There are innumerable places around Ahmedabad which are testaments to the survival and existence of western India. Once such place is Junagadh, which is located at the feet of Girnar hills with its history dating back to the era before Christ.
Several inscriptions found from the period of the Mauryan dynasty prove the fact that Junagadh is an ancient city flourishing for thousands of years. Ruled by Mauryans, the Chudasama dynasty, the Gujarat Sultanate, Mughals, Nawabs and the British, Junagadh has prospered through wars, battles and sophistication. So, how about planning a trip from Ahmedabad to Junagadh this weekend and learning about its past?
Best Time To Visit
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The best time to visit Junagadh is from September until the end of March as it experiences a tropical wet and dry climate. It is advisable to avoid visiting Junagadh during the summer season if you are looking to enjoy the cool and pleasant weather while roaming all around the city.
How To Reach This Marvellous Archaeological Park
By Air: Direct flights from Ahmedabad to Junagadh are not available. However, you can take a flight from Ahmedabad to Diu and then from there, you can take a cab to Junagadh. Diu Airport is located at a distance of 150 km from Junagadh.
By Rail: There are direct trains available from Ahmedabad to Junagadh. You can catch a train from Ahmedabad railway station, which will take an approximate time of 6 hr to reach Junagadh Junction.
By Road: Located at a distance of about 320 km from Ahmedabad, Junagadh is easily accessible by road.
Route 1: Ahmedabad - Rajkot - Gondal - Junagadh
Route2: Ahmedabad - Bagodara - Gondal - Junagadh
If you are looking forward to reaching Junagadh within minimum time, then you should take route 1. While on your way to Ahmedabad, you can take a break at the following places.
Why not take a break at Rajkot, unless you dislike exploring the culture and history of any city or town? Rajkot is a perfect place to rest if you always get excited about the names of palaces, museums and temples. The major places of interest in Rajkot include Swaminarayan Temple, Watson Museum, Jubilee Garden, Mohandas Gandhi High School and Kaba Gandhi No Delo, which was the first family home of Mahatma Gandhi.
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Located in the Rajkot district of Gujarat, Gondal can be your second stoppage while on your way to Junagadh, if you desire to take a break at the wonderfully built 17th-century Naulakha Palace, which boasts of stone carvings, curved arches and a spiral staircase. You can also visit Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Gondal which is the major worshipping place for Hindus.
Places To Visit In Junagadh
There are numerous places of interest in Junagadh. Once you have reached Junagadh, you can visit the following beautiful places which will certainly leave you surprised with their history and surprising beauty.
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Being one of the oldest forts in India, the history of Uparkot Fort dates back to the era of the Mauryan Empire. This monumental fort was built by the Mauryan dynasty and stayed showcasing its magnificence until it was abandoned by the later rulers. According to legends, it is believed that the fort was rediscovered by a woodcutter who came to the forest, which surrounded the fort, to collect woods.
The architectural work on the fort is also commendable. With stepwells, cannons, a mosque, huge gates and grand halls, Uparkot Fort is one of the major attractions in Junagadh. How about taking a walk amidst the historical aura of Uparkot Fort?
The Tomb Of Mahabat Khan
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Another major attraction throughout the year in Junagadh is the beautifully built and peacefully settled tomb of Mahabat Khan. An impeccable example of Indo-Islamic architecture, the tomb of Mahabat Khan was built under the reign of the Nawabs of Junagadh.
If you are looking to trace the history and development of the region in and around Junagadh, then do visit the Tomb of Mahabat Khan. You can also capture its elegant designs and carvings in your camera.
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Girnar hills is obvious from any corner of the city. One cannot escape the greatness of Girnar hills, which are also responsible for the progress and prosperity of Junagadh. It is a group of mountains and is considered older than the Himalayas. How can you forget to visit such a grandeur? With an elevation of 3383 feet, Girnal hills is considered the highest mountain in the state of Gujarat.
Gir Forest National Park
If you want to spend some time away from the centre of the city amidst greenery and wildlife, then Gir Forest National Park is a perfect place for you. Situated at an approximate distance of 65 km from Junagadh, this wildlife national park is home to several endangered and rare species of animals and plants. You can also spot several Asiatic lions and Indian leopards here.
Apart from the given places, the other major tourist attractions in Junagadh include Ashoka's Rock Edict, Swaminarayan Mandir and Damodar Kund. So, when there is a lot in store to witness and explore, why not get yourself to this historical gem?