Gate of the city of Junagadh
|• Body||Junagadh Municipal Corporation|
|• Mayor||Jitendrabhai Hirpara|
|• Municipal Commissioner||B. K. Thacker|
|• Member of Legislative Assembly||Mahendra Mashru|
|• Member of Parliament||Rajesh Chudasama|
|• Total||160 km2 (60 sq mi)|
|Elevation||107 m (351 ft)|
|• Density||3,900/km2 (10,000/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Language||Gujarati, Hindi, English|
|Civic agency||Junagadh Municipal Corporation|
Junagadh pronunciation (help·info) (Gujarati: જુનાગઢ) is the headquarters of Junagadh district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city is the 7th largest in Gujarat, in western India, located at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 km south west of state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. Literally translated, Junagadh means "Old Fort". An alternate etymology gives the name as coming from "Yonagadh", literally "City of the Yona (Greeks)," referring to the ancient inhabitants of the city under the Indo-Greek Kingdom. It is also known as "Sorath", the name of the earlier Princely State of Junagadh. After a brief struggle between India and Pakistan Junagadh joined India on 9 November 1947. It was a part of Saurashtra state and later Bombay state. In 1960, after the Maha Gujarat movement, it became part of newly formed Gujarat state.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Economy
- 4 Civic administration
- 5 Politics
- 6 Transport
- 7 Utility services
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Culture
- 10 Media
- 11 Education
- 12 Sports
- 13 Places of interest
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
An impressive fort, Uperkot, located on a plateau in the middle of town, was originally built during the Mauryan dynasty by Chandragupta in 319 BCE The fort remained in use until the 6th century, when it was abandoned for some 300 years, then rediscovered in 976 CE. The fort was besieged 16 times over an 800-year period. One unsuccessful siege lasted twelve years.
There is an inscription with fourteen Edicts of Ashoka on a large boulder within 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) of Uperkot Fort. The inscriptions carry Brahmi script in a language similar to Pali and date back to 250 BCE. 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 Kshatrapas dynasty. Another inscription dates from about 450 CE and refers to Skandagupta, the last Gupta emperor. Old rock-cut Buddhist "caves" in this area, dating from well before 500 CE, have stone carvings and floral work. There are also the Khapra Kodia Caves north of the fort, and the Babupyana Caves south of the fort.
The Maitraka dynasty ruled Gujarat from 475 to 767 CE. The founder of the dynasty, General Bhatarka, military governor of Saurashtra peninsula under the Gupta empire, established himself as the independent ruler of Gujarat around the last quarter of the 5th century. However, James Tod states Maitraka rule ended as early as 524 CE.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, the Solanki dynasty ruled Gujarat. The two large step wells (vavs) at Uperkot Fort were both commissioned by Rah Navghan I (1025-1044 CE). Muslims conquered Gujarat in 1299 and the Sultanate of Gujarat was founded in 1407. Mahmud Begada (Mahmud Shah I) invaded Junagadh in 1467. The city was annexed to the Gujarat Sultanate; the city foundation was laid for Mahmudabad in 1497. Strong embankments were raised along the river, and the city was adorned with a palace, handsome buildings and extensive gardens. When the Portuguese took over the ports of Diu and Daman in the 16th century, a fifteen-foot cannon, made in Egypt in 1531, was abandoned at Uperkot Fort by a Turkish admiral opposing the Portuguese forces at Diu.
The Chudasama are a Rajput clan found in Gujarat. The Anthropological Survey of India, which relies heavily on sources compiled during the period of the British Raj, notes that they are "an offshoot of the Samma tribe, who entered India during the seventh or eighth century and are found in Kachchh, Junagadh and Jamnagar districts." They claim to be originally of the Yadu clan or Yadava from Sindh . Harald Tambs-Lyche believes that there is evidence, based on myths, that a Chudasama kingdom existed at Junagadh in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. The dynasty is traditionally said to have been founded in 875 CE and around 1030 received assistance from members of the Ahir community in order to restore its power following a conquest of the kingdom by the king of Gujarat. The Chudasamas are sometimes referred to as the Ahirani Ranis, and Tambs-Lyche says that, "The structure of the Chudasama state , seems to have been an alliance between a small royal clan later to be classified as Rajputs and the Ahir tribe."According to the historical past also an Ahir sepoy of Chudasama rulers Devayat Bodar whose wife saved the Chudasama descendant from Bhimdev solanki , sacrificing her off spring like Panna Dhai , that's why today also Chudasama are known as Bhanja (Nephews) of Ahirs . The last of these kings was Mandlik Chudasama then Mahmud Begarha, who also annexed the state . Begarha had attacked the Chudasama kingdom, which was known as Girnar, on several previous occasions.
The Chudasama Rajputs ruled Junagadh longer than any others. The notable rulers include Chandra Chuda, 875-907; Rah’ Grahripu, 940-982; Solanki Rajput, 1010-1025; Ra Navghan, 1025-1044; Rah’ Khengar, 1044-1067
Nawab of Junagarh rule
Mohammad Sher khan Babi, who owed allegiance to the Mughal governor of Gujarat subah, founded the state of Junagadh and declaring independence in 1730 after Marathas Gaikwad invasion. Muhammad Sher khan Babi, was the founder of the Babi Dynasty of Junagadh State dynasty. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagadh, conquered large territories in southern Saurashtra and ruled over the state for the next two centuries, first as tributaries of Marathas, and later under the suzerainty of the British. The Nawabs of Junagadh belonged to the yusufzai clan of pashtuns from Afghanistan. They were granted a 13 gun salute by the British authorities:
- 1730 - 1758 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji or Mohammad sher khan Babi
- 1758 - 1774 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I
- 1774 - 1811 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji I
- 1811 - 1840 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji II
- 1840 - 1851 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji II
- 1851 - 1882 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji II
- 1882 - 1892 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji III
- 1892 - 1911 : Mohammad Rasul Khanji
- 1911 - 1948 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III
Junagadh State was founded in 1730. In 1807 it became a British protectorate. The East India Company took control of the state by 1818, but the Saurashtra area never came under the direct administration of British India. Instead, the British divided the territory into more than one hundred princely states, which remained in existence until 1947. The present old town, developed during the 19th and 20th centuries, is one of the former princely states which were outside but under the suzerainty of British India.
The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple in Junagadh was constructed on land presented by Jinabhai (Hemantsingh) Darbar of Panchala, and dedicated on Friday, 1 May 1828 A.D. Swaminarayan appointed Gunatitanand Swami as the first mahant (religious and administrative head of temple), who served in this role and preached there for over 40 years.
Accession to India
During the period spanning the independence and partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the 562 princely states that had existed outside British India under British suzerainty were given a choice of acceding to either India or Pakistan or remaining outside them. Although the states were theoretically free to choose, Earl Mountbatten stated that "geographic compulsions" meant that most of them would choose India. Mountbatten took the position that only states that shared a common border with Pakistan should choose to accede to it, but he had no power to impose this point of view on the states.
- 15 Aug 1947 Accedes to Pakistan.
- 15 Sep 1947 Accession to Pakistan accepted.
- 9 Nov 1947 Occupied by India.
- 10 Nov 1947 Rescinds accession to Pakistan, accedes to India
- 24 Feb 1948 Referendum approves accession to India.
- 25 Feb 1948 Accession to India in effect.
On September 15, 1947, Nawab Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III of Junagadh, a princely state located on the south-western end of Gujarat and having no common border with Pakistan, chose to accede to Pakistan ignoring Mountbatten's views, arguing that Junagadh could access Pakistan by sea. The rulers of two states that were subject to the suzerainty of Junagadh — Mangrol and Babariawad — reacted by declaring their independence from Junagadh and acceding to India. In response, the nawab of Junagadh militarily occupied the two states. Rulers of the other neighbouring states reacted angrily, sending troops to the Junagadh frontier, and appealed to the Government of India for assistance. A group of Junagadhi people, led by Samaldas Gandhi, formed a government-in-exile, the Aarzi Hukumat ("temporary government").
India asserted that Junagadh was not contiguous to Pakistan and believed that if Junagadh was permitted to accede to Pakistan, communal tension already simmering in Gujarat would worsen, and refused to accept the Nawab's choice of accession. The government pointed out that the state was 96% Hindu, and called for a plebiscite to decide the question of accession. India cut off supplies of fuel and coal to Junagadh, severed air and postal links, sent troops to the frontier, and occupied the principalities of Mangrol and Babariawad that had acceded to India.
Pakistan agreed to discuss a plebiscite, subject to the withdrawal of Indian troops, a condition India rejected. On 26 October, the Nawab and his family fled to Pakistan following clashes with Indian troops.
On 7 November, Junagadh's court, facing collapse, invited the Government of India to take over the State's administration. The Dewan of Junagadh, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, the father of the more famous Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, decided to invite the Government of India to intervene and wrote a letter to Mr. Buch, the Regional Commissioner of Saurashtra in the Government of India to this effect.
The government of India rejected the protests of Pakistan and accepted the invitation of the Dewan to intervene. A plebiscite was conducted in February 1948, but it was not internationally monitored and Pakistan claims was not based on the plebiscite but on the logic of Kashmir Annexation, which went almost unanimously in favour of accession to India. Junagadh became a part of the Indian state of Saurashtra until 1 November 1956, when Saurashtra became part of Bombay state. In 1960, Bombay state was split into the linguistic states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, in which Junagadh was located.
The family of Vali ahad shehzada Shri Sherzaman Khanji rasul Khanji Babi bahadur who was the elder brother of last ruling Nawab sahab shri Muhammad mahabat Khanji III Babi bahadur still lives in India. sherzaman khanji's elder daughter bima shri Lal bakhte saeba's family presently lives in ahmedabad and head of the family is Darbar sahab shrine Shamsher Ali Khanji Babi bahadur of devgam its self an offshoot of Junagadh state and his representative is his eldest nephew Sahibzada Muzammil Hayat Khanji Babi.
Time periods of various rulers
|Various Rulers||Time Period|
|Maurya Dynasty ruled over Junagadh||in 319 BC|
|Kalinga Dynasty ruled over Junagadh||in 185 BC|
|Greek ruled over Junagadh||in 73-70 BC|
|Shaka (Scythians) ruled over Junagadh||100-275 AD|
|Kshatrapa ruled over Junagadh||276-455 AD|
|Gupta ruled over Junagadh||456-770 AD|
|The Chinese Traveller Hu-en-Tsang had visited Junagadh||640 AD|
|Chudasama ruled over Junagadh||875-1472 AD|
|Muslim Rulers Mohammed Begada, Khalil Khan||1472-1572 AD|
|Mughals ruled over Junagadh||1573-1730 AD|
|Nawabs of Junagadh Khanji (Baloch) ruled over||1730-1949 AD|
Junagadh is located at. It has an average elevation of 107 metres (351 ft).
Junagadh is situated at the foot of Mount Girnar. Junagadh has Arabian sea to its southwest, Porbandar to its north and Amreli to its east. Junagadh city is divided into number of areas Main city is clustered around M.G. Road and Kalwa Chowk. Other areas are Gandhigram, Zanzarda Road, Talaw Darwaza, Bus-stand, Sakkar Baug, Timbawadi, Joshipara and Girnar Taleti. These areas comes under the administration of Junagadh Municipal Corporation.
Junagadh city has two rivers namesd Sonrakh and Kalwo. However Kalwo is facing major pollution problem because city sewers. Junagadh city has many lakes named Narsinh Mehta Sarovar, Damodarji, Sudarshan Lake etc. There are man made dams around Junagadh named Willingdon dam, Hasnapur Dam, Anandpur Weir. These are the main water sources for the city. Apart from that ground water supply is very widely available in the city so wells are scattered all across the city.
Junagadh city has pretty much similar soil as whole Junagadh district. It is Deep- Medium black coastal alluvium. It is because proximity of sea and long shore line and also because of the Girnar mountain ridge. Because of many fault lines in proximity Junagadh is in seismically active zone. Junagadh lies in Seismic Zone III region which means earthquake up to magnitude 6.5 on the Richter-scale may be expected.
Junagadh has a tropical wet and dry climate, with three distinct seasons observed, a mild winter from November to February, a hot summer from March to June, and a monsoon from July to October. The Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Cambay are also influential factors affecting the climate and weather of Junagadh. Junagadh faces adverse climatic conditions in the summer months with the temperature ranging from 28° Celsius to 38° Celsius. In the winter months, the temperature ranges from 10° Celsius to 25° Celsius. The city is drained by the south-west monsoon from June to September. It records a rainfall of 1000 to 1200 mm annually. Various factors such as its close proximity to the sea influence the weather of Junagadh. The latent winds from the sea affect the climatic conditions in the region. Highest rainfall in a calendar year was recorded back in 1983 and it was 2800 mm.
|Climate data for Junagadh|
|Average high °C (°F)||27.2
|Average low °C (°F)||13.1
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||0
Annual average of weather parameter during 2008
|Total rainfall (rainy days)||1690.7 mm (71)|
|Maximum temperature||44.5 'C (21/05/2010)|
|Minimum temperature||7.4 'C (11/12/2010)|
|Wind speed (km/hrs)||5.6 kmph|
|Evaporation (mm)||5.5 mm|
|Bright sunshine (hrs)||6.8 hr/day|
|Onset of monsoon||3 June 2008|
|Withdrawal of monsoon||13 September 2008|
Due to its mountainous region and forest reserves, Junagadh lacks major industries or plants. However main earning sectors for Junagadh are mineral-based cement industry, agriculture-based industry and power sector. Presence of huge reserves of Limestone makes the cement industry a thriving industrial sector. Major crops produced in the district are wheat, oil seeds, cotton, mango, banana, onion and brinjal. Total production of oilseeds in Junagadh in 2006-07 was 4,64,400 MT which was the highest in the state. Junagadh is the largest producer of Groundnut and Garlic in the State contributing 26% and 34% to total production respectively. Junagadh has Asia's largest Ground nut research laboratory. Mango and onions are produced in large quantities in the district.
Some of the large scale industry present in Junagadh are Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt Ltd (Popularly known as Junagadh Dairy in the region), Agro Marine Exports, Creative Castings Ltd., Austin Engineering. With an investment of INR 4,000 crore (USD 975.6million), JSW Power Co. propose to set up coal-based power plant at Simar in Junagadh. The economy of Junagadh is mainly based on agriculture. With the new Government policy of biotechnology, Junagadh has been identified as one of the agriculture biotechnology zone. This will boost setting up of agro-biotech industries in the district.
Junagadh boasts of some of the best tourist destinations in the state so tourism is considered to be a progressing sector. The State Government has sanctioned the project for development of Circuit Tourism project at Junagadh.
Junagadh is developing along National highway 8D rapidly in the North. It is mainly industrial development. In the west development is mainly residential in Timbawadi area. In the South due to limestone mines and in the East due to Girnar forest reserve the development is limited. Junagadh is administered by Junagadh Municipal Corporation. JMC is mainly responsible for the infrastructure and civic needs for the city. The Mayor is usually chosen through indirect election by the elected corporators for the term of two and a half years.
The Municipal Commissioner is the chief Executive Officer and head of the executive arm of the Municipal Corporation. All executive powers are vested in the Municipal Commissioner who is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer appointed by the state government. Although the Municipal Corporation is the legislative body that lays down policies for the governance of the city, it is the Commissioner who is responsible for the execution of the policies. The Commissioner is appointed for a fixed term as defined by state statute. The powers of the Commissioner are those provided by statute and those delegated by the Corporation or the Standing Committee.
The Collectors are in charge of property records and revenue collection for the Central Government, and oversee the national elections held in the city.
Junagadh city police is headed by S.P., who is an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and comes under the DIG of Police Junagadh range, who is also an IPS officer. Part of the State Home Ministry, the Junagadh police is divided into A, B and C divisions. A and B are headed by an inspector and C by a sub inspector. The Junagadh Fire department is headed by an officer cadre.
Junagadh is the seat for District Court of Junagadh, which exercises jurisdiction over Junagadh district.
Politics of Junagadh city has always been closely contested between Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party. Other national parties with limited activities are Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Party of India, Nationalist Congress Party. Other state parties active in Junagadh is Mahagujarat Janta Party, Samata Party, Republic Party of India. Junagadh has 194,196 registered voters including 100,050 Male and 94,146 Female.
Junagadh has one state assembly constituencies. BJP has always been a strong party in this arena. BJP won this seat in 2007 election. Total number of voters participated were 118,888. BJP got 52.36% of votes and nearest competitor was INC with 26.32%. Election for the state assembly is held every 5 years.
Junagadh Municipal Corporation has 17 wards and total of 51 seats. In 2009 elections INC won on 26 seats, BJP won 21 seats, BSP won 3 seats and 1 went to Independent out of 51. Majority went to INC although all in all BJP got more votes which were 134,739 votes which were 45.62% of total, on the other end INC got 120,533 which were 40.81% of total. The Mayor, Deputy Mayor has terms of 2 and a half years.
Junagadh district has one seat for Parliament and it 7 has segments meaning 7 assembly constituencies under it. Till 80's it was INC stronghold but after that BJP has been on top. Currently it is hold by BJP. National elections held every 5 years.
Public Transport in Junagadh is limited to City Bus and Auto rickshaws. As the old city area is very congested, city bus service is not available in some old city areas. However the city is not that big in area. City bus service is operated by a partnership mode between Municipal Corporation and a private firm. Taxi service is very limited but taxis are available in numbers though mostly for intercity journeys. Junagadh is well connected by Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation buses with most cities in Gujarat.
Junagadh is connected to Rajkot and Ahemadabad by National Highway NH8D which also connects Junagadh to Veraval and Somnath. Junagadh city Bypass on NH8D obviates the need for through vehicles to enter the city. In the south, Junagadh is connected to Bilkha and Sasan Gir Lion Sanctuary. Kalwo river runs through Junagadh; Ferguson bridge is built over it to connect the two parts of the city. A bridge is also constructed on river Sonrakh in the northern outskirts of the city. Mount Girnar is connected with Junagadh by road. Rickshaws are generally preferred as mode of transportation.
Junagadh comes under Western Railway zone of Indian Railways. Junagadh is connected with Rajkot, Ahmedabad and Veraval by railway lines. Many long distance trains connect Junagadh to other cities in India.
Junagadh city does not have an airport due to mountainous terrain. Keshod Airport, 40 km. southwest of Junagadh, used to have a scheduled daily flight from Mumbai though no scheduled services operate from it currently. Other nearest airports are Rajkot Airport 99 km and Porbandar 113 km.
Junagadh has a Heliport at Zafar Maidan in Gandhigram area opposite Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Private Limited manufactuuring plant. Regular flights were made in past for helicopter service provided on mount Girnar. Otherwise it is used for visiting V.I.P.
Junagadh district has a long shore line of 192 km in total. But Junagadh city is not on the shore line. The nearest sea port is Veraval and it is mainly used for commercial product exports and imports. Passenger ferries are very limited.
Junagadh city has population of 320,250 and present water demand is 30 mld (million litres per day). Water is supplied through 25,000 tap connections by three major surface water sources namely Aanandpur Weir, Hasanapur dam and Wellingdon dam and 32 nos. of wells. Junagadh city has more than 1000 nos. of Hand pumps and 200 nos. of stand posts as Ground Water Sources situated all over city area. Junagadh city area limit were extended in January 2004 increasing its area from 13.47 km2. to 57 km2. Eight Nos. for Grampanchayats and One Municipality was merged in Junagadh city limit. Newly Merge area has its individual ground water supply system through bore wells.
Daily generation of solid waste in city approximately 150 tonnes. Thus the total waste is within the range of 400 gm per capita per day of domestic waste. The above solid waste is being collected by deploying 400 wheel barrows (six containers) as per the guidelines of Hon'ble supreme court by MSW rule 2000. JMC has set up 800 community bins for solid waste collection. It covers 90% of city area. Junagadh city's drainage system is 62 km long but it covers only 67% of total area and 60% of total population.
Electricity is provided and distributed by P.G.V.C.L. which is a state run company. Telecom service is available in the city. It is provided mainly by B.S.N.L., while other service providers include Reliance and Tata. Cell phone coverage is extensive and main service providers are Vodafone, B.S.N.L., Airtel, Idea and Tata Docomo. B.S.N.L. also provides broadband service.
City has a good network of street lights. There are total 12,545 Tube Lights and 1523 Central sodium lighting. Solar light project is also approved for the Narsinh Mehta Sarovar.
As of the[update] 2011 census, Junagadh municipality had a population of 320,250. The municipality had a sex ratio of 952 females per 1,000 males and 8.5% of the population were under six years old. Effective literacy was 88.63%; male literacy was 93.23% and female literacy was 83.83%.
Junagadh became the seventh largest Municipal Corporation of Gujarat state in 2003 and the corporation jurisdiction was enlarged in 2004 by including adjacent areas.
People of Junagadh are also called Kathiyawadi in other parts of Gujarat as Junagadh is part of the Kathiyawad region which is also called Saurastra. Gujarati is the official language as Junagadh is part of Gujarat. Hindi, English and Sindhi are also spoken by some specific groups. Gujarati is spoken here in form of Sorathi Kathiyawadi dialect. Kathiyawadi dialect is Gujarati only but with some different words.
Junagadh has relatively low to medium housing and land costs in comparison to cities like Rajkot. The city is rapidly expanding and available land inside the limits of Municipal Corporation are now limited. Total area under slums is 19.5 km2 (14.5% of total municipal area) and total slum population accounts for around 25% of total population.
Number of migrants from other states in Junagadh city is limited around as industrial growth is limited. However migration from other districts in Junagadh and around the city is large as agriculture field is much developed. Total migrants are around 2.5% of total population. Tibetan migrants are notable among the migrants. Nepali community is also present in numbers. They are mainly Nepali Gurkha.
The religions represented in Junagadh includes Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Christians, Buddhists. Among these Hindus are majority and Muslims are the largest minority group. Jains and Christians are also in considerable numbers. Sikhs and Parsis are very few in numbers. There are Tibetan migrants who practice Buddhism. Main linguistic group is Gujarati. Other groups are Hindi, Sindhi. Small community of African origins known as siddis are also resides in and around Gir Sanctuary but some of them migrated to Junagadh city. There are around 8816 Siddi in the state and 65% of them resides in Junagadh. Swaminarayan Faith is also widely followed in the city. There are two Swaminarayan temples in the city: the older temple is managed by the Vadtal diocese and the newer temple is managed by Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Culture of Junagadh has a blend of festivals, food and religions. The city is famous for its type of food known as Kathiyawadi. Junagadh has limited night-life but people generally like to go for a drive. Girnar taleti area is favored by most of the population due to cool weather and peaceful atmosphere. Junagadh was ruled by Muslim Nawab before the independence because of that overall culture of Junagadh is blend of both Hindu and Muslim community. Parveen Babi arguably the most beautiful actress to feature in Hindi cinema was from Junagadh. Her father, Vali Mohammed Babi, was an administrator with the Nawab of Junagadh.
Junagadh has number of theaters and Hindi cinema is very popular. Gujarati and English movies are also shown by various theaters. Various arts like Painting, Pottery, woolen clothes etc. are also exhibited from time to time. Junagadh Agricultural University is host to various exhibitions like Agricultural Exhibitions and Fair, Farmers Day camp etc. in Sardar Smruti Kendra developed solely for this purpose. City police also organizes a weapons exhibition annually.
Junagadh has a zoo named Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden known as Sakkarbaug Zoo established in 1863 in the area of around 200 hectares. The zoo provides purebred Asiatic lions for the Indian and the international endangered species captive breeding program for the critically endangered species. Currently, it is the only zoo in the country to hold African Cheetahs. The zoo also has museum of natural history.
Located in the historic city of Junagadh in Gujarat, the Durbar Hall Museum is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Gujarat. The Durbar Hall was used as durbar (court) of the erstwhile Nawabs of Junagadh. The Durbar Hall has sections like Picture Gallery, Palanquin, Textile and Arms Gallery. The Durbar Hall Museum displays collections of weapons and armor, belonging to the period of the Junagadh Nawabs along with other curios and artifacts. The museum also displays silver chains, chandeliers, settees, thrones, palanquins, howdahs, cushions, gowns and a large carpet that was woven in the Junagadh jail.
Junagadh has witnessed rules of many famous dynasties like Babi Nawabs, Vilabhis, Kshatraps, Mauryas, Chudasamas, Gujarat Sultans and several others. It has also seen major religious upsurges. All these have greatly influenced the architectural developments of Junagadh.
Junagadh Buddhist Cave Groups, with their intricately carved gateways, Chaitya halls, sculptured pillars and sanctums are classic examples of rock cut architectural style. The Chudama Rajputs have left specimens of their architectural style in Nabghan Kuvo and Adi Kadi Vav. Religious monuments like Jami Masjid remind us of the glorious Muslim architectural patterns. The Ashokan Edicts is a classic example of old rock engraving styles. The Maqbaras and numerous age-old palaces in Junagadh tell the story of its rich historical and architectural past.
About 2 km east of Junagadh and 3 km from the foot of Girnar Hill, between the two places, is an edict of Emperor Ashoka inscribed on a rock dating from the third century BC. The Ashokan edicts impart moral instructions on dharma, harmony, tolerance, and peace. An uneven rock, with a circumference of seven metres and a height of ten metres, bears inscriptions in Brāhmī script etched with an iron pen.
The people of Junagadh celebrate both western and Indian festivals. Diwali, Maha Shivratri, Holi, Janmastami, Muharram, Navratri, Christmas, Good Friday, Dussera, Moharram, Ganesh Chaturthi, are some of the popular festivals in the city.
Shivratri Mela is organized at the foot of Mount Girnar (Talati) in the month of MAHA (9th day of the month of Maagha). The mela lasts for the next five days. About 500,000 people visits Junagadh on this occasion. Girnar Parikrama is also organized annually. It starts in the month of Kartik and draws 1 to 1.5 million people. People walk the periphery of the Girnar Hills on foot (about 32 km) to enjoy the religious and natural beauty. Apart from these religious and national festivals, Junagadh also celebrates its accession to India on 9 November 1947 annually and it is celebrated as independence day of the city. 1 May is Gujarat day, to celebrate the formation of Gujarat state on 1 May 1960.
Junagadh has several newspapers, television channels and a radio station. These newspapers and channels are in Gujarati and English languages only. Hindi newspapers have limited readers in the city. Several magazines are also available in the Gujarati language. Main Gujarati language newspapers are Gujarat Samachar, Divya Bhashkar, Sandesh, Akila, Saurashtra Bhoomi, Junagadh Today, Kesari Daily etc. Main English language newspapers available are The Times of India and The Indian Express. Financial Times is also read in limited numbers.
Numerous Indian and international television channels can be watched in the city through the local cable television providers or via D.T.H.. The national television broadcaster, Doordarshan, provides free terrestrial channels, while cable networks serve most households. A wide range of channels are available such as Star Plus, Sab TV, Sony TV etc., sports channel like ESPN, Star Sports, Neo Sports etc., educational channels like Discovery, National Geography etc. Local cable network providers also have their own local channels.
Junagadh has one FM radio station operated by the government. All India radio broadcasting on AM frequency is also available. In addition, World Space radio is available for paying customers.
Schools in Junagadh are either "municipal schools" (run by the JMC) or private schools (run by trusts or individuals), which in some cases receive financial aid from the government. The schools are either affiliated with Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, Central Board of Secondary Education or International General Certificate of Secondary Education. English or Gujarati is the predominant language of instruction. The government run public schools lack many facilities, but are the only option for poorer residents who cannot afford the more expensive private schools.
Under the 10+2+3/4 plan, students complete ten years of schooling and then enroll for two years in Higher Secondary, where they select one of three streams: arts, commerce, or science. This is followed by either a general degree course in a chosen field of study, or a professional degree course, such as law, engineering and medicine. Most of the colleges in Junagadh are either affiliated to Saurashtra University or Gujarat Technological University.
Junagadh has many colleges named Bahauddin Govt. Arts & Science College, Commerce and law college, Matru Kesarben college for B.Ed, Civil Hospital School of Nursing. Junagadh is also home to the Junagadh Agricultural University which offers courses in Agriculture Engineering, Fishery science and Agricultural Science. N.R. Vekariya college of Business Management Studies, Noble Engineering College, Vivek Bharti Trust Degree Pharmacy college, Junagadh Veterinary college are some of the other colleges.
Junagadh is home to the Directorate of Groundnut Research which is Asia's largest ground nut research facility. Junagadh is home to the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory. It is the oldest forensic laboratory of Gujarat state.
Junagadh also has Police Training College run by Gujarat Police. Officers for Gujarat Police are trained here. In past they also trained police officers from Naxalite affected states.
Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. Cricket is played in various modified versions (generally referred to as gully cricket) are played everywhere. Junagadh is affiliated to Saurashtra Cricket Association. The all-time great batsman of Pakistan, Hanif Mohammad is from Junagadh. Junagadh had a first-class level cricket stadium until 1973/74, called Jaffar Maidan, where Ranji Trophy matches were played. But with time the ground became a grassland. Since then the city hasn't got a cricket ground. After nearly four decades, now a domestic-level cricket ground is being developed at Vivekanand School Ground.
Various other sports such as football, basketball, volleyball etc. are also played. Many inter school and inter college tournaments are held annually and act as a good platform for the upcoming talents in athletics, swimming etc.
Junagadh Gymkhana was established before independence by Nawab of Junagadh. It has various sports facilities such as Indoor Badminton wooden court, several Tennis clay courts, Billiards room, Table tennis room, Carom and Chess room and a cards room. Gymkhana holds annual tournaments of Tennis, Badminton, Billiards and Teble Tennis. In summer they provide cricket coaching to young cricketers.
Junagadh also has Horse riding club run by Junagadh Police. Police Training College in Junagadh organises various horses shows, many state police tournaments annually.
Places of interest
- Girnar The mountain, 6 km. from Junagadh city, has five principal peaks. It has roughly 8,000 steps. The third peak, Gorakhnath, at 3,661 ft (1,116 m) above sea level, is the highest point of Gujarat state. UPERKOT certainly worth seeing Jain tamples. Spots to visit Bhimkund, Satpuda, Gaumukhi Ganga, Pathar chati, Bhairavjap, Bharatvan Sheshavan, Hanumandhara. The peak of Ambaji, with a height of 3,330 ft (1,010 m), is famous for the temple of Ambaji. Kamandal kund; stepway diverts between temples of Gorakhnath and Dattatreya. The path to Dattatreya temple is difficult (photo gallery), but on the top of the peak is a small temple on the padukas of Guru Dattatreya. The best time to start ascending is early morning.
- Mahabat Maqbara- It is a typical palace-mausoleum of late 19th Century Royal Monuments of Junagadh. Famous for its intricate architecture.
- The Wild Museum - In the same premises as the zoo. Rare specimens of art furniture, stuffed animals, ancient coins, Persian Sanskrit inscriptions and various other articles of interest.
- Narsinh Mehta no Choro - This place is said to be one where the great poet Saint and reformer Narsinh Mehta held his assemblies of discovers in the 15th century. Some believe that Lord Krishna held a traditional "Rasleela" dance for his devotee Narsinh Mehta.
- Uperkot - Uperkot is an impressive fort located on a plateau in the middle of town. It was originally built in 319 BC. Visitors enter the fort through a large gate. Some parts of the fort’s walls are 20 m high. If, after entering the gate you turn left, you will come to Jama Masjid. It has 140 pillars supporting its ceiling.
- Further down the road are what are believed to be old Buddhist caves, said to be 1,500 years old (dating from before 500 AD). They are carved into the rocky hill and have stone carvings and floral work. There are also the Khapra Kodia caves north of the fort, and the Babupyana caves south of the fort.
- There is a huge, fifteen-foot cannon, made in Egypt in 1531. There are also two interesting large step wells (vavs) here. The 11th century Navghan Kuva has a circular stairway that descends over 50 m down into the well. The Adi Chadi Vav descends 170 steps.
- Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden – Sakkarbaug Zoological Garden also known as Sakkarbaug Zoo or Junagadh Zoo is a 200-hectare (490-acre) zoo that opened in 1863. The zoo provides purebred Asiatic lions for the Indian and the international endangered species captive breeding program for the critically endangered species. Wild free ranging Asiatic lions have become extinct over most of Asia and are today found only in the nearby Gir Forest.
- The Sakkarbaug Zoo was established in 1863, which easily makes it, one of the oldest Zoo’s of the country.
- In 2003 the zoo opened a natural history museum in a large hall in the veterinary hospital. The museum opened with the skeletons of two Asiatic lions, as well as panther, deer, wild boar, antelope, black buck, blue bull, and spotted deer. Eggs, beaks, and feathers of various birds were also on display. The museum will be expanded as specimens become available.
- In 2008 the zoo was home to 525 mammals (30 per cent of which are under Schedule-I of the Wildlife Act), 597 birds (10 per cent of which are under Schedule-I), and 111 reptiles, housed in 100 enclosures.
- Gayatri Mandir & Vagheshwari Mandir - On the way to Girnar Talati, are both of the beautiful temples of Maa Gayatri and Maa Vagheshwari. At every navratris, a mela is held.
- Damodar Kund - Built in 500 a.d., this often reconstructed kund (water reservoir) is a check dam. This kund is about a km before the bottom of Girnar Hill. It is a sacred bathing tank. Close to Damodara Kund is Revati Kund. It is said that Revata left Dwarka and moved near Girnar Hill after his daughter, Revati, married Lord Balarama.
- Damodarji Temple Near Aswatthama Hill, which is north of Damodara Kund, is the Damodarji Temple, said to have been built by Vajranabha, Lord Krishna’s great-grandson.
- Dataar Hills - 2,779 feet (847 m) high stepway is built for going up shrine of Jamiyalshah Datar.
- Science Museum - Gujarat’s first and the only private science museum. More than 60 working science projects based on science facts. Which can be operated by visitors. Worth visiting attached one small aquarium and evening open air garden restaurant garden café serves south Indian and Punjabi dishes since 1981.
- Willingdon Dam - The dam is built on the river Kalwa at the foot of the hill from where it originates. It was built as a reservoir for drinking water for the people of Junagadh. It was named after Lord Willingdon, the then Governor of India. The three sides and a garden in front it affords an enchanting view.
- Moti Baug - The best garden the campus of agricultural university and botanical garden. It also houses the Junagadh Agricultural University Campus which has total land area of 754.62 ha and 2485 ha including 17 sub centers and 1500 manpower with annual budget around 28.5 crores. Having very nice pari talao.
- Swami Vivekananda Vinay Mandir - Swami Vivekananda Vinay Mandir is one of the firstborn secondary and higher secondary schools of Gujarat. It stands on an outsized land with gardens, playgrounds and primogenital domes of its times. This high-school is furthermost prominent for two of its legendary students, Dhirubhai Ambani and Jainil Dewani. Every year, Dhirubhai’s birthday is celebrated with varieties of cultural programs, which is attended by at least one of the Ambani family members.
- Mujkund Caves - Famous place where Krishna ran and came from Mathura after which he was named as Ranchod Rai.
- Ayurvedic Museum- Ayurvedic Museum is located at the Ayurvedic College at Sardarbag in the western part of town. The personnel are helpful to those interested in learning something about this ancient and natural medical treatment.
- Narsinh Mehta Lake- A beautiful lake constructed by joint effort of the people of Junagadh near Talav Gate.
- Bhootnath Temple - This Lord Shiva temple is quite famous within youth, which is located opposite to the very famous Bahauddin Science and Arts college. People visit this holy place in huge numbers on weekends. This temple also holds more than a month long Krishna Janmashtami fair in its huge campus, which is around July-Aug, every year.
- Asiatic Lion
- Gir Forest National Park
- Indian Integration of Junagadh
- Nawab of Junagadh
- Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Junagadh
- Gunatitanand Swami
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Junagadh.|
- Junagadh Agricultural University
- Junagadh travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Photo gallery of Junagadh & trekking to Girnar hill
- Shree Radha Damodarji main temple's website