History of Junagadh & Girnar

Royal Embalms 

Junagadh is the headquarters of Junagadh district in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city is the 7th largest in Gujarat. The city is located at the foot of the Girnar hills, 355 km south west of state capital Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The city is in western India. Literally translated, Junagadh means "Old Fort". It is also known as "Sorath", the name of the earlier Princely State of Junagadh. After brief struggle between India and Pakistan Junagadh joined India on 9 November 1947. It was a part of Saurashtra state and later Bombay state. In 1960 after Maha Gujarat movement it became part of newly formed Gujarat state.

Mauryan dynasty

An impressive fort, Uperkot, located on a plateau in the middle of town, was originally built during the Mauryan dynasty by Chandragupta in 319 BCE The fort remained in use until the 6th century, when it was covered over for 300 years, then rediscovered in 976 CE The fort was besieged 16 times over an 800-year period. One unsuccessful siege lasted twelve years.

Solanki dynasty

The Solanki, of the Chalukya dynasty, ruled Gujarat in the 11th and 12th centuries. The two large step wells (vavs) of Uperkot Fort were both commissioned by Rah NavghanI (1025-1044 CE) Muslims conquered Gujarat in 1299 and the Sultanate of Gujarat was formed in 1407. Mahmud Begada (Mahmud Shah I) invaded Junagadh in 1467. The city was annexed to the Gujarat Sultanate; the city foundation was laid for Mahmudabad in 1497. Strong embankments were raised along the river, and the city was adorned with a palace, handsome buildings and extensive gardens. When the Portuguese took over the ports of Diu and Daman in the 16th century, a fifteen-foot cannon, made in Egypt in 1531, was abandoned at Uperkot Fort by a Turkish admiral opposing the Portuguese forces at Diu.

Mughal rule

Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I, who owed allegiance to the Sultan of Ahmedabad, founded the state of Junagadh by expelling the Mughal governor and declaring independence in 1748. Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I, who assumed the name "Zaid Khan" when he came to power in Junagadh, was the founder of the Babi dynasty. His descendants, the Babi Nawabs of Junagadh, conquered large territories in southern Saurashtra and ruled over the state for the next two centuries, first as tributaries of Baroda, and later under the suzerainty of the British. 

Five vignettes of Junagadh Nawab's and state officials 1895

Nawab of Junagadh and state officials 1885

H.H. Rasulkhanji,Nawab of Junagadh, Baha'ud'dinbhai Hasainbhai, Vazier, Junagadh 1895

Mahabat Khan, Nawab of Junagarh (1837-1882)

Nawab of Junagadh and state officials 1885
Junagadh-Mahabat Khanji III

Nawabs of Babi dynasty:

1735 - 1758 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji I
1758 - 1775 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji I
1775 - 1811 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji I
1811 - 1840 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji II
1840 - 1851 : Mohammad Hamid Khanji II
1851 - 1882 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji II
1882 - 1892 : Mohammad Bahadur Khanji III
1892 - 1911 : Mohammad Rasul Khanji
1911 - 1948 : Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III

British period

In 1748 Junagadh state founded. In 1807 it becomes British protectorate. The East India Company took control of the state by 1818, but the Saurashtra area never came under the direct administration of British India. Instead, the British divided the territory into more than one hundred princely states, which remained in existence until 1947. The present old town, developed during the 19th and 20th centuries, is one of the former princely states which were outside but under the suzerainty of British India.

Flag During British Rule

The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Junagadh was constructed on the land presented by Jinabhai (Hemantsingh) Darbar of Panchala, and dedicated on Friday, 1 May 1828 A.D.

The temple has a circumference on 278 feet and is in the centre of the town.Invocation ceremony of the Gods lasted for two full days with the festivities of the auspicious events. On May 1, 1828 A.D., Swaminarayan himself installed Shri Ranchhodrai and Trikamrai in the seat of the principal Gods of the temple. In the eastern temple he installed Radharaman Dev and Harikrishna Maharaj and in the western side he installed Siddheswar Mahadev, Parvatiji, Ganapatiji and Nandishwar. The Mughal Subba Bahadur Khan paid a personal visit to the place and Swaminarayan. Swaminarayan blessed the provincial head of the Mughal empire and honoured the king Hemantsinh for his gift of the land for the temple. 

Swami Narayan Temple At 1895
Inside dome of Swami Narayan's temple 1895

Inside dome of Swami Narayan's temple 1895

Inside dome of Swami Narayan's temple 1895

Inside dome of Swami Narayan's temple 1895
Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Junagadh 2010 

Time Periods of Various Rulers

Various Rulers
Time Period
Maurya Dynasty ruled over Junagadh
in 319 BC
Kalinga Dynasty ruled over Junagadh
in 185 BC
Greek ruled over Junagadh
in 73-70 BC
Shaka(Scythians) ruled over Junagadh
100-275 AD
Kshatrapa ruled over Junagadh
276-455 AD
Gupta ruled over Junagadh
456-770 AD
The Chinese Traveller Hu-en-Tsang had visited Junagadh
640 AD
Chudasama / Chavada ruled over Junagadh
875-1472 AD
Muslim Rulers Mohammed Begada, Khalil Khan
1472-1572 AD
Mughals ruled over Junagadh
1573-1748 AD
Nawabs of Babi Dynasty (Yousufzai Pathan) ruled over
1749-1949 AD

Some Coins During Nawabs Rule
Dokdo Currency front

Dokdo Currency Back

Sautashtra State Stamps 

Enjoy Some Rare Photos of Junagadh during British Rule 

UPERKOT - Uperkot is an impressive fort located on a plateau in the middle of town. It was originally built in 319 BC. Visitors enter the fort through a large gate. Some parts of the fort’s walls are 20 m high. If, after entering the gate you turn left, you will come to Jama Masjid. It has 140 pillars supporting its ceiling.
Further down the road are what are believed to be old Buddhist caves, said to be 1,500 years old (dating from before 500 AD). They are carved into the rocky hill and have stone carvings and floral work. There are also the Khapra Kodia caves north of the fort, and the Babupyana caves south of the fort.
There is a huge, fifteen-foot cannon, made in Egypt in 1531. There are also two interesting large step wells (vavs) here. The 11th century Navghan Kuva has a circular stairway that descends over 50 m down into the well. The Adi Chadi Vav descends 170 steps.

Old gate of the Uparkot at Junagadh 1875

ancient gateway at Uparkot in Junagadh 1895
Kadanal Tope in the Uparkot, Junagadh 1895

Gate to Old Fortress Uparkot 1895
Nilam Tope at the Uparkot Junagadh 1895

MAKABARA - Nawabs were buried here. This is a fine specimen of medieval structure.

Bahadur Khan in the Makbara, Junagadh 1895

Bahadurkhanji High School at Junagadh 1895

Bara Sayad, Maji Najubibi Saheb's Mukbara 1900

bazaar at Junagadh 1895

bazaar gate and Aiyena Mahal, Junagadh 1895

Chitakhana Masjid at Junagadh 1895

DAMODARJI TEMPLE Near Aswatthama Hill, which is north of Damodara Kund, is the Damodarji Temple, said to have been built by Vajranabha, Lord Krishna’s great-grandson.

Damodar Kund bridge with Damodarji's Temple  1900

Damodar temple, outside Junagadh 1895

Bridge by the Damodar temple, outside Junagadh 1895

Burning Ghat at Damodar temple, Junagadh 1895

DATAAR HILLS - 2,779 feet (847 m) high stepway is built for going up shrine of Jamiyalshah Datar.

Datar Dargah at Mount Girnar 1895

Datar Dargah at Mount Girnar near Junagadh 1895

Datar Hill  Junagadh 1895

DARBAR HALL (Now MUSEUM) - Picture gallery, textiles, arms gallery, the kacheri, the hall which was used by Nawabs of Junagadh to hold their darbar. The Durbar Hall and Museum has an interesting collection of weapons, thrones, silver articles, costumes, paintings, tapestries, and palanquins on display. It is not far from the entrance to the fort.

Durbar Hall Junagadh 1900
Reception Hall Kacheri in the Durbar Palace, Junagad 1895

English, Urdu & Gujarati School 1895

Entrance gate to Sakar Bag, Junagadh 1895

Gateway into the Sardar Bag, Junagadh 1895

Hamid Khan in the Makbara, Junagadh 1895

house in the Sakar Bagh at Junagadh 1895

Interior of a house in the Sakar Bag 1895

Jami Masjid at Junagadh 1895

Junagadh Palace 1900

Mahabat Circle in Junagadh with clock tower 1895

Maija Najubie Sahiba's Tomb at Junagadh 1895

Maija Najubie Sahiba's Tomb at Junagadh 1895

main entrance to the Central Jail at Junagadh 1895
View of the Central Jail, Junagadh 1895

Majwadi Darwarza or Gate at Junagadh 1895

Mausoleum of Maiji Sahiba, Junagadh 1869

Nagar-Khana and Ayna Mahal 1900

New Bazaar at Junagadh in Gujarat 1895

New Guest House Junagadh1895

Palace courtyard, Junagadh1895

Panoramic view of Junagadh from the Mota-Jalao 1895

Panoramic view of Junagadh from the old fortress 1895

Panoramic view of Junagadh from Girnar 1895
Junagadh from the old fortress 1895

Prince Albert Victor Leper Asylum 1900

railway station at Junagadh 1895

Railway Station, Junagadh, from Reay Gate 1895

royal tombs of the Junagadh Nawabs 1869

Sakar Bag, Junagadh 1900

Shakar Bag Bungalow and Garden 1900

The Bahauddin College at Junagadh 1900

The Jumma Masjid Junagadh upparkot 1900

The Reay Gate clock tower, Junagadh 1895

The Sardar Bag, interior with lion cage 1900

Vazier Bah'unddin bhai makbara 1895


The tallest of the mountains rises to 1031 meters (3382 feet), the highest peak in Gujarat. A sturdy stone path — a pilgrimage route - climbs from peak to peak. It is claimed that there are exactly 9,999 steps from the trailhead to the last temple on the highest peak, but the actual number is roughly 8,000. On the ways towards the peak of Girnar, there are temples and places; namely, `Bharathari Gufa(cave)', `Mali Parab', `Ramchandra Temple', and `Hathi Pashan'. Every year, a race is held, running from the base of the mountain to the peak and back. The locals in nearby Junagadh insist that the fastest-ever time was 42.36 minute.
The first peak of Girnar has a collection of beautifully carved Jain temples. Higher up, there are temples of `Jatashanker Mahadev' and `Gaumukhi Ganga'. Famous places like `Sheshavan', `Bharanvan' and `Hanumandhara' are nearer to the temple of `Gaumukhi Ganga'. The original way to climb Girnar from western side was from `Hanumandhara'. One can reach `Ambaji' temple after climbing ~5,000 steps. Right at the entry to the Ambaji Temple there is a marker on the steps that indicates 4868 steps from the start. This temple was constructed during `Gupt' dynasty and reference to this temple are found in the books written in seventh century. In the southern direction from `Ambaji' temple, there is another peak known as `Guru Gorakhnath' peak. `Oghad' peak is the next peak and followed by water tank known as `Kamandal kund'. There are steep steps to climb the peak of `Dattatreya' temple. To reach the peak of `Kalka' temple, one has to get down and climb another hill. The last two temples do not have steps on the way and you have to climb the mountain.
In the Hindu religion, the legend is that climbing Girnar barefooted earns one a place in Heaven. The nearby Gir Forest serves as sanctuary for the last remaining Asiatic Lions. It is also famous for the Kathiawadi culture in the adjacent region.

The Girnar Hills viewed from the foot 1900

View of the Girnar Hills 1895

3rd Peak, Girnar Junagadh 1895

Ambaji temple on the 2nd Peak, Girnar 1895

Bhairav Japa Junagadh 1895

Birds' eye view of Jain Temples, Girnar  1900

Gaumukhi Ganga at Mount Girnar 1895

Gaumukhi Ganga from the North, Girnar 1900

General view of Girnar Temples Junagadh 1895

Gorakhnath and Dattatri from the Temple of Ambaji 1900

Hanuman-Dhara and sadhu Junagadh 1895

Jain temples at Girnar Hill 1869

Jain temples on the Girnar Hills 1895

Jumping Rock Bhairav-Japa Girnar temples 1895

Kumapala and Parshvanatha Temples, Girnar Hill 1869
Nemi-Nath temple on the Girnar Junagadh 1895
Neminatha Temple 1869

Kumar Pal Temple, Girnar 1900 
Mount Girnar from the Uparkot 1895

Peak of Mount Girnar near Junagadh 1895

Shesh Fana Parasnath Junagadh girnar 1895

The Dattatri Hills from Gorakhnath Junagadh 1900

Vastupala Tejapala Temple on Girnar Hill 1869

Vastupala Tejapala Temple on Girnar Hill inside 1869

Vestupal Tejpal Temple, Girnar 1895
Sagram Soni's Temple at Junagadh 1895

Samprati Raja, Girnar Hill 1869

Samprati Raja's Temple, Girnar 1895
view of Mount Girnar 2010

By Rotate 90 degree  you easily spot the face of Sadhu
To Watch Live Video of Girnar Mountain Click Here.

ASHOK SHILALEKH:- About 2 km east of Junagadh and 3 km from the foot of Girnar Hill, between the two places, is an edict of Emperor Ashoka inscribed on a rock dating from the third century BC. The Ashokan edicts impart moral instructions on dharma, harmony, tolerance, and peace. An uneven rock, with a circumference of seven metres and a height of ten metres, bears inscriptions in Brāhmī script etched with an iron pen. 

                   Ashoka Inscription on rock 1869

The Ashoka rock inscription Junagadh 1900
entrance to the Buddhist Caves 1895

rock-cut hall in Uparkot 1874

Rock Palace or Khengar's Mahal, Junagadh 1874

Veraval was founded in 13th or 14th by Rao Veravalji Vadher, a Rajput. Veraval was once a fortified port town of the royal family of Junagadh. It used to be a part of the Kingdom of Junagadh till 1953 when Junagadh was merged with India. The city still bears some remains of the old Nawabi heritage, the beautiful Nawabi summer palace being one of them. There are ruins of the old Nawabi fort and Nawabi Gates in and around the place. The old walls of the port are now ruined, but the impressive Junagadh gate and the Patan gate are still seen, but are in a very bad state.
The Nawabi Palace with gothic features which is one of the main attractions. It is popularly known as Somnath College (the palace was converted into a college after it was abandoned by the nawab).At present it is the building of a Sanskrit university. The town is often known as the gateway to the magnificent temple of Somnath and the pilgrimage centres of Prabhas Patan and Bhalkha. Veraval is also the nearest town to the Gir National Park (42 km away).

harbour at Veraval with the town beyond 1895

lighthouse at Veraval 1895

lighthouse and port view at Veraval 1895

Veraval tone and sea port 1895

Veraval tone and sea port 1895

Veraval. Dock Estate line 1895


Somnath is situated at Prabhaspatan in Junagadh District; 79 km away from Junagadh City and is the most sacred of the twelve Jyotirlings (lingas of light) of the God Shiva. Somnath means "The Protector of Moon God". The Somnath Temple is known as 'the Shrine Eternal', as although the temple has been destroyed six times it has been rebuilt every single time. On the last time, it was built after a plan was mooted by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in November 1947, when he visited the area for Indian Integration of Junagadh, and later after his death carried out by K.M. Munshi, also a Minister in Government of India.

City gate, Somnath  1895

Dehotsarga at Prabhas Patan 1900

Inside Dome of Somnath in 1869

Ruins Somnath Temple 1869

Temple of the Sun, at Somnath 1895

View of the Temple of Somanatha 1895

Somnath-Temple 1947
Lord Shiva in Somnath Temple 

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