Junagadh

Junagadh

The Junagadh city is the 7th largest in Gujarat, located at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 km south west of state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. Literally translated, Junagadh means “Old Fort”. An alternate etymology gives the name as coming from “Yonagadh”, literally “City of the Yona (Greeks),” referring to the ancient inhabitants of the city under the Indo-Greek Kingdom. It is also known as “Sorath”, the name of the earlier Princely State of Junagadh. After a brief struggle between India and Pakistan, Junagadh joined India on 9 November 1947. It was a part of Saurashtra state and later Bombay state. In 1960, after the Maha Gujarat movement, it became part of newly formed Gujarat state.

Mount Girnar: Girnar Mountain is about 1100m (3630 ft.) high and is an extinct volcano. It is said that Mount Girnar was once a flying mountain. It is 4km east of Junagadh and is the main tourist attraction in the area.
On the plateau about 180m (600 ft.) from the top of the hill, is a group of beautifully carved Jain temples built between 1128 and 1500. Neminath, the 22nd tirthankara, is said to have died on Mount Girnar after living here for 700 years. There is a special marble temple dedicated to him here, and a black marble statue of him. The Mallinath Temple (1177) is impressive. On top of the hill is a small Vishnu temple dedicated to Dattatreya. There is also a temple dedicated to the goddess Amba Mata dating back to the 12th century. It is said that a visit to this temple guarantees a happy marriage. The steps from here go down and up again to Gorakhnath Peak at 1100m (3666 ft.), where there are footprints of the rishi Gorakhnath. There is another peak where there are footprints of Neminath. Further on is a goddess Kalika shrine. Visitors must climb 5,500 steps to reach the top of the hill, so it is best to start early in the morning (before 7 am). It is a difficult two-hour climb. Hundreds of people climb this hill every day.
Other tourist attractions here are The Mahabat Maqbara, Darbar Hall Museum, Adi Kadi Vav, Nanghan Kuwo, Damodar Kund and Upperkot Fort.