Girnar
Girnar

Girnar

Mt. Girnar (Junagadh district) is a sacred hill both to the Hindus as well as Jains. The Jains call it Mt. Neminath. According to traditional history, Siddhas have used it as a retreat to undertake tapasya since ancient times. The 3660 feet hill is connected with Lord Krishna. When Kalayavan, apparently a warrior of foreign origin, was chasing him, the Lord got the better of the powerful adversary in a curious way. Raja Muchkund was sleeping in one of the caves of Raivatachal Mountain (the ancient name for Girnar.) He was taking rest after fighting on behalf of the gods. After his exertions Muchkund had only one desire rest and repose. He got a boon that whoever disturbed his sleep would be reduced to ashes when he opened his eyes. This boon Krishna knew. What better way to get rid of Kalyavan. So he pretended as if he was running away from Kalyavan and led him to the cave where the king was sleeping. Krishna covered Muchkund with his upper cloth. Kalyavan after the long chase mistook the sleeping figure for Krishna and woke him up and was reduced to ashes.

Girnar was known by different names at different periods-Ujjayant, Manipur, Chandraketupur, Raivat Nagar, Puratanpur, Girivar and Girnar. Of the seven peaks five are important Amba Mata, Gorakhnath, Augadh, Guru Dattatreya and Kalika. The pilgrims have to climb 4000 steps to reach the top. There are five important Jain temples, besides several Hindu shrines. The most prominent Jain shrine is the rectangular Neminath temple which was completed between 1128 CE and 1159 CE. Neminath (the 22th Tirthankar) is carved in black marble with jeweled eyes. The courtyard is filled with sculptures. Further up is the Amba temple. Newly weds who seek Mataji's blessings for a happy married life frequent it.

The Mallinath temple dedicated to the 19th Tirthankar was built in 1231 CE by Vastupal and Tejpal. Neminath is shown in blue color. The Rishabhadev temple in golden color has 24 Tirthankars. The Parshwanath temple was built in the 15th century. It is known as Meravasi. The Dattatreya hill is half way down the temple cluster. It is best to start the climb in the morning. Bhavnath Shiv temple is the first shrine on the upward path. Bhartruhari cave, Sorath Mahal, Bhim Kund and Suryakund are the other important places. Gomukkhi Kund has pellucid water fed by a mountain stream. Hanuman Dharaand Kamandal is the other Temple.

By Plane

Keshod is the nearest Airport, 35kms. from Junagadh.

By Rail

Girnar is connected to Mumbai by the Girnar Express.

By Road

It is connected to most places in Gujarat by private and state buses.