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Gujarat Tourism – The Foothill Town of Junagadh

By Manoj

Very few towns in Gujarat have the diversity that Junagadh has to offer travellers. Located at the foothills of the Girnar range, the city is said to have been founded by Chandra Gupta Maurya in 320 B.C.

Though much of the attractions have been ruined with the passage of time these have been well-maintained by the government and is open for public as well as tourists to see.

Ashoka's Edicts

Ashoka's Edicts

Ashoka's Edicts are the inscriptions etched on rocks by Emperor Ashoka during his reign. These rock edicts are considered as the most important historical remains of this period. Located on the Saurashtra peninsula of Junagadh, it is inscribed on the high mountain rocks of Girnar and is not easily accessible. Travellers wanting to see these edicts have to climb the hill where it is visible. The inscription is in Brahmi script, believed to be the oldest script that was used in India.

Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid, located inside Uparkot Fort, was earlier the palace of Ranak Devi. The palace was converted into a mosque by Sultan Mohammad Begda when he conquered the region. A unique feature about this mosque is that it has 140 pillars that supports the ceiling of the mosque.

Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism

Uparkot

Uparkot

The Uparkot Fortt was once a citadel and is believed to have been built about 2,300 years back. The walls of the fort are 20 mt high and there are a few caves here that date back to the 1st century. The fort has beautiful entrances and pillars, water cisterns, an assembly hall and a cell for meditation. There is also a deep 300 ft wide moat that was once teeming with crocodiles! Inside the fort you can find symbols of different rulers of Uparkot, as well as temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Shakti.

Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism

Sakkarbaug Zoo

Sakkarbaug Zoo

The Sakkarbaug Zoo was established in 1863 and is known to breed and protect some of endangered species, including the Asiatic Lion. Other animals that can be seen in the zoo include the Indian gaur, Malabar giant squirrels, Marmosets and Green Pheasants. The zoo is open on all days except Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 6.30 pm. It is the perfect place to head to with your family, especially if you have small children.

Photo Courtesy: Tambako The Jaguar

Buddhist Caves

Buddhist Caves

Another attraction in the town of Junagadh are its many Buddhist Caves that are to be found inside the Uparkot Fort. The caves are believed to have been the resting quarters of the Buddhist monks and is nearly 1,500 years old. You can see many carvings and inscriptions within this cave and if the stories told by the locals are true then Emperor Ahoks himself is said to have stayed in one of them.

Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism

Adi-Kadi Vav

Adi-Kadi Vav

The Adi-Kadi Vav is a step well located inside Uparkot Fort in Junagadh. Unlike other step wells, this is made of single rocks and no other external elements were used in building it. The well is believed to have been built in the 15th century and is said to have nine layers.

Photo Courtesy: Gujarat Tourism

How to Reach Junagadh

How to Reach Junagadh

By Air: The nearest airport to Junagadh is the Rajkot airport, located at a distance of 104 km. It is well-connected with all the major cities of the country.

By Train: Junagadh has its own railway station which is connected to the nearby cities. The railway station at Rajkot is the one that is connected to other cities of the country.

By Road: Buses are available to the city from local destinations in the state like Rajkot and from cities in Maharashtra. Local buses are also available from places like Una, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar and Veraval.

Photo Courtesy: Emmanuel DYAN

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