Junagadh Fort, also known as Uparkot Fort, is one of the oldest and most significant forts in Gujarat, located in the city of Junagadh. It was built in 319 BCE by Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire, and was later renovated and expanded by various rulers over the centuries. The fort has seen many battles and sieges, and has preserved many historical and cultural monuments within its walls. The fort offers a panoramic view of the city and the Girnar hills, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in the heritage of Gujarat. Visit during One Day Junagadh sightseeing Trip By Private Cab
Location of Junagadh Fort
Junagadh Fort is situated on a plateau in the eastern part of Junagadh city, at the foot of the Girnar hills. The fort covers an area of about 70 acres and is surrounded by a moat and high walls. The fort is about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) from the city center of Junagadh, which is the headquarters of Junagadh district in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Timing / Entry Fees Uparkot Fort
The fort is open to the public every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The entry fee for Indian visitors is Rs. 10 per person, and for foreign visitors is Rs. 50 per person. There is no camera fee for still or video cameras. The visitors can also hire a guide for Rs. 100 to learn more about the history and architecture of the fort.
How to Reach Uparkot Fort
The nearest airport to Junagadh is Rajkot Airport, which is about 103 kilometers (64 miles) away. There are regular flights from Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and other major cities to Rajkot. From Rajkot, one can take a taxi or a bus to Junagadh, which takes about 2 to 3 hours.
The nearest railway station to Junagadh is Junagadh Junction, which is well connected to Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Veraval, Somnath, and other cities by trains. From the railway station, one can take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi to Junagadh Fort, which takes about 10 minutes.
Junagadh is also accessible by road from Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Veraval, Somnath, and other cities by buses or cars. The distance from Ahmedabad to Junagadh is about 355 kilometers (221 miles), from Rajkot to Junagadh is about 100 kilometers (62 miles), and from Veraval to Junagadh is about 80 kilometers (50 miles).
Things to Do / Must See Uparkot Fort
Junagadh Fort is a treasure trove of history and culture, with many attractions and monuments that showcase the legacy of different dynasties and religions that ruled or influenced this region. Some of the must-see places inside the fort are:
- Ashoka’s Rock Edicts: This is a large boulder with fourteen edicts of Emperor Ashoka engraved on it in Brahmi script and Pali language. The edicts date back to 250 BCE and convey Ashoka’s message of peace, tolerance, compassion, and dharma (righteousness). This is one of the oldest inscriptions in India and a testimony to Ashoka’s influence on Gujarat.
- Rudradaman’s Sanskrit Inscription: This is another inscription on the same boulder as Ashoka’s edicts, but in Sanskrit language and Kharoshthi script. The inscription was added by Rudradaman I, a Saka (Scythian) king who ruled over Malwa and Gujarat in the 2nd century CE. The inscription records his victory over the Satavahanas and his restoration of a dam on the Sudarshana Lake near Girnar.
- Buddhist Caves: These are a group of rock-cut caves that date from before 500 CE and are among the earliest examples of Buddhist architecture in India. The caves have stone carvings and floral motifs that depict scenes from the life of Buddha and his teachings. The caves also have chaityas (prayer halls) and viharas (monasteries) where monks used to live and meditate.
- Babupyana Caves: These are another group of rock-cut caves that date from the 1st century CE and are attributed to Bava Pyara, a Jain monk who attained nirvana here. The caves have sculptures and paintings that depict Jain Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers) and their stories. The caves also have a water tank that is said to have healing properties.
- Adi Kadi Vav: This is a circular stepwell that was built in the 15th century and named after two slave girls, Adi and Kadi, who used to fetch water from it. The stepwell is 41 meters (135 feet) deep and has a spiral staircase that leads to the water level. The stepwell is an example of the water conservation and architecture skills of the people of Gujarat.
- Navghan Kuvo: This is another stepwell that was built in the 11th century and named after Navghan, a Chudasama king who escaped from a siege by hiding in it. The stepwell is 52 meters (171 feet) deep and has a zigzag staircase that winds around the well shaft. The stepwell was designed to help the fort withstand long sieges by providing water and hiding places.
- Jama Masjid: This is a mosque that was built in the 15th century by Sultan Mahmud Begada, who conquered Junagadh in 1470. The mosque has a large courtyard and a prayer hall with 140 pillars and nine domes. The mosque also has a minaret that offers a view of the city and the hills.
- Darbar Hall Museum: This is a museum that was established in 1977 and is located in the former durbar hall (royal court) of the Nawabs of Junagadh. The museum displays the royal memorabilia, weapons, paintings, manuscripts, and other artifacts that belong to the Nawabs and their families. The museum also has a collection of silver chains, thrones, palanquins, and howdahs (elephant seats).
Nearby Tourist Places of Uparkot Fort
Junagadh is a city that has many other tourist places to explore besides Junagadh Fort. Some of the nearby tourist places are:
- Girnar Hill: This is a sacred hill that rises to a height of 1117 meters (3666 feet) and has five peaks that are associated with different religions. The hill has many temples, shrines, and caves that attract pilgrims and tourists. The hill also has a ropeway that takes visitors to the Amba Mata temple on the first peak.
- Gir National Park: This is a wildlife sanctuary that is located about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Junagadh and is home to the Asiatic lions, the only surviving wild population of this species in the world. The park also has other animals such as leopards, hyenas, deer, antelopes, crocodiles, and birds. The park offers jeep safaris, nature trails, and camping facilities for visitors.
- Somnath Temple: This is a Hindu temple that is located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Junagadh and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas (manifestations of Shiva) and one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in India. The temple has a history of being destroyed and rebuilt several times by invaders and rulers. The current temple was built in 1951 by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the first deputy prime minister of India.
- Sasan Gir: This is a village that is located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Junagadh and is known as the gateway to Gir National Park. The village has many resorts, hotels, and homestays that cater to visitors who want to experience the wildlife and nature of Gir. The village also has a crocodile breeding center, a deer park, and a bird sanctuary.
Significance of Uparkot Fort
Junagadh Fort is a significant place for history, culture, and tourism in Gujarat. The fort showcases the legacy of various dynasties and religions that ruled or influenced this region over the centuries. The fort also preserves many historical and cultural monuments that reflect the art, architecture, and engineering skills of the people of Gujarat. The fort also offers a scenic view of the city and the hills, and is a popular destination for visitors who want to learn about the heritage of Gujarat.
Q: What are the timings and entry fees of Junagadh Fort?
A: The fort is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day. The entry fee for Indian visitors is Rs. 10 per person, and for foreign visitors is Rs. 50 per person.
Q: How can I reach Junagadh Fort from Ahmedabad?
A: You can reach Junagadh Fort from Ahmedabad by air, train, or road. The nearest airport is Rajkot Airport, which is about 103 kilometers (64 miles) away. From Rajkot, you can take a taxi or a bus to Junagadh, which takes about 2 to 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train from Ahmedabad to Junagadh Junction, which takes about 6 to 7 hours. From Junagadh Junction, you can take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi to Junagadh Fort, which takes about 10 minutes.
Q: What are the best time and season to visit Junagadh Fort?
A: The best time and season to visit Junagadh Fort are between October and March, when the weather is pleasant and cool. The summer months of April to June are very hot and dry, and the monsoon months of July to September are humid and rainy.
Q: What are the other attractions near Junagadh Fort?
A: There are many other attractions near Junagadh Fort, such as Girnar Hill, Gir National Park, Somnath Temple, and Sasan Gir. You can visit these places by hiring a taxi or a bus from Junagadh city.
Q: What are the facilities and amenities available at Junagadh Fort?
A: Junagadh Fort has facilities and amenities such as parking, toilets, drinking water, cafeteria, souvenir shop, guide service, and audio guide. You can also enjoy a light and sound show at the fort in the evening.
Junagadh Fort is a remarkable place that showcases the history and culture of Gujarat. The fort has many monuments and attractions that reflect the art, architecture, and engineering skills of different dynasties and religions that ruled or influenced this region. The fort also offers a scenic view of the city and the hills, and is a popular destination for visitors who want to learn about the heritage of Gujarat. If you are planning to visit Gujarat, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Junagadh Fort and experience its beauty and charm. Book your ticket now and enjoy a memorable trip to Junagadh Fort.