Girnar Hill is an ancient hill in Junagadh, Gujarat, India. It is one of the most sacred places for Hindus and Jains, as it is associated with many legends, myths and deities. The hill has 866 temples that are spread over five peaks, each dedicated to different gods and goddesses. The hill also offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and the Arabian Sea. Here are some of the things you need to know before visiting Girnar Hill. Visit during One Day Junagadh sightseeing Trip By Private Cab
Location of Girnar Hill
The hill is located about 5 km east of Junagadh city, which is a historical and cultural hub of Gujarat. The hill rises to a height of 1117 meters above sea level and covers an area of about 70 square kilometers. The hill is surrounded by the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is home to many animals and birds.
Timing/Entry Fees Girnar Hill
The hill is open for visitors throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the winter season (October to February), when the weather is pleasant and clear. There is no entry fee for visiting the hill, but you may have to pay a nominal fee for parking your vehicle or hiring a guide.
How to Reach Girnar Hill
The nearest railway station to Girnar Hill is Junagadh Junction, which is about 6 km away. You can take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi from there to reach the base of the hill. The nearest airport to Girnar Hill is Rajkot Airport, which is about 110 km away. You can take a bus or a cab from there to reach Junagadh city and then proceed to the hill.
Nearby Tourist Attractions Girnar Hill
There are many other tourist attractions near Girnar Hill that you can explore while visiting the hill. Some of them are:
- Damodar Kund: This is a sacred lake that is located at the foothills of Girnar Hill. Many Hindus believe that bathing and immersing the ashes and bones of their deceased relatives in this lake will grant them salvation. The lake is also the source of the Kaligandaki River, which is linked to Lord Vishnu.
- Mahabat Maqbara: This is a stunning mausoleum complex that was built by Nawab Mahabat Khan II in the late 19th century. The complex has two mausoleums, one for the Nawab and one for his vizier, and a mosque. The mausoleums are adorned with intricate carvings, domes, minarets and arches.
- Darbar Hall Museum: This is a museum that showcases the history, culture and lifestyle of the Nawabs of Junagadh, who ruled the region from 1730 to 1948. The museum displays various items such as weapons, costumes, palanquins, howdahs and furniture that belong to the Nawabs and their subjects. The museum also has a durbar hall that recreates the court room of the Nawabs.
- Sakkarbaug Zoo: This is one of the oldest zoos in India and was established in 1863 by Nawab Rasul Khanji. The zoo houses many endangered species such as Asiatic lions, leopards, tigers, bears and crocodiles.
Things to Do/Must See Girnar Hill
The Girnar Hill has many things to do and see for visitors of all ages and interests. Some of the must-see items are:
- Climbing the steps: The main attraction of Girnar Hill is climbing the 9999 steps that lead to the five peaks. The steps start from Damodar Kund and end at Dattatreya Paduka, which is the highest point of the hill. The climb takes about 4 to 6 hours depending on your fitness level and stamina. Along the way, you can see many temples, shrines, caves and inscriptions that belong to different periods and sects of Hinduism and Jainism.
- Visiting temples: There are many temples on Girnar Hill that are dedicated to different gods and goddesses. Some of them are:
- Ambaji Temple: This is one of the most popular temples on Girnar Hill and is dedicated to Goddess Amba or Durga. The temple attracts thousands of devotees every year, especially during Navratri festival. The temple has a gold-plated idol of Amba Mata with jeweled eyes.
- Neminath Temple: This is one of the largest temples on Girnar Hill and is sacred to Bhagwan Neminath, the 22nd Jain Tirthankar. The temple was built by Vimal Shah in 1128 CE and has a black granite idol of Neminath with jeweled eyes. The temple also has intricate carvings of Jain Tirthankars on the pillars and walls.
- Dattatreya Temple: This is the highest temple on Girnar Hill and is dedicated to Lord Dattatreya, who is considered as the incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The temple has a footprint of Dattatreya on a rock and is visited by many Naga Sadhus, who claim to have seen the visions of Dattatreya.
- Enjoying the scenery: The Girnar Hill offers a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape and the Arabian Sea. You can see the green valleys, the rocky hills, the blue sky and the golden sun from different points of the hill. You can also spot many animals and birds in the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, such as monkeys, peacocks, parrots and eagles.
Significance of Girnar Hill
The Girnar Hill is a significant place for anyone who wants to learn more about the Hindu and Jain faiths and cultures. The hill is mentioned in various ancient scriptures such as Mahabharata, Ramayana, Skanda Purana and Barah Purana, which narrate the stories and legends related to the hill. The hill is also associated with many sages, saints and deities such as Neminath, Dattatreya, Gorakhnath, Bharat Chakravarti and Ashoka. The hill is also a place where many pilgrims seek spiritual solace and enlightenment from the cycle of birth and death.
Q: Is photography allowed on the hill premises?
A: Yes, photography is allowed on the hill premises, but you should respect the sentiments of the pilgrims and avoid taking pictures of them without their consent.
Q: Is there a dress code for visiting the hill?
A: No, there is no dress code for visiting the hill, but you should wear modest and comfortable clothes that are suitable for the weather and the terrain.
Q: Is there a facility for food and water on the hill?
A: Yes, there are some stalls and shops on the hill that sell snacks, beverages and bottled water. You can also find some restaurants and hotels in Junagadh city that offer a variety of cuisines.
Girnar Hill is a must-visit place for anyone who loves spirituality, culture and nature. The hill offers a sacred and serene experience for the pilgrims who come here to seek blessings and enlightenment. The hill also offers a scenic and adventurous experience for the tourists who come here to admire the beauty and history of the place. The hill is open throughout the year and is easily accessible by road from various parts of the city and the state. The hill is also close to many other attractions such as Damodar Kund, Mahabat Maqbara, Darbar Hall Museum and Sakkarbaug Zoo. Girnar Hill is a place that will surely mesmerize you with its charm and grace.