Information on Junagadh
Junagadh was the capital of the Junagadh state under the Muslim rulers of Babi Nawabs. In Gujarati, "Junagadh" means an ancient fort. The town of Junagadh takes its name from the fort that enclosed the medieval town. Junagadh is situated in the Saurashtra region at the foothills of the Mount Girnar and occupies a special place in the history of Gujarat. The town of Junagadh is beautiful with very wide streets, arches, shopping arcades and cool gardens. Its splendour is more like an English city rather than a city in the remote corner of Gujarat. Various ancient temples, museums, forts and palaces are the major interesting monuments located in Junagadh.
History of Junagadh
The history of Junagadh can be known by the rule of the Mauryans, Kashatrapas, Guptas, Vallabhas, Babi Nawab, Chaudasamas, Gujarat Sultans. In the earlier periods, Junagadh was under the influence of four major religions mainly, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Muslims. Both, political powers and religious influences enriched the culture and created fantastic edifices leaving their mark on the architecture of Junagadh. The Nawab Mahobat Khan II beautified Junagadh and patronized the construction of several buildings and urban projects like Aina Mahal, Circle Chowk with clock tower and Dewan Chowk. Some of the other buildings of the Nawabi period are the Bahauddin College, Manoranjan Guest House, Mahobat Madarsa (Narsi Vidya Mandir) and the maqbaras (mausoleums) of the royal family. All the architectural elements are highly decorative and reminds one of the last phase of architecture of Lucknow. The 14 rock edicts 256-57 BC of the great Emperor Ashoka, inscription by King Rudradaman and Skandagupta are the proof of importance of Junagadh from the ancient times. This city was also home of one of the great poets of India, Narsinh Mehta.
Tourist Attractions in Junagadh
The most important tourist attraction in Junagadh is the remarkable Upperkot Fort (Upper Fort). Over the centuries, enemies had tried to capture this fort but couldn't do so. The walls of the fort are as high as 70 feet. Some Buddhist caves are also situated in Junagadh which show that there might have been a monastery here before its regal history began. Another attraction in Junagadh are the 14 rock edicts of the great emperor Ashoka which are inscribed on a huge stone in Pali script. His 14 edicts in Pali are exhortations to virtue and assurances that he, “the Beloved of the Gods”, is looking after all his subjects. Other important place in Junagadh is the Mount Girnar. Mount Girnar is one of the hills which is most sacred to the Jain community. The Neminath temple, one of the largest and the oldest temple, the Bhavnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Amba Mata temple are also situated on this hill.