From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Girnar Mount
ગિરનાર પર્વત
Revatak Parvata
Mount Girnar from Bhavnath
Highest point
Elevation1,069 m (3,507 ft)
ListingList of Indian states and territories by highest point
Coordinates21°29′41″N 70°30′20″E / 21.49472°N 70.50556°E / 21.49472; 70.50556Coordinates: 21°29′41″N 70°30′20″E / 21.49472°N 70.50556°E / 21.49472; 70.50556
Girnar Mount is located in India
Girnar Mount
Girnar Mount
Girnar Mount is located in Gujarat
Girnar Mount
Girnar Mount
Girnar Mount (Gujarat)
Mountain typeIgneous

Girnar is an ancient hill in Junagadh, Gujarat. It is one of the Holiest places (Shashwat Tirth) for Jains, where the 22nd Tirthankar, Lord Neminath attained nirvana. It is also believed to be place where next 24 tirthankars will attain nirvana in future. The mountain also an abode of some Hindu temples.


Mount Girnar is a major igneous plutonic complex which intruded into the basalts towards the close of the Deccan Trap period. The rock types identified in this complex are gabbros (tholeiitic and alkalic), diorites, lamprophyres, alkali-syenites and rhyolites. The parent gabbroic magma is shown to have given rise in sequence to diorites, lamprophyres and alkali-syenites. The rhyolite, though earlier considered a product of differentiation, is now believed to be an independent magma without any genetic link with the gabbro and its variants.[1][2]


Map of Girnar Mountain Range

Ashoka's edicts at Mount Girnar, Junagadh[edit]

Fourteen of Ashoka's Major Rock Edicts, dating to circa 250 BCE, are inscribed on a large boulder that is housed in a small building located outside the town of Junagadh on Saurashtra peninsula in the state of Gujarat, India. It is located on Girnar Taleti road, at about 2 km (1.2 mi) far from Uperkot Fort easterly, some 2 km before Girnar Taleti. An uneven rock, with a circumference of seven meters and a height of ten meters, bears inscriptions etched with an iron pen in Brahmi script in a language similar to Pali and date back to 250 BCE, thus marking the beginning of written history of Junagadh.[3]

On the same rock there are inscriptions in Sanskrit added around 150 CE by Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I, the Saka (Scythian) ruler of Malwa, a member of the Western Satraps dynasty (see Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman).[3] The edict also narrates the story of Sudarshan Lake which was built or renovated by Rudradaman I, and the heavy rain and storm due to which it had broken.[4]

Another inscription dates from about 450 CE and refers to Skandagupta, the last Gupta Empire.[4]

The protective building around the edicts was built in 1900 by Nawab Rasool Khan of Junagadh State at a cost of Rs 8,662. It was repaired and restored in 1939 and 1941 by the rulers of Junagadh. The wall of the structure had collapsed in 2014.[5]

A much smaller replica of these Girnar edicts has been positioned outside the entrance of the National Museum in Delhi.[6]

Similarly, inside the Parliament Museum at New Delhi, an exhibit replicates the act of artists sculpting inscriptions of Girnar edict on a rock.[7]

Girnar Ropeway[edit]

Girnar Ropeway

Girnar ropeway is a ropeway on Mount Girnar which is Asia's longest ropeway. First proposed in 1983, the construction started only in September 2018 due to government approval delays and litigation. The construction and operation is managed by Usha Breco Limited. The project was inaugurated on 24 October 2020 by now Prime Minister Narendra Modi.[9] It connects Girnar taleti to Ambika (Ambaji) Jain temple within 10 minutes of ropeway ride. The temple was constructed in 12th century by a Jain Minister, Vastupal.[10] The ropeway is 2,320 metres (7,600 ft) long, takes passengers 850 metres (2,800 ft) above the hill to the Ambika temple.

Jain Temples[edit]

General view of Jain temples on the Girnar Hills looking back down towards Junagadh city
Lord Neminath at Mount Girnar

Girnar was anciently called Raivatagiri or Ujjayantagiri, sacred amongst the Jains to Neminath, the 22nd Tirthankar, and a place of pilgrimage before 250 BCE.[11]

Situated on the first plateau of Mount Girnar at the height of about 3800 steps, at an altitude of 2370 ft above Junagadh, still some 600 ft below the first summit of Girnar, there are Jain temples with marvelous carvings in marble.[11][12]

The principal entrance was originally on the east side of the court, but it is now closed, and the entrance from the court in Khengar's Palace is that now used. There is a passage leading into a low dark temple, with granite pillars in lines. Opposite the entrance is a recess containing two large black images; in the back of the recess is a lion rampant, and over it a crocodile in bas-relief. Behind these figures is a room from which is a descent into a cave, with a large white marble image which is mostly concealed by priests. It has a slight hollow in the shoulder, said to be caused by water dropping from the ear, whence it was called Amijhara, "nectar drop."[13] Neminath is said to have attained Moksha from Girnar so this place is frequently noted in Jain literature.[14]

In the North porch are inscriptions which state that in Samwat 1215 certain Thakurs completed the shrine, and built the Temple of Ambika.

After leaving this there are three temples to the left that on the south side contain a colossal image of Rishabha Deva, the first Tirthankar, exactly like that at Palitana temples, called Bhim-Padam. On the throne of this image is a slab of yellow stone carved in 1442, with figures of the 24 Tirthankars.[13]

Opposite this temple is a modern one to Panchabai. West of it is a large temple called Malakavisi or Meravasi, sacred to Parshwanath, built in the 15th century.[15][better source needed] North of this is another temple of Parshwanath, which contains a large white marble image canopied by a cobra, whence it is called Sheshphani, an arrangement frequently found in the South India but uncommon in North India. It bears a date of 1803. The last temple to the north is Kumarpal's temple, built by Chaulukya king Kumarapala, which has a long open portico on the west. It appears to have been destroyed by the Muslims, and restored in 1824 by Hansraja Jetha. These temples are along the west face of the hill, and are all enclosed.[13]

Outside to the north is the Bhima Kunda, a tank 70 feet by 50 feet, in which Hindus bathe. Immediately behind the temple of Neminath is the triple one temple, Vastupala-Tejpala temple, erected by the brothers Tejapala and Vastupala (built in 1177), who also built the Dilwara Temples on Mount Abu. The plan is that of three temples joined together. The shrine has a blue black image of Mallinath, the 19th Tirthankar. Farther north is the temple of Samprati Raja, This temple is probably one of the oldest on the hill, dating to 1158. Samprati is said to have ruled at Ujjain in the end of the third century BCE, and to have been the son of Kunala, Ashoka's third son.[13]


Outside to the north of the Kumarapala's temple, there is the Bhima Kunda, a tank measuring 70 feet by 50 feet. Below it and on the verge of the cliff is a smaller tank of water and near it a small canopy supported by three roughly hewn pillars and a piece of rock containing a short octagonal stone called Hathi pagla or Gajapada, the elephant foot, a stratum on the top of which is of light granite and the rest of dark the lower part is immersed in water most of the year.[16]

As per historical records, Sajjana, the minister of Chaulukya king Siddharaja Jayasimha, built the Neminatha temple using the state treasury. When he collected the funds to return as a compensation, the king declined to accept it so the funds were used to built the temple.[17]

Sahastraphana (thousand hooded) Parshwanatha, the image which was consecrated in 1803 CE (VS 1459) by Vijayajinendra Suri, is currently the central deity in the temple. The temple originally housed the golden image of Mahavira and brass images of Shantinatha and Parshwanatha on its sides.[18]

The east facing temple has 52 small shrines surrounding the central temple. It has an open portico with ceilings with fine carvings. In the bhamti or cloisters surrounding the court, there are also some remarkable designs in carved ceilings. The roof of the rangamandapa has fine carvings. The shrine proper must have been removed and replaced with new one at the end of the sixteenth century or the start of the seventeenth century. It is known that Karmachandra Bachchhavat, minister of the king of Bikaner, had sent a funds to renovate temple in Shatrunjaya and Girnar under Jinachandrasuri IV of Kharatara Gaccha during the reign of Akbar. There is a shrine housing replica of Ashtapada hill in the south, shrine with Shatrunjayavatar in west, behind the main temple, and Samet Shikhar (or Nandishwar Dwipa) in north.[19][20]

Girnar's Initial trek[edit]

Bhavnath Mahadev Temple at Bhavnath

The base of the mountain, known as Girnar Taleti, is about 4 km east of the center of Junagadh. There are temples and other sacred places all along this stretch.[21]

The traveller, in order to reach Girnar Taleti from Junagadh city, will pass through the Wagheshwari or Vagheshwari Gate [Girnar Darwaza], which is close to the Uparkot fort area, Easterly.

At about 200 metres from the gate, to the right of the road, is the Temple of Wagheshwari (Upale Vagheshwari maa), which is joined to the road by a causeway about 150 yards long. An ancient Verai Mata mandir and a modern Gayatri Shakti Peeth mandir are nearby.

About a furlong beyond this is a stone bridge, and just beyond it on the right are the Ashoka's Major Rock Edicts.[13] The edicts are inscribed high up on a large, domed mass of black granite measuring roughly 20 feet x 30 feet. The inscription is in Brahmi script.[3] On the same rock can be found an inscription of the Western Satrap ruler Rudradaman, the Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman.

On leaving Ashoka's edicts, the route crosses the handsome bridge over the Sona-rekha, which here forms a fine sheet of water over golden sand, then passes a number of temples, at first on the left bank of the river and then on the right, to the largest of the temples. This is dedicated to Damodar, a name of Krishna, from Dam, a rope, because by tradition his mother in vain attempted to confine him with a rope when a child. The reservoir, Damodar Kund, at this place is accounted very sacred.[13]

Next is an old shrine of Bhavnath, a form of Shiva, close to Girnar Taleti; Mrigi kund and Sudharshan lake are nearby.

Most persons who are not active climbers will probably proceed up the mountain in a swing doli from Taleti. A long ridge runs up from the west, and culminates in a rugged scarped rock, on the top of which are the temples. Close to the old shrine is a well called the Chadani vav.[13]

The paved way begins just beyond this and continues for two-thirds of the ascent. The first resthouse, Chadia Parab, is reached, 480 feet, above the plain; and the second halting-place at Dholi-deri, 1000 feet above the plain. From here the ascent becomes more difficult, winding under the face of the precipice to the third resthouse, 1400 feet up. The path turns to the right along the edge of a precipice, which is very narrow, so that the doli almost grazes the scarp, which rises perpendicularly 200 feet above the traveller. On the right is seen the lofty mountain of Datar, covered with low jungle. At about 1500 feet there is a stone dharmsala, and from this there is a fine view of the rock called the Bhairav-Thampa, "the terrific leap," because devotees used to cast themselves from its top, falling 1000 feet or more.[13]

At 2370 feet above Junagadh the gate of the enclosure known as the Deva Kota, or Ra Khengar's Palace, is reached.[13]

Ambaji Temple[edit]

Gorakhnath (Gorakshanath) temple of Girnar, and in background Neminatha Temple

South of this, is the Gaumukhi Shrine, near a plentiful spring of water.[13]

From it the crest of the mountain (3330 feet) is reached by a steep flight of stairs. Here is an ancient temple of Amba Mata, which is much resorted to by newly married couples . The bride and bridegroom have their clothes tied together, and attended by their male and female relations, adore the goddess and present cocoa-nuts and other offerings. This pilgrimage is supposed to procure for the couple along continuance of wedded bliss.[13] After the shikhar of Ambaji temple there are another three shikhar on girnar hills there is a shikar (peak) of Guru Gorakhnath. Shikar of Guru Dattatreya and Shikhar of Mahakali pilgrims are useully take some rest at Ambaji temple and after start their journey to Gorakhnath temple. after Gorakhnath temple they go to Dattatrey temple

Guru Dattatrey Temple[edit]

Devotee has to climb down around 850 steps from Gorakhnath Shikhar and climb 700 steps on left side entrance to reach Dattatry peak, it comes at 9,999 steps and 3295 feet at height. after the Dattatrey temple there is no steps for Kalika Shikahr anyone can go by a rough mountain treak to reach that temple.


The main event for Hindus is the Maha Shivaratri fair held every year on the 14th day of the Hindu calendar month of Magha. At least 1 million pilgrims visit the fair to participate in pooja and parikrama of Girnar hill. The procession begins at Bhavnath Mahadev Temple at Bhavnath. It then proceeds onwards to various akharas of various sects of sadhus, which are in Girnar hill from ancient times. The procession of sadhus and pilgrims ends again at Bhavnath temple after visiting Madhi, Malavela and Bara Devi temple. The fair begins with hoisting of fifty-two Gaja long flags at Bhavnath Mahadev temple. This fair is the backbone of the economy of Junagadh, as more than ten lakh pilgrims who visit the fair generate a revenue of 250 million in only five days.[22][23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ R. N. Sukheswala (January 1982). "Igneous Complex of Mount Girnar, Saurashtra, Gujarat - A Reappraisal". Journal of the Geological Society of India. 23 (1).
  2. ^ Mihir K. Bose (January 1973). "Petrology and geochemistry of the igneous complex of Mount Girnar, Gujarat, India". Bose, M.K. Contr. Mineral. And Petrol. (1973) 39: 247. 39 (3): 247–266. Bibcode:1973CoMP...39..247B. doi:10.1007/BF00383107. ISSN 0010-7999. S2CID 129626191.
  3. ^ a b c Keay, John (2000). India, a History. New York, United States: Harper Collins Publishers. pp. 129–131. ISBN 978-0-00-638784-8.
  4. ^ a b "Structure Covering Ashoka's Edicts Collapses in Gujarat". Outlook India. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Roof over Ashoka rock edicts in Junagadh crashes". The Times of India. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2016.
  6. ^ Pioneer, The. "Heritage building caves in but Ashoka's edicts as steady as rock". The Pioneer. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Parliament Museum, New Delhi, India - Official website - Rock Edicts". Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  8. ^ Inscriptions of Asoka. New Edition by E. Hultzsch (in Sanskrit). 1925. p. 3.
  9. ^ "PM Narendra Modi inaugurates Girnar ropeway in Gujarat". @businessline. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Murray 1911, p. 155-157.
  12. ^ Burgess 1876, p. 166.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Murray, John (1911). "A handbook for travellers in India, Burma, and Ceylon". Internet Archive. pp. 155–157. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  14. ^ M A Dhaky, Jitendra B Shah, સાહિત્ય શિલ્પ અને સ્થાપત્યમાં ગીરનાર, L D Indology, 2010
  15. ^ "ગિરનાર ઇતિહાસ | Rahasya". Retrieved 20 March 2021.
  16. ^ Burgess 1876, p. 169.
  17. ^ Dhaky 2010, p. 134.
  18. ^ Dhaky 2010, pp. 134–135.
  19. ^ Burgess 1876, p. 168.
  20. ^ Dhaky 2010, p. 135-137.
  21. ^ "Mt. Girnar, Pilgrimage Centre, Junagadh, Tourism Hubs, Gujarat, India". Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  22. ^ "બાવન ગજની ધ્વજાનાં આરોહણ સાથે આજથી મહાશિવરાત્રિ મેળો Shivaratri fair begins today with hoisting of 52 gaja dwaja". Sandesh. 16 February 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "ગિરનાર ઃ લીલી પરિક્રમા ઃ પરકમ્મા Girnar - Lili Parikrama". Gujarat Samachar. 4 August 2012. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  24. ^ "જૂનાગઢની આર્થિક કરોડરજજુ શિવરાત્રિનો મેળો : પાંચ દિવસમાં રૂ.રપ કરોડનો લાભ Junagadh's economic backbone - Girnar Shivaratri fair - generates income of 25 crores in five days". Sandesh. 18 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
Edicts of Ashoka
(Ruled 269–232 BCE)
Regnal years
of Ashoka
Type of Edict
(and location of the inscriptions)
Geographical location
Year 8 End of the Kalinga war and conversion to the "Dharma"
Year 10[1] Minor Rock Edicts Related events:
Visit to the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya
Construction of the Mahabodhi Temple and Diamond throne in Bodh Gaya
Predication throughout India.
Dissenssions in the Sangha
Third Buddhist Council
In Indian language: Sohgaura inscription
Erection of the Pillars of Ashoka
Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription
(in Greek and Aramaic, Kandahar)
Minor Rock Edicts in Aramaic:
Laghman Inscription, Taxila inscription
Year 11 and later Minor Rock Edicts (n°1, n°2 and n°3)
(Panguraria, Maski, Palkigundu and Gavimath, Bahapur/Srinivaspuri, Bairat, Ahraura, Gujarra, Sasaram, Rajula Mandagiri, Yerragudi, Udegolam, Nittur, Brahmagiri, Siddapur, Jatinga-Rameshwara)
Year 12 and later[1] Barabar Caves inscriptions Major Rock Edicts
Minor Pillar Edicts Major Rock Edicts in Greek: Edicts n°12-13 (Kandahar)

Major Rock Edicts in Indian language:
Edicts No.1 ~ No.14
(in Kharoshthi script: Shahbazgarhi, Mansehra Edicts
(in Brahmi script: Kalsi, Girnar, Sopara, Sannati, Yerragudi, Delhi Edicts)
Major Rock Edicts 1-10, 14, Separate Edicts 1&2:
(Dhauli, Jaugada)
Schism Edict, Queen's Edict
(Sarnath Sanchi Allahabad)
Lumbini inscription, Nigali Sagar inscription
Year 26, 27
and later[1]
Major Pillar Edicts
In Indian language:
Major Pillar Edicts No.1 ~ No.7
(Allahabad pillar Delhi pillar Topra Kalan Rampurva Lauria Nandangarh Lauriya-Araraj Amaravati)

Derived inscriptions in Aramaic, on rock:
Kandahar, Edict No.7[2][3] and Pul-i-Darunteh, Edict No.5 or No.7[4]

  1. ^ a b c Yailenko,Les maximes delphiques d'Aï Khanoum et la formation de la doctrine du dhamma d'Asoka, 1990, p. 243.
  2. ^ Inscriptions of Asoka de D.C. Sircar p. 30
  3. ^ Handbuch der Orientalistik de Kurt A. Behrendt p. 39
  4. ^ Handbuch der Orientalistik de Kurt A. Behrendt p. 39