English language news articles from year 2007 plus find out everything about Asiatic Lion and Gir Forest. Latest News, Useful Articles, Links, Photos, Video Clips and Gujarati News of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary (Geer / Gir Forest - Home of Critically Endangered Species Asiatic Lion; Gir Lion; Panthera Leo Persica ; Indian Lion (Local Name 'SAVAJ' / 'SINH' / 'VANRAJ') located in South-Western Gujarat, State of INDIA), Big Cats, Wildlife, Conservation and Environment.
Last Updated: 10th February 2018 06:33 PM | A+A A- |
Driving through the old town of Junagadh towards an ancient
Buddhist cave gives the impression that the faded façades of old houses
and havelis on the way have trapped the place in a time warp. You cross
numerous maqbaras, mosques and ornate buildings showing its rich
historical past. ‘Junagadh’ literally meaning ‘old fort’ lives up to the
antiquity of its name: there are old forts, mausoleums, caves and
ancient temples scattered across the town that gives a sepia tinge to
The ancient town is an amalgamation of
religion and culture, evident in its historic architecture. Its history
stretches from the invasions of the Greeks (Alexander’s foray in India),
the expansion drive of the Mauryas, Chudasama Rajputs, the Gujarat
Sultanate, to the Babi dynasty nawabs under the Mughals.
The tastes of Junagadh’s various rulers
have influenced its architectural landscape. For history buffs, this
makes a compelling reason to visit. Vertical thrill seekers are assured
of an adrenaline rush by climbing the 9,999 steps from the Girnar Taleti
to the Girnar Hills; the highest peak in Gujarat.
Hailed as an important pilgrimage site
for both Jains and Hindus, it takes a hardy pilgrim and ample devotion
to undertake the climb. While on a quest to explore the earliest of the
three Buddhist caves dating back to 3rd-4th century AD, you have to
tread a bit cautiously through narrow roads of the old city. The caves
tell their own stories: while buying a ticket to enter the Khapra Kadiya
caves protected by the Archaeological Survey of India, the ticket
seller informs that its latest claim to fame is that a Bollywood horror
film was shot there. The other two cave groups, Baba Pyare caves are in
Junagadh is heaven for spicing up life:
local vendors can be seen selling mounds of spices. They supposedly come
from Goa by sea and are fresh and reasonably priced. Spice shopping
done, take a stroll to the ancient fort of Uparkot built during the
reign of Chandragupta Maurya in 319 BC. You could peep through
telescopes for just `10 to pay long distance obeisance to the revered
Amba Mata temple and Gorakhnath temple. Entering the ornate triple
gateway of Uparkot which is built on a plateau, the first sight you come
across is a large cannon, still watching over the city. The fort was
besieged 16 times but has never been taken.
As you pass the Damodar kund, don’t miss
a white building that houses Ashok Lekshila—a boulder carved with the
edicts of Emperor Ashoka in Pali. Though hunting was a royal past time
of that age, Junagadh had its own green king: its last nawab Mahabat
Khan III was an animal lover. Thanks to his efforts the Asiatic lions
have survived in Sasan Gir forest since he had banned hunting and
declared the area a protected forest reserve. Credit also goes to him
for breeding fine Kathiawari horses and the Gir cows. Now the kings are
gone, but the past lives on.
Veraval (83 km from Junagadh) is a coastal town with a bustling port and one of India's leading fishing centres.
Somnath (87 km from Junagadh) The
historic Somnath temple stands in a beautiful garden on the beach. It
houses one of the 12 sacred Jyotirlingas and sacred to Shiva devotees.
Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary (80 km from
Junagadh) The last home of the Asiatic lions makes for a wonderful
wildlife experience. You require a prior permit to enter the sanctuary. http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifestyle/travel/2018/feb/10/of-crumbling-forts-faded-havels-and-horror-films-1770434.html