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Girnar Jain Tirth, Junagadh, Girnar Temple, Girnar Mountain

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Girnar Jain Tirth, Junagadh, Girnar Temple, Girnar Mountain

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Girnar

Introduction

Image: 
Introduction: 
   
There are 2 main Jain pilgrimage centres in the Saurashtra region, one Shatrunjay and the other being Girnar. The Girnar Hill is 1118 metres above sea-level and there are about 10,000 steps built to scale its heights.
    
The Mool-nayak (main deity) at Girnar is Lord Neminath (Arishtnemi), the 22nd Tirthankar. Its significance is as much as that of Shatrunjay. Despite it being located at 230 km, it is still considered as the fifth toonk of Shatrunjay.
    
This region is about 321 km from Ahmedabad. The city of Junagadh is situated at about 5 km to the west.
    

The 5 peaks of Girnar are significant from a religious point of view. They are Ambaji, Gorakhnathji, Guru Dattatreya, Aughad Anusuiya, and Kalika. Of these, Gorakhnath is the tallest. There are about 900 small and large Jain and Hindu temples situated on the peaks of these hills.

    
Significant geographical location and being a key religious centre made it a target for frequent attacks by rulers belonging to other religions. The second century itself witnessed 16 invasions but devoted followers renovated it every time proving that the powers of the creation are much stronger than those of the destruction.
    
On one hand the forests of Girnar are the last reserve for the Asiatic Lions and on the other hand the temples and homes of the region are a beautiful representation of the culture of Kathiawad.
 

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Mythological Beliefs

Mythological Beliefs: 
   
Girnar is largely associated with the 22nd Jain Tirthankar, Lord Neminath. It witnessed the 3 Kalyanaks (auspicious events) of his life, viz. Deeksha (renouncement of the world), Gyan (attainment of knowledge) and Nirvan (salvation).
    
According to the Jain scriptures, Lord Neminath was a cousin of Lord Shri Krishna. His marriage was arranged with the local princess Rajulmati (Rajul) while he was young. But he was touched and decided to renounce the world on knowing about the large number of animal sacrifice that was to take place during his marriage celebrations. Later even Rajul followed him and established the Jain Sadhvi Sangh (association of female monks) after attaining knowledge.
    
Ambaji is considered as the presiding goddess of this place. It is she who is believed to have given the idol of Lord Neminath to Ratan Shah who then built a temple for it.
   
According to beliefs of Jainism, the idol of Lord Neminath was made by Indra himself much before the birth of Neminath. Later it was kept in the temple of Lord Krishna and was in the possession of Ambaji from the time Dwarika was destroyed.
   
Hinduism also considers Girnar as very sacred and according to the beliefs; one who climbs up the Girnar Hill bare feet earns a place in heaven.
   
According to another belief, Lord Dattatreya also meditated here. A rock with impressions of his feet can be seen here even today. Dattatreya is the son of Rishi Atri and Sati Anusuiya and is considered as the combined incarnation of the triad Gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.
    
According to the Nathpanth ideology, Guru Gorakhnath also performed intense meditation in the region.
 

Historical Facts

History: 
   
Various ancient religious texts have referred to Girnar by different names like Ujjayantgiri, Girinarayan and Rauwatgiri.
   
The first historical reference of Girnar dates back to the Maurya period when Chandragupt Maurya won over the region in 319 B.C. Acharya Bhadrabahu, the guru of Chandragupt, undertook the holy pilgrimage of Girnar.
   
The 14th rock edict of Ashok Priyadarshi was found here. This inscription describes about the rulers of the region and the governors appointed by them and their work (the construction and maintenance of the Sudarshan Lake).
   
 
    Ruler      Governor
    Chandragupt Maurya      Pushyagupt
    Ashok      Tushashp
    Rudradaman      Suvishakh
    Skandgupt     Parnadatt and his son
    Chakrapalit
   
Samprati, the grandson of Ashok, also visited this place and built the temples of Jain Tirthankars. It is worth a mention that Emperor Samprati was an earnest follower of Jainism.
   
Construction work continued even during the Gupt period. The famous temple of Ambaji was probably built during the same period.
   
The region was ruled by the kings of the Maitrak, Chalukya and Solanki dynasty after the Gupts. Most of the temples in Girnar were built during this period. The renowned Neminath Temple situated here was built in the 12th century (1129-1159 A.D.).
   
After the 12th century, the region was frequently invaded by the Muslims. In the 15th century, Sultan Mehmood Begra took control over the region and renamed Girnar as Mustafabad, making it his capital.
   
In 1748 A.D., Mohammad Bahadur Khanji established an independent rule in the name of Zaid Khan and founded the Babi dynasty which continued till 1948 A.D. During this period too, the construction and renovation of Hindu and Jain temples continued.
 

Main Places To See

Main Places To See: 
   
Lord Neminath Temple:
 
Lord Neminath, the 22nd Tirthankar of Jainism, is the main deity of this temple. The temple is decorated with beautiful idols. A rectangular courtyard exists in the middle of the temple. The idol of Lord Neminath is made of black stone with jewels studded in place of the eyes. The idol is in a Padmasan pose. Conch, the symbol of this Tirthankar is also depicted on the idol.
    
Mallinath Temple:
 
Mallinath is considered as the 19th Tirthankar and whose temple is situated opposite the Neminath Temple. The temple has a blue idol of Lord Mallinath. This temple was built by the brothers, Vastupal and Tejpal. The Mount Abu Temple was also built by them.
    
Lord Rishabhdev Temple and Merawasi:
 
The temple of Lord Rishabhdev is golden in colour and he is considered as the first Jain Tirthankar. Merawasi is the temple of Lord Parshwanath who is the 23rd Tirthankar.
    
5 toonks of Girnar Hill:
 
First toonk: This toonk has the Cave of Rajulmati, the idol of Lord Bahubali and the foot prints of Kund Kund Acharya besides the idols of Parshwanath and Neminath. A spring called Gaumukhi Ganga is also seen here.
 
Second toonk: A temple of Ambika Devi is situated here. Newly married couples visit here to get the blessings of the Goddess.
 
Third toonk: Here the foot prints of Muni Shambuk Kumar can be seen.
 
Fourth toonk: The foot prints of Pradyumna, Lord Krishna's son and an incarnation of Lord Indra, can be seen here.
 
Fifth toonk: Here an idol of Lord Neminath and his foot prints can be seen.
   
Lord Dattatreya Temple:
 
The foot impressions of the 3-headed Lord Dattatreya can be seen here. Followers of the Shaiv sect consider him as the incarnation of Lord Shiv. It is believed that he meditated over here.
   
Ashok Rock Edict:
 
This is the renowned 14th rock edict of Ashok which is situated at 3 km to the west of the Girnar Hills. This 10 metre tall rock has an inscription in the Brahmi and Pali languages and describes the policies of his Dharmavijay.
   
Narsinh Mehta No Choro:
 
The noted Gujarati saint of the 15th century, Narsinh Mehta used to meditate and stay here. This place is in Junagadh. Gandhiji was very fond of his bhajans.
   
Girivan:
 
This place is a paradise for nature lovers. Spread over 200 square kilometers, this protected area is the last reserve for the Asiatic Lions.
 

Main Festivals

Main Festivals: 
   
Bhavnath Mahadev Mela:
 
This is the biggest festival here and is held in the month of Falgun (February) for a period of 5 days. A number of cultural programmes are held by the Gujarat Tourism Corporation. The fair is an ideal opportunity to get a peek into the culture of Kathiawad.
   
Mahavir Jayanti:
 
This festival falling on Chaitra Shukla Trayodashi (March-April) is celebrated by both, the Digamabars and the Shwetambars.
   
Diwali:
 
This festival of light is celebrated by Hindus and Jains with an equal amount of enthusiasm on Kartik Amavasya (October-November).
   
Paryushan Festival:
 
Celebrated in the month of Bhadra (September), this festival is the most important in Girnar. Followers of the Digambar sect celebrate this festival strictly as Dus Lakshan Parv.
   
Akshay Tritiya:
 
On Vaishakh Shukla Tritiya (April-May), the Jain saints break their year long penance and fast called Varshitap. This ritual of fast-breaking is called Paarna.
 

Where To Stay

Where To Stay : 
   
 
Hotels :
 
 Category
 General
 Name
 Madhuvanti Hotel Resort
 Address
 Kalwa Chowk, Sabri Shopping Centre, Junagadh - 362 001,  Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2657954
   
 
 Category
 General
 Name
 Ashiyani Hotel
 Address
 2nd floor, Kalwa Chowk, Sabri Shopping Centre,  
 Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2624299
   
 
 Category
 General
 Name
 Shri Paramount
 Address
 Kalwa Chowk, Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2622119
   
 
 Category
 Medium
 Name
 Vishal Hotel
 Address
 Dharma Complex, 3rd Floor, Opp. S.T.Bus Station,  
 Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2633106
   
 
 Category
 Medium
 Name
 Shikhar Palace Hotel
 Address
 3rd Floor,Shikhar Complex, Jaishree Cinema Road,  
 Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2626596
   
 
 Category
 High
 Name
 New Somnath Hotel
 Address
 Somnath Complex, Railway Station Road, Junagadh - 362 001,  Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2627574
   
 
 Category
 High
 Name
 The Lotus Hotel
 Address
 Station Road, Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat
 Telephone
 +91 - 285 - 2658500
 Web Site
 

Location/Climate

Location/Climate: 
 
Location
 
 Geographical  Location  Height  Above  Sea Level  Average Annual Rainfall
 Latitude  Longitude  1118 meters  775 mm
 12.5° N  70.5° E
   
 
Temperature

Temperature is given in degrees Celsius.

 
 Month  Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct   Nov    Dec
 Maximum 
26
27
29
30
32
32
31
30
30
31
31
28
 Minimum
16
18
22
25
27
28
27
26
26
25
22
18
   
 
Important Information
The ideal time to visit Girnar is between October and March.
 

General Information

General Information: 
 
 STD Code
 0285
 Police Assistance
 100
 
 Ambulance / Hospital
 
 Junagadh N. M. Lakhani Hospital, Railway Station  Road,  Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat
 Tel. : +91 - 285 - 262 382
 Junagadh Shraddha Arogya Mandir, Sardar Bag Road,  Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat,
 Tel. : +91 - 285 - 2631626
 
 Currency  Exchange
 
 Bank of India, Janata Chowk, Post Box No. 3,  
 Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat,
 Tel. : +91 - 285 - 2620041
 Bank of Baroda, Azad Chowk,
 Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat,
 Tel. : +91 - 288 - 2653472
 
 ATM Centre  Bank of India, Janata Chowk,
 Junagadh - 362 001, Gujarat,
 Tel. : +91 - 285 - 2620041 / 2627294
 Canara Bank, Near Bus Stand, Junagadh, Gujarat,
 Tel. : +91 - 285 - 2636140
 
 Post Office
 Junagadh - Girnar Road, S.O.
 Junagadh - 362001, Gujarat,
 Tel. : +91 - 285 - 2623050
 
 Tourist Office
 Junagadh
 

Travel Planner

Address (Click on "A" to locate): 
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Airports in the vicinity: 
Porbandar
Rajkot
Ahmedabad
Diu
Jamnagar
Railway: 
 Main Railway Stations  Station Code
 Junagadh  JND
 Shihor  SOJN
 Veraval  VRL
 Ahmedabad  ADI
 Porbandar  PBR
 Keshod  KSD
Road Distance from Destinations: 
 Girnar  Rajkot  108 km
 Porbandar  118 km
 Keshod  42 km
 Ahmedabad  317 km
 Jamnagar  135 km
 Somnath  94 km
 Shri Shatrunjay Teerth  Rajkot  179 km
 Bhavnagar  54 km
 Keshod  196 km
 Ahmedabad  223 km
 Veraval  206 km