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Things To Do In Junagadh
Junagadh is an amazing place that offers numerous things for visitors. It is popularly known as the hidden gem of Gujarat and you will realize its beauty and magnificence only when you visit this place. Famously known as the princely state, the city is situated at a distance of 350 km from the capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar. It has a rich past with Nawabs who rule the city for many years. They belonged to the Pashtun clan in Afghanistan. The architectural constructions in the city reveal its multi-cultural history. Let’s quickly go through some of the best things that you can do here.
Trekking at Girnar Hills
Girnar Hills is popular for its lower temperatures. It's a collection of five peaks and is one of the most visited tourist spots in Junagadh. The highest point is the Gorakhnath which is at a height of about 3560 ft. The hills are considered sacred by Jains and Hindus as they have temples which date back to the 12th Century. During the winters, millions of devotees gather at the Girnar to celebrate the famous fair Gir Parikrama during Kartika Purnima. The festival is attended by Naga sadhus and pilgrims from across the country. The view from the top is just sublime. You have to trek all the way to reach the topmost point which is quite adventurous. So don’t miss visiting this place.
Adventurous Safari at Gir National Park
Gir National Park enjoys the privilege of being the only home to majestic Asiatic Lions. The park is also home to numerous species of animals and birds that give an amazing sight to visitors. The best thing is to look straight into the eyes of the big cats, Lions. The adrenaline rush in your body when you sight these animals, which are the top of nature’s food chain, is simply incredible. The park is located at a distance of 75 km from Junagadh city and will take about 2.5 hours. You will have to dedicate one full day for the safari, but it’s worth your time.
Visit the Glorious Mahabat Maqbara
Along a busy road in the center of the city in Junagadh lies the crown of the town, Mahabat Maqbara. It’s the country’s least-known, yet most jaw-dropping architectural wonder. A perplexing mix of Indo-Islamic, Gothic, and European ornamentation, the Mahabat Maqbara complex continues to remain one of nation’s best-kept secrets. The mausoleum of Bahaduddinbhai Hasainbhai, the chief noble in Nawab’s court is a stunning structure. The construction on the yellow-walled complex was ordered by Mahabat Khan II of Junagadh in 1878 and was completed in 1892 by his successor, Bahadur Khanji. Irrespective of the non-stop political turmoil between 1892 and 1947, Mahabat Maqbara still stands tall silently, amusing visitors by its magnificence.
Explore the Historic Uperkot Fort
Towards the eastern side of the city lies the historic, Uperkot Fort. It is said that this exalted fort was constructed by Chandragupta Maurya in the year 319 BC. There are 3 gates to enter the fort which are brilliantly connected to the walls that reach 70 feet in height. This iconic fort has some nice structure within its premises which include a mosque, a tomb, a few Buddhist caves, and step wells. The fort has witnessed many political changes in several centuries and was attacked multiple times. Therefore, it was built and rebuilt several times. However, it still remains as one of the most attractive spots for tourists.
Take a Holy Bath in Damodar Kund
According to Hindu mythology, Damodar Kund is a sacred lake located at the foothills of Girnar mountains. The length of this holy kund is 78 m and it is 15 m wide. People from all across India visit Damodar Kund to perform the last rituals of the departed souls. Bones and ashes of the deceased are submerged in the lake for salvation and peace. At this venue, you can also find temples of Radha, Damodar, Vageshwari, and Baladeva. These temples were constructed by one of the Suryavanshi rulers, Chandraketpur. Overall, this is a peaceful place and many people take a holy Bath when trekking the Girnar Hills.
Walk in the Gardens of Moti Baug
The Moti Baug garden is located in the heart of the city. As the name suggests, it is the Moti (diamond) of the city. You can roam freely in this huge garden which is spread across 2400 hectares of land for free. Out of which, about 750 hectares are dedicated to the Agricultural University of Junagadh and Botanical Garden. There are many species of trees and plants some of which are considered rare. It is a joyful and peaceful sight to witness greenery in such a huge space.
Admire Jami Masjid's Architecture
Jami Masjid is situated on the Mahatma Gandhi road and is famous for its 140 pillars supporting the dome of this memorial. It is believed that the pillars were acquired from the Chudasana palace. These marvelous Makbaras (tomb) were constructed in the 19th century for the Muslim kings. All tombs are beautifully constructed but the one that stands out is the Mahabat Makbara which we discussed above. A rare and exalted architecture not to be missed on your visit to Junagadh.