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Girnar

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Best Time: Jul-Mar Read More

Ideal duration: 1 day

Nearest Airport: Porbandar Check Flights

Girnar Tourism

Keeping up the delicate balance between the fine golden-brown sand of Gujarat’s richest desert on one hand, and the lush green of the Gir Forest on the other - Girnar - a group of mountains in the Junagadh district of Gujarat are a haven for thrill seekers and religious devotees alike due to their ability to be both - a hub for religious activity and also a retreat for trekkers, because of the hills that lead up to splendid views.

An important pilgrimage site, Girnar hills are flocked daily by many devotees. While the summit of the Datar Peak is held sacred by both Hindus and Muslims, temples like the Neminath temple and the Meravasi temple are sacred to the Jain community. Another major highlight of this place is the Girnar Parikrama Festival and the Bhavnath Fair between the months of January and February every year - when Hindu and Jain devotees, gather here in huge numbers.

Many small wonders of historical significance can be found here, for instance: Ashoka’s Major Rock Edicts and the Junagarh rock inscription of Rudradaman, from many centuries ago. Being the highest point of Gujarat - Mt. Girnar stands at 1,031 metres (or 3,383 ft) and is symbolic of the rich history and heritage of the land. It is also of major importance and so is its base which is called the Girnar Taleti, which is just 4 kms east of the centre of Junagadh.

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Mythology related to Girnar

Girnar Mountains are older than the Himalayas and are believed to be sacred since ancient times. It is a very religious place for Shiv devotees and many Sadhu baba, Nath Sect and different Jain Tirthankaras reside in these mountains. It is believed that these mountains were also the residence of Dattatreya. This place is also believed to be the death place of Yavana warrior Kalayavana.
The legend goes that in the caves of Girnar Mountain one of the forefathers of Lord Rama was sleeping. He was a great king of Tretayug, Muchukunda. He had helped Devtas to win an epic war against Asuras. After winning it he got a boon that anyone who disturbed or broke his sleep would turn be burned down to ashes. So, he went and slept in the caves or Girnar Mountains. In Dwaparyug Lord Krishna knew about this. He lured Kalayavana into this cave and Lord Krishna hid. Kalayavana unknowingly disturbed Muchukunda and was burned down to ashes. Also, it is said that Pavhari Baba, who has influenced the life of Swami Vivekananda, had initiated the practice of yoga on this mountain.

Trekking in Girnar

The most affordable and efficient way to get to the foot of the Girnar hill is to take a tuk-tuk or an 8-passenger seating vehicle that starts carrying passengers and travellers, right from early in the morning or to take the auto-rickshaws that run across the lengths and breadths of the town, but can be a little expensive. One will have to climb approximately 10,000 steps in order to reach the peak of the hill from its foot. Services like palki and rope chair are available for those who find it difficult to walk as many steps and are priced according to one’s weight. An official board has the price and weight ratio listed down, to avoid confusion and over-charging. During the initial few thousand steps, stalls are located on either side of the steps to provide basic amenities like water and food. After every 2500 steps or so, resting places (i.e Dharamshalas) have been constructed for the travellers to take rest in. The first few temples are Jain temples, the oldest one pays homage to the 22nd Jain Tirthankar - Neminath, followed by a temple of Amba Mata - which is popular amongst newly married couples. The final few thousand steps, lead to the last temple in the complex and a very few pilgrims are actually able to reach here. The area is surrounded by the presence and turnover of many sadhu babas of different sects like the Nath sect and the view from the peak is absolutely breathtaking!

Restaurants and Local Food in Girnar

While the area is brimming with natural beauty and spiritual and religious significance, it tends to be on the limited side in case of food options. There aren't any lavish or elaborate eating places. However local food joints provide decent food. Typically vegetarian, Gujarati Thali would consist of Roti or Rotlas, Dal or Kadhi, Rice and Vegetable Curries . Also sip into a refreshing glass of Lassi, Buttermilk or Chaas , while on you spiritual journey.
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Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 - Girnar Pilgrimage: The steps for the pilgrimage begin at Domdar Kund which are near Domodar and Baldvji temples. You should gradually ascent the steps as the journey is long and you should not tire yourself. Many temples will cross your path amongst which Bhavnath is an important one to Lord Shiv’s devotees. Here Naked Sadhu comes to celebrate Shivratri. As you ascend you shall come across various other temples and small kunds. After climbing around 4000 steps you shall reach a plateau. There is a Jain temple complex over there. The view and the beauty of temples is truly satisfying for the soul. Again after further climbing 2000 steps, you shall reach Amba Maa Temple. It is visited by Hindus and Jains. Then an up and down trail will take you to the last point where there is the temple of Kalika. Aghora ascetics stay here and smear themselves with ashes.

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Girnar has many mythological legends and temples. The place is mainly famous for Girnar Pilgrimage or an adventurous plus religious trek.

What's Not So Great?

Although this place attracts many tourists and devotees it does not have many places to eat. Also, if elders are with you and cannot walk the whole way up, you might have to order palki and they really overcharge you.

For Whom?

The place is meant for Hindu and Jain followers. It is also for people who are interested in temples and mythological stories behind them. Perfect for adults and families. It is a very religious place so people who respect the supreme entity should visit here.

How To Reach Girnar

Located about 5 km from Junagadh City, accessibility is not a problem. The Keshod airport is the nearest one (40km). Rajkot Airport is about 100km and is relatively better connected with all major cities. The nearest international airport is Ahmedabad. Rail and road connectivity is fairly decent as well.

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