Junagadh is the headquarters of Junagadh district Gujarat, located in the foothills of the Girnar Hills. The name comes from ancient Uparkot fort its mean old fort, it’s also known as Sorath earlier Princely State of Junagadh. Junagadh is famous for its picturesque location, ancient forts and Ashokan rock edicts, temples and monuments.
Here is the list of some poplar places, monuments, temples of Junagadh.
Junagadh’s chief attraction is the Girnar Hill, located 6 km east of the city. This has been a holy site for Buddhists, Hindus and Jains since the third century BC. Over 1,080 steps lead to the top of the high hill. Asokan edicts dated to 250 BC can be found on the sides of the steps. Here you can see Ashoka’s message for peace, love and non-violence.
Half-way up the Girnar hills is a cluster of beautiful Jain temples of which the most notable one is the Neminath temple dedicated to the 22nd Jain tirthankara.
Amba Mata Temple
At the top of the Girnar Hills is the temple of Amba Mata, built in 12th century. The site is very much popular for newlyweds, who come here seeking blessings of the divine deity.
About 90 kms from Junagadh is Somnath, a religious place famous for its superb Shiva temple. Somnath is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga of India dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The temple was looted by Muslim invaders & rulers by several times for its wealth. Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026, who is said to have made off?? With camel loads of gold and precious gems leaving the edifice in ruins. The pillage and reconstruction works continued for the next 700 years. The temple in its present form was built in 1950 and was made of stone.
At a short distance from the temple, towards east is Triveni Tirth, the confluence of three rivers. This is the site where Lord Krishna’s funeral rites were performed. People visit this river site to throw ashes and to pray for their dear departed. Nearby is a 17th century Ahilya temple and Bakhla Tirth that is associated with Lord Krishna.
Near the city’s railway station is a complex of royal mausoleums of which the most notable one is the Mahabat Maqbara with splendid silver doors and intricate carvings on it. Four large towers surround the mausoleum and can be reached at the top by staircases.
Durbar Hall Museum
One of the most worth visiting sites in Junagadh is the Durbar Hall Museum that houses weapons, armours and many other artifacts of the erstwhile nawabs.
Parks and Gardens
Sasan Gir National park
Spreading over an area of 259 sq. km, the Sasan Gir National Park is the only habitat left for the lions outside Africa. Almost a century ago Asiatic lions were roaming in the vast areas of India from Gujarat all the way to Bihar in the east. But in the early 19th century these animals were hunted and poached almost to the point of extinction. The Nawab of Junagadh made efforts to conserve these animals and hence created this park.
Today, Gir is a haven for a wide range of wildlife. The park has become a dwelling place for caracal, chausingha (four horned antelope), the blackbuck and a substantial population of leopard. Besides, a considerable population of chital, sambar, nilgai, grey langur, hyena, painted sandgrouse, peacocks and paradise flycatchers may be spotted on an early morning drive.
The park is 65 kms from Junagadh and 368 km from Ahmedabad. Prior permission is required from the Field Director, Sasan Gir for entry into the park.