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Girnar is a collection of mountains which are older than the Himalayas are situated just 4 kilometers away from Junagadh in Gujarat. The mountain is about 1100 meters (3630 ft) high and is sacred place for both Hindus and Jains. Devotees climb 10000 steps to reach the spot which is place for 5 Jain temples and many other Hindu temples. Also believed is that the footprints of the famous god Dattatreya is located on the lonely peak at mount Girnar. Gujarat government conducts Girnar Climbing Competition every year between 1st-10th January which has become a national sporting event. The best time to climb the mountain is in the early morning. The government has also approved a rope way project to assist the devotees in climbing the hill. It is estimated that nearly 50 lakhs people visit the place every year.
Temples on Mount Girnar in Junagadh
Neminath temple on the mountain is the most prominent and sacred for Jains. The rectangular temple was constructed between 1128 CE and 1159 CE using black marble. The Amba mata temple is famous for the newlyweds for a happy marriage. At a height of 3,330 feet (1010 m) the Ambaji peak is dedicated to the goddess. Mallinath temple was built in 1231 CE by Tejpal and Vastupal was dedicated to 19th Tirthankar. Parshwanath temple also called as Meravasi was built in 15th century. The golden Rishabhadev Temple which is in golden color is dedicated to the 24 Jain Tirthankars.
Mount Girnar is also sacred for Hindus as this is the place for Digambar and Shwetambar temples. In and all there are about 50 temples over the Mount Girnar. The mountain mainly has 5 peaks Ambaji, Gorakhnath, Guru Dattatraya, Oghad Ansuya and Kalka where all these temples are located.
Shivaratri Event at Mount Girnar in Junagadh
The most colorful event held on Mount Girnar is on Maha Shivaratri. The event held on 11th day of Kartik month of Hindu calendar is attended by laks of pilgrims. The procession starts at the Bhavnath Mahadev temple, visits different temples of Malavela, Madhi, and Bara Devi temple on the way go around and finally ends at Bhavnath temple. The event almost fetches INR 25 crores just for 5 days.
Ashoka Rock Edicts on Mount Girnar in Junagadh
The rock edicts can be seen on the way inside a roadside building to mount Girnar. Written in 250 BC, the inscriptions carry Brahmi script in Pali language. Some of the inscriptions are also written in Sanskrit language. The 14 edicts inscribes speak of moral and ethical terms and incorporate moral lectures. The edicts are inscribes on a big boulder surface. The site is open every day from Morning 8 AM to 6 PM in the evening and the entry is just 5 rupees.
Location of Mount Girnar in Junagadh & Transport
The mount Girnar is located just 5 km away from Junagadh and 400 kilometers away from Ahmedabad. Rajkot is the nearest airport just 100 kilometers from Junagadh. Junagadh is also well connected by train and road and is easy to reach the place.
The best time to visit this place is between October and February as scorching summer heat makes it impossible to climb the mountain. The temples are open throughout the year for visitors and tourists.