આપણું જૂનાગઢ ફેસબુક પેઈજ લાઇક કર્યું ?

Do you know that the word “Junagadh” literally translates to “Old Fort” ? You would all be saying in unison, Oh Yes we do know that. But there is much more to this city than we thought we know.

We might not know all the interesting things that have taken place since the time immemorial on this Mystic land, Junagadh. But no worries, you have Aapdu Junagadh for that! This post will take you on a ride to this Land of Mysterious Sages and Conquerors and Rulers who have changed it from time and again making it a heritage of Culture, Architecture, Poetry and History for us to marvel at.A Ride to the Old Fort Junagadh Aapdu Junagadh

Have fun reading it and be in Awe of our City!

1. Girnar is older than the Himalayas 

Your friends (not from Junagadh) might have asked you from time and again as to how many times have you been to Girnar…
Well now along with the count of that you can give them additional information about Holy Girnar apart from just the steps it has and the time for the trek !

A Ride to the Old Fort- Junagadh
A Ride to the Old Fort- Junagadh

You might be surprised to know that Girnar is older than the Himalaya !
Quite shocking right ? Yes. Be proud of it then. And mind well this is not the only thing,there are still many revelations to come…

It is the highest peak of Gujarat and has quite a religious background (as all mountains in India do). It is one of the Yatra places for Jains and Hindus. And it was considered holy for Buddhists as well !

Apart from History and Religion, Girnar does an Economic favour too. Every year near about 1 Million people visit Junagadh to be a part of the Parikrama which starts from Bhavnath temple.

And how can we forget the Maha-Shivrati Mela ?! The trains full of people hanging from the doors and sitting on the roofs were a sight we marvelled every year at the time of the Fair !
It begins with hoisting of fifty-two Gaja long flag 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 !

So, after reading this, planning to have your own stall in this Maha-Shivrati mela.

2.Jain Temples

Jain temples on Girnar are amongst the most ancient temple in the country. Some 16 Jain temples here form a sort of fort on the ledge at the top of the great cliff. Situated on the first plateau of Mount Girnar at the height of about 3800 steps(yes, you have to walk!), at an altitude of 2370 ft. above Junagadh, still some 600 ft below the first summit of Girnar, these temples of Jainism have marvelous & beautiful carvings in marble.

These temples attract devotees of both Shwetambar and Digambar sects of Jainism. For Jains, this place is considered as holy as Nirvana Kshetra and Nirvan bhumi of 22nd Tirthankara Neminath.

3. Princely State Story :

Ohh YESS !! It was a Princely state before the partition of British India. And we had a real Flag. Can you believe it ?!!!

Flag of Princely State Junagadh

The very famous story of the then Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III who wanted to merge Junagadh to the newly formed Pakistan when given choice for acceding to either India or Pakistan or to remain Independent. But with majority Hindu population and geographical difficulty for merging with Pakistan, several revolts took place against this decision of Nawab and with the leadership of Shamaldas Gandhi who formed “Aarzi Hukumat” and finally due to these revolts and huge oppose and military troops, the Nawab fled to Pakistan with his family and all treasury and after that Junagadh was integrated into Independent India.

4. The Uparkot :

This place which has a strong hold on the list of places for which Junagadh is famous and is now one of the most popular place for all types of Photoshoots(Especially Pre-Weddings) and a rendezvous place(Wooo) for the lovey-dovey couples from and around Junagadh, has a legendary history which will satiate your thirst for knowledge about our city. So the stories about this fort dates back to the reign of Maurya Empire who established this fort and it was in use till the Gupta period.

Then came the Maitrakas and they changed the capital of Saurastra from Junagadh to Vallabhi(Their Loss) which made all the difference because the fort lost its importance and was abondoned. As it is said, ‘Beautiful things don’t demand attention’, and the same happened with Uparkot as well.

 

During the Chudasamas  reign, a day came when  a woodpecker found his way to the forest and came to a place where there was an establishment of stone walls and gate. He saw a Yogi sitting in meditation and enquired about the place and in answer the Yogi said, it goes by the name “Juna”. This information was passed on by the woodpecker to the then rulers which led to clearing of the forest around the fort.

The present fort has its roots which connects to the rule of Ra Navghan II.

An interesting thing to know about this fort is that the fort was besieged 16 times over an 800-year period. One unsuccessful siege lasted twelve years. The Almight Fort!

 5. The Nawabs and their Swag :

The whims of the royal people are all well-known throughout the history. And why should the Nawab of Junagadh stay back?

It is known that he loved his pets to such a degree that he celebrated their Birthdays and organised Grand Weddings for them 😀 (We envy the pets 😀 )

Also, have you ever wondered why the people of Junagadh district always start filling the sky with kites right from the month of October during Navratri? Yes, you got it right, The Nawabs. It was a custom in the princely state of Junagadh to fly kites from the Gujarati month of “Bhadarva”. So unlike other cities you won’t see much kites during Uttarayan because we already had our share before that 😀 (We have to be the First !!)

6. The Records in Agriculture :

Junagadh is the largest producer of groundnut and garlic in Gujarat. It has Asia’s largest ground nut research laboratory. Mango and onions are produced in large quantities in the district (The mouth watering Kesar 😀 )

The economy of Junagadh is mainly based on agriculture. With the Government policy of biotechnology, Junagadh has been identified as one of the Agriculture Biotechnology Zone which will help boosting the Agro-Biotech industries.

7. Sakkarbaug Zoo:

How can we not mention the place where we have spent almost a Sunday a month of our childhood!

It was established by the Babi Nawabs of Junagadh State in 1863, thus making it the Second Oldest Zoo and the Fourth Biggest Zoo in India. Be proud of this fellas !

Another interesting fact is, it is the only Zoo in India to hold African Cheetahs which were traded for three of its Lions with a Singapore Zoo.

 

8. Names of Junagadh :

As the Rulers and Emperors of different Dynasties came to ruling our city, it got a new and fancy name every time they felt like changing it (Just Kidding). Isn’t that Cool?! Also known as “Sorath” which is quite popular,there are many more names of our beloved city.

So the names so far are “Raivatachal”, “Raivatnagar”, “Revant”, “Manipur”, “Chandraketapur”, “Puratanpur”, “Pratappur”, “Narendrapur”, “Girinagar”, “Karan Kunj”, “Jirna Durg”, “Mustafabad” and finally it settled to Junagadh in 1820 AD and this time it was the British Government that assigned the name. Have another name in mind for our city? Drop in the comment box below. During the Chudasamas reign, a day came when a woodcutter found his way to the forest and came to a place where there was an establishment of stone walls and gate. He saw a Yogi sitting in meditation and enquired about the place and in answer, the Yogi said, it goes by the name “Juna”. This information was passed on by the woodcutter to the then rulers which led to the clearing of the forest around the fort. That’s how Junagadh’s name came into existence(awesome right!).

9. Ancestral Root :

You all might be knowing your Family Tree (By Heart), atleast till the “Satt Pedhi”. We all go through that enlightenment by the grace of our Grandparents. But do you also know the Ancestors of our City? The Obvious answer will be No (We were too bad at History). But below is a list of all the rulers so far.

  • Mauryan dynasty
  • Kalinga
  • Greeks
  • Shaka
  • Kshatrapa
  • Gupta
  • Chaulukya (Solankis) dynasty
  • Chudasama Dynasty
  • Turkic rulers Mohammed Begada, Khalil Khan
  • Mughlas
  • Nawabs Khanji(Babi Pathan)

10. Kesar Keri:

The world famous Kesar Keri was first planted in 1931 by Junagadh Wazir Sale Bhai in Vanthali. After this, 75 drafts were planted in the Laal Dhori farm. The mango got its name as “Kesar” due to its orange pulp in 1934 and this was given by the Nawab of Junagadh, Muhammad Mahabat Khan III who admired it.

Indirectly, Kesar Keri which we relish with delight is also a gift of the Nawabs!Kesar Mango is the first agriculture product of Gujarat to get the recognition of Geographical Indication(GI). So the name Kesar Mango can be used by the cultivators of Junagadh and Amreli exclusively!

This is just for your knowledge. No need to cram up. No trivias on this. You have got that bargain 😀

Enjoyed the GYAN you got about Junagadh after reading this? If you know anything else that is left out here and you find it worth mentioning, please feel free to share in the comment section below. Stay tuned with us for more such articles and interesting things going around you!

Author – Mitali Raval #TeamAapduJunagadh

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