ત્રાડ પડી કે ઊભો રે’જે !
ગીરના કુત્તા ઊભો રે’જે !
કાયર દુત્તા ઊભો રે’જે !
પેટભરા ! તું ઊભો રે’જે !
ભૂખમરા ! તું ઊભો રે’જે !
ચોર લૂંટારા ઊભો રે’જે !
ગા-ગોઝારા ઊભો રે’જે !
લાલ હિંગોળી ચારણ કન્યા
ઝાડ ચડંતી ચારણ કન્યા
પહાડ ઘૂમંતી ચારણ કન્યા
જોબનવંતી ચારણ કન્યા
આગ ઝરંતી ચારણ કન્યા
નેસ નિવાસી ચારણ કન્યા
જગદમ્બા શી ચારણ કન્યા
ડાંગ ઉઠાવે ચારણ કન્યા
ત્રાડ ગજાવે ચારણ કન્યા
હાથ હિલોળી ચારણ કન્યા
પાછળ દોડી ચારણ કન્યા
Ever since I heard this Gujarati poem, I wondered how brave hearted these people of Junagadh are and wished to atleast meet one! And now I have a very close friend who is from Junagadh! She took our whole group to her house this MahaShivratri.
I wanted to write about this wonderful trip in our own state and tell everyone about this heritage. Read on about the land that is known for its literature, Spiritual importance, Religious importance, natural beauty, and the Asiatic lion.
We started our 8 hour journey from Ahmedabad at 11 am of a Thursday morning in a Luxury Bus. Everyone was very excited anticipating the fun we would have with Friends! And it did turn out to be the best Bus ride.
We all 8 friends sat together in one compartment and played Antakshari and the like. When the bus stopped on the way, we enjoyed a cool glass of Sugarcane juice. This was my first proper trip to the Saurashtra region, so every small thing on the way was interesting for me.
We reached Junagadh at 9 pm and were welcomed with hot homemade dinner prepared by my Friend’s mom. After eating hostel food everyday, this felt like heaven!
Then we all sat together and chatted for a while after which we called it a day. How can you sleep without a pillow fight when staying with friends?!
MahaShivratri in Junagadh:
On the day of Shivratri, many saints especially the Naga Bawas come to Junagadh and thousands of people come to the Mela. This day has a very special importance. People observe a fast. Since ancient times, a fair is held near the Bhavnath temple. The Naga Bawas take dip in the auspicious Mrugi Kund before they join the Procession. Lord Shiva himself is believed to visit the temple this night. During the procession, people see the Naga Bawas perform Hath Yoga and blow Shank (shells), tungis and Turis. During the 5 days of the fest, the celebration continues with Dance, bhavai (traditional theatre) and music performances.
The Temple of Bhavnath is located in the Girnar Taleti (foot of the mountain). The pilgrims start the ascent towards the temple on Girnar hill from here.
We woke up before sunrise and went straight to the terrace! The view was mesmerizing. The whole Girnar range could be seen on one side. The sky had a beautiful pink tone. I set up my camera to capture a timelapse of the Sunrise while my friends took a morning walk.
We spent that day at a Farmhouse. There were trees of the famous Junagadh’s Kesar Mangoes all around.
The Heritage tour in Junagadh:
When you think of Junagadh, from the People, their Language, their literature, their Food, houses, lakes and Palaces, to the Lion, the word that definitely comes to mind is Royalness and Grace. As symbols of this heritage, there are following places one must visit in Junagadh:
This is the fort from which Junagadh got its name! It was built by the Maurya dynasty but eventually lost its importance when the capital of Saurashtra changed. Several years later a woodcutter made his way through the forest to the walls of this fort. The fort became visible when the surrounding forest was cleared and was hence named ‘Juna’ meaning Old and ‘Gadh’ meaning Fort.
Constructed in period of Emperor Ashoka, these caves carved out of stone are rooms for the monks. They are located along the ancient Sudarshan Lake.
ADI KADI VAV AND NAVGHAN KUVO:
The water of Navghan well is what helped Uparkot survive several wars.
The Adi Kadi vaw is a step well with 120 steps carved out of a stone. Its patterns on the walls are very beautiful and feels magnificent. Adi and Kadi are the names of 2 girls sacrificed in the construction of this stepwell.
ASHOK SHILA LEKH:
These edicts made by Emperor Ashoka in Brahmi script on stone spread the message of Dharma, Tolerance, Non-violence and Secularity and tell us about the Virtues of India.
This museum preserves and exhibits the beautiful belonging of the royalty like swords, furniture, lamps, chandeliers, crockery, carpets, clothes, jewellery, Paintings, Coins and maps and photographs and a lot more.
Built in 19th Century as per Indo-Islamic and Gothic architecture, the intricately carved Mahabat Maqbara houses the tombs of Mohabbat Khanji and Bahaduddin Hasainbhai. Its winding staircases and beautiful walls make it a favorite spots for Photostoots😄!
A part of the Agricultural University of Junagadh, this park is a very refreshing place for a morning walk. The chirping of birds, the sight of Peacocks, the peace of the lake and the swaying on Banayan trees will just make your day!
Temples of Junagadh:
Junagadh has some of the most beautiful and religiously Important temples. It includes the Dattratreya temple, Amba temple, Jain temples on the Girnar hill; Bhavanth Temple, Damodar Hari temple and Kund, Swaminarayan temple, Jama Masjid and more.
The Girnar hill is of the shape of man’s face. It has huge Spiritual importance. There are 9999 steps to the top. Just the Parikrama of Girnar is considered so important that people have Life changing experiences there.
And the Light poles on Girnar are arranged in such a way that they give the appearance of Om from far!
Visiting Gir National Park:
People from all around the world come to see the Asiatic Lions at Sasan Gir. The national park is very well organized! We need to take permit in advance to enter the forest. One can get the permit on this site:
No plastic bottles are allowed inside the forest. So they provide 2 steel bottles per car here.
There are around 13 differnt tracts in the Jungle trail to avoid traffic of all cars in one place and to maximize the chances of spotting a lion. When a lion is seen on one track, they contact all the other Jeeps to come to that spot.
6 tourists per permit are allowed in the Gypsy. A driver and a guide are assigned to each car. During the 3 hour Safari, they told us some really astonishing facts not only about the lions but also about the Deers and the peacock and the trees of the forest.
Some of the facts they told us are:
- The lions sleep for around 18 hours a day! And usually the hours when they are awake is in the dark or night.
- Lions do not hunt everyday, they eat after around 3- 4 days.
- The deers can smell a lion (and vice versa) with the help of Wind’s direction. And this fact is used by the drivers to locate a lion from seeing a group of deer.
- This is the Ghugad tree- wood of which produces a fragrance and is used in Pooja.
For more of these, you have to go to Sasan Gir yourself and experience it!The experience of traveling in an Open Gypsy in a forest, with Friends is more than amazing and seeing the Royal King of the forest along with lots of Deers and peacock and some rare, exotic Birds and Animals makes it a lifelong memorable experience!
While you are at it, do not forget to have the Junagadh Special Kahvo!
So, this was my last trip before Quarantine! What was yours? Tell me in the comments!
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