hanumandhara. The peak of Ambaji, with a height of 3,330 ft (1,010 m), is famous for the temple of Ambaji. Kamandal kund; stepway diverts between temples of Gorakhnath and Dattatreya. The path to Dattatreya temple is difficult (photo gallery), but on the top of the peak is a small temple on the padukas of Guru Dattatreya.
* ASHOK SHILALEKH:- About 2 km east of Junagadh and 3 km from the foot of Girnar Hill, between the two places, is an edict of Emperor Ashoka inscribed on a rock dating from the third century BC. The Ashokan edicts impart moral instructions on dharma, harmony, tolerance, and peace. An uneven rock, with a circumference of seven metres and a height of ten metres, bears insciptions in Brāhmī script etched with an iron pen.
* SAKKARBAUG ZOO - This is the oldest zoo in Gujarat and the 3rd oldest in India. The rare Gir lions are bred and supplied to other zoos.
* THE WILD MUSEUM - In the same premises as the zoo. Rare specimens of art furniture, stuffed animals, ancient coins, Persian Sanskrit inscriptions and various other articles of interest.
Bahauddin Makbara, mausoleum of the Wazir of Junagadh.
* MAKABARA - Nawabs were buried here. This is a fine specimen of medieval structure.
* JAIN DERASAR - Excellent Temple on Girnar Hill at 3,100 feet (940 m). There are many temples with excellent design.
* NARSINH MEHTA NO CHORO - This place is said to be one where the great poet Saint and reformer Narsinh Mehta held his assemblies of discovers in 15th century. Some believe that Lord Krishna held a traditional "Rasleela" dance for his devotee Narsinh Mehta.
* UPERKOT - Uperkot is an impressive fort located on a plateau in the middle of town. It was originally built in 319 BC. It was covered over for 300 years, then rediscovered in 976 AD. It was besieged 16 times over an 800-year period. One siege lasted twelve years, but was not successful. Visitors enter the fort through a large gate. Some parts of the fort’s walls are 20 m high. If, after entering the gate you turn left, you will come to Jama Masjid, which was built on top of a Hindu temple. It has 140 pillars supporting its ceiling.
o Further down the road are what are believed to be old Buddhist caves, said to be 1,500 years old (dating from before 500 AD). They are carved into the rocky hill and have stone carvings and floral work. There are also the Khapra Kodia caves north of the fort, and the Babupyana caves south of the fort.
o There is a huge, fifteen-foot cannon, made in Egypt in 1531. There are also two interesting large step wells (vavs) here. The 11th century Navghan Kuva has a circular stairway that descends over 50 m down into the well. The Adi Chadi Vav descends 170 steps.
* DARBAR HALL MUSEUM - Picture gallery , textiles, arms gallery, the kacheri, the hall which was used by Nawabs of Junagadh to hold their darbar. The Durbar Hall and Museum has an interesting collection of weapons, thrones, silver articles, costumes, paintings, tapestries, and palanquins on display. It is not far from the entrance to the fort.
* GAYATRI MANDIR & VAGHESHWARI MANDIR - On the way to Girnar Talati, are both of the beautiful temples of Maa Gayatri and Maa Vagheshwari. At every navratris, a mela is held.
* SONAPUR - Where many statues of saints are erected. It also has a Sai Baba temple and serves as a cemetery.
* DAMODAR KUND - Built in 500 a.d., this often reconstructed kund (water reservoir) is a check dam. This kund is about a km before the bottom of Girnar Hill. It is a sacred bathing tank. Close to Damodara Kund is Revati Kund. It is said that Revata left Dwarka and moved near Girnar Hill after his daughter, Revati, married Lord Balarama.
* DAMODARJI TEMPLE Near Aswatthama Hill, which is north of Damodara Kund, is the Damodarji Temple, said to have been built by Vajranabha, Lord Krishna’s great-grandson.
* DATAAR HILLS - 2,779 feet (847 m) high stepway is built for going up shrine of Jamiyalshah Datar.
* SCIENCE MUSEUM - Gujarat’s first and the only private science museum. More than 60 working science projects based on science facts. Which can be operated by visitors. Worth visiting attached one small aquarium and evening open air garden restaurant garden café serves south Indian and Punjabi dishes since 1981.
* WELLINGTON DAM - Built by the Britishers near the foot of Datar hill. The three sides and a garden in front it affords an enchanting view.
* MOTI BAUG - The best garden the campus of agricultural university and botanical garden. It also houses the Junagadh Agricultural University Campus which has total land area of 754.62 ha and 2485 ha including 17 sub centers and 1500 manpower with annual budget around 28.5 crores. Having very nice pari talao.
* Mujkund Caves - Famous place where Krishna ran and came from mathura after which he was named as Ranchod Rai
* Ayurvedic Museum- Ayurvedic Museum is located at the Ayurvedic College at Sardarbag in the western part of town. The personnel are helpful to those interested in learning something about this ancient and natural medical treatment.
* NARSINH MAHETA LAKE- A beautiful lake constructed by joint effort of the people of Junagadh near Talav Gate.
* BAHAUDDIN COLLEGE(Arts & Science)- Gujarat's first science college built by the Nawab's vazeer "Bahauddin" who was brother in law of Nawab.
* BEHT - Bhagvatinandji Education and Health Trust [See http://www.beht.org] has been working in the many places of Gujarat, and is well-known for its work in Junagadh since many decades. In junagadh dist, BEHT has boarding school of 1200 capacity in Champarda, an educational institute for girls in Junagadh itself and many elderly houses and Ashrams located throughout the Junagadh.
* KESAR KERI (MANGOES)- Junagadh is famous for Kesar Mangoes (Safaron Mangoes). As name says Kesar mangoes are very sweet and looks like safaron color.
* Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Junagadh - Mandir made by Lord Swaminarayan
* SWAMI VIVEKANANDA VINAY MANDIR, JUNAGADH - It is one of the oldest secondary and higher secondary schools of Gujarat. Widely spread in a large land with a huge playground, gardens and the oldish dombs. The hidden special thing about this school is two of the few lagendary students by name Dhirubhai Ambani and Jainil Dewani. Till date, Dhirubhai's birthday is widely celebrated with a various cultural programs. Every year one of the Ambani family's visit is must. Now a days very famous for 11th and 12th standard (Science Stream).
* Junagadh is also emerging as the Educational hub of the Saurashtra.
* Shivratri Mela - At the foot of Girnar Mountain (Talati) in the month of MAHA (9th day of the month of Maagha). The mela lasts for the next five days. About 500,000 people visit.
* Girnar Parikrama - Starts from Kartik and draws 1 to 1.5 million people. People walk the periphery of the Girnar Hills on foot (about 40 km) to enjoy the religious and natural beauty.
* Girnar Competition - Every year, between the 1st and the 10th of January, a Girnar Climbing Competition is held by the Gujarat government. Anyone who climbs up 5,500 feet (1,700 m) within 2 hours gets a certificate from the Government of Gujarat, and the winner gets lots of prizes.
Junagadh is a city and a municipal corporation, the headquarters of Junagadh district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city is located at the foot of the Girnar hills. Literally translated, Junagadh means "Old Fort". It is also known as "Sorath", the name of the earlier Princely State of Junagadh.
An impressive fort, Uperkot, located on a plateau in the middle of town, was originally built during the Mauryan dynasty by Chandragupta in 319 BCE The fort remained in use until the 6th century, when it was covered over for 300 years, then rediscovered in 976 CE The fort was besieged 16 times over an 800-year period. One unsuccessful siege lasted twelve years.
An inscription with fourteen Edicts of Ashoka is found on a large boulder within 2 km of Uperkot Fort. The inscriptions carry Brahmi script in Pali language and date back to 250 BCE On the same rock are inscriptions in Sanskrit added around 150 CE by Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I, the Saka (Scythian) ruler of Malwa, a member of the Western Kshatrapas dynasty. Another insciption dates from about 450 CE and refers to Skandagupta, the last Gupta emperor. Old rock-cut Buddhist "caves" in this area, dating from well before 500 CE, have stone carvings and floral work. There are also the Khapra Kodia Caves north of the fort, and the Babupyana Caves south of the fort.
The Maitraka dynasty ruled Gujarat in western India from 475 to 767 CE The founder of the dynasty, general Bhatarka, a military governor of Saurashtra peninsula under the Gupta empire, established himself as the independent ruler of Gujarat approximately in the last quarter of the 5th century. However, James Tod states Maitraka rule ended as early as 524 CE
The Solanki, of the Chalukya dynasty, ruled Gujarat in the 11th and 12th centuries. The two large step wells (vavs) of Uperkot Fort were both commissioned by Rah Navghan I (1025-1044 CE) Muslims conquered Gujarat in 1299 and the Sultanate of Gujarat was formed in 1407. Mahmud Begada (Mahmud Shah I) invaded Junagadh in 1467. The city was annexed to the Gujarat Sultanate; the city foundation was laid for Mahmudabad in 1497. Strong embankments were raised along the river, and the city was adorned with a palace, handsome buildings and extensive gardens. When the Portuguese took over the ports of Diu and Daman in the 16th century, a fifteen-foot cannon, made in Egypt in 1531, was abandoned at Uperkot Fort by a Turkish admiral opposing the Portuguese forces at Diu.
Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I, who owed allegiance to the Sultan of Ahmedabad, founded the state of Junagadh by expelling the Mughal governor and declaring independence in 1748. Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I, who assumed the name "Zaid Khan" when he came to power in Junagadh, was the founder of the Babi dynasty. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagadh, conquered large territories in southern Saurashtra and ruled over the state for the next two centuries, first as tributaries of Baroda, and later under the suzerainty of the British. Nawabs of Babi dynasty:
* 1735 - 1758 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I 
* 1758 - 1775 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I
* 1775 - 1811 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji I
* 1811 - 1840 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji II
* 1840 - 1851 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji II
* 1851 - 1882 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji II
* 1882 - 1892 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji III
* 1892 - 1911 : Mohammad Rasul Khanji
* 1911 - 1948 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III