Etymologically the word Junnagadh means 'old fort' which was the capital of the erstwhile Babi Nawabs. This place is located at the foothill of Mount Girnar in Saurashtra region of the state of Gujarat. This historical city is the testimony to the various historical phases.
The 250 BC old Ashoka's rock edicts near the town testify its historic legacy. This place is often visited by scores of tourists because of the ancient temples, palaces, museums and 2nd century Buddhist caves. It is also known as a nature reserve which is teeming with various species of flora and fauna. This is the place from where one can move into the Gir National Park to view wild animals roaming in their natural habitat.
Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Jainism nurtured Junagadh as a historic city. This variance can be seen in the left out monuments, culture, festivals and ethos of this place. The deep imprints of several historical periods can be significantly seen at this place. Each ruling dynasty has left? something or the other, which speaks about their contributions to this place.
This is among the 14 edicts of Ashoka, which is located on the way to Girnar.? It is a huge boulder housed in a small roadside building with the carving in Pali language based on Bramhi script. This stone belongs to 250 BC, which propagates the teaching and philosophies of Gautam Buddha.
The inscription of this pillar is a moral lecture of Ashoka, which teaches people to live a virtuous life, respecting others so that social harmony in the society can be achieved.? On this preserved edict, there is an inscription in Sanskrit, which was added around 150 A.D. by Rudradama. Later some other inscriptions were added in 450 A.D. by Skandagupta, the last emperor of the Mauryas.
Darbar Hall Museum
This is the best place that provides glimpses of the Nawabs era. The museum of this place is known for its exotic collection of textiles, arms, picture gallery and many other curios and artifacts, which were used by the Nawabs of Junagadh. It is the perfect place to peep into the royal world of bygone years.
This notable 18th century old architecture is known for its intricate carved columns, domes, cornices and arches. The remarkable architectural beauty of this structure is its four minarets with spiral staircase. The large domes, beautifully carved silver doors and facade rich in stone carvings are few other attractions of this grand monument.
It is among the prominent celebrations of this place, which begins on the 9th day of the month of (February) Maagha and lasts for five days. This? festivity is celebrated at the foot of Girnar Mountain. According to the legend, it is believed that it marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the 'Tandava'. It is also believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Goddess Parvati. This religious celebration attracts a number of tourists from various parts to the globe.
This religious festival starts in the month of Kartik (usually the eighth month of the year) and draws around 1 to 1.5 million people. Circling barefoot the periphery of the Girnar Hills (about 40 km) is the most auspicious and sacred ceremony of this festival.
In the first week of January the Gujarat government conducts a Girnar Climbing Competition. Anyone who climbs up 5,500 feet (1,700 m) within 2 hours gets a certificate from the Government of Gujarat and lots of prizes too.
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