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Uperkot Fort, Junagadh Overview

Uperkot is the upper citadel located in the east of Junagadh. Over 2300 years old, with walls up to 20m high in some places, there used to be a 300 ft. deep moat inside the walls which reportedly used to be inhabited by crocodiles for the fort's protection.

Neelam and Manek, forged in Cairo and brought by the Turks are the two major tourist attractions in the fort. Also, see the stepwells and caves in the fort complex.

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Uparkot Fort Architecture

The Uparkot Fort houses Buddha caves which were scooped out of the rock to make hollow monasteries during the 2nd century. There is also an ancient mosque; a 15th-century Jama Masjid which also houses the tomb of Nuri Shah in proximity.

This 60 to 70-feet high, Indo-Gothic designed fort has three entries that give way to an ancient Torana. This is a pedestal of sorts, used for auspicious Jain, Hindu and Buddhist ceremonies. The fort also encloses a couple of temples and even two stepwells called Adi Chadi or the Adi Kavi Wav and the Navghan Kuvo.

The Adi Kavi Wav is said to have been built by two slave girls who worked in the Chudamasa kingdom. Uparkot Fort also has a square lake in its premises, called the Nawabi Lake. Besides, this vast fort also houses a moat that is at least 300 feet deep. It is said that this space was filled with crocodiles that would rip any enemy who tried to enter the fort. 

History of the Uparkot Fort in Junagadh

A fortification around the foothills of the Girnar Hills, the Uparkot Fort was built during the Mauryan Empire in 319 BC. However, it further lost necessity after the capital was moved to a place called Vallabhi in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.

Supposed to be the most ancient piece of Junagadh, the Uparkot Fort is said to have been built about 2300 years ago. This very fort protected Junagadh from 12 sieges and further gave in to the Chudamas. 

How to Reach Uparkot Fort

Located about 2 km from the Junagadh city centre, the Junagadh Fort can be reached with either a 10-minute drive or a 30-minute walk. The Junagadh Junction is the nearest transit head, about 3 km from the fort.

Autos are available here as well, an auto ride from the station to the fort would cost about INR 40 to INR 60. However, there are a couple of narrow streets that one would have to cross to get to the fort. 

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