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Girnar (also known as "Girnar Hill") is a collection of mountains in the Junagadh District of Gujarat, India, situated near Junagadh at a distance of 327km from Ahmedabad. It is a holy place and an important pilgrimage for both Hindus and Jains. There are a number of temples located here. Amidst the lush green Gir Forest, the mountain range serves as the hub of religious activity. Apart from this, there is a mosque attracting many Muslim pilgrims to the place. This has made Girnar a perfect example of unity in diversity in India.


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. 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.

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.

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Additional Photos by Bharadwaj Vadodaria (bharadwajg) Silver Note Writer [C: 5 W: 2 N: 22] (157)
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