Junagadh is situated right at the base of the
temple-studded Girnar Hill, and is the departure point for visits to the Gir Forest. This interesting and unspoilt town has some exotic old buildings, most in a state of disrepair, and is a fascinating place to explore, but very
few tourists come here. The city takes its name from the fort, which enclosed the old city. Dating from 250 BC, the Ashokan edicts near the town testify to the great antiquity of this site. At the time of Partition, the Nawab of
Junagadh opted to take his tiny state into Pakistan. However, the inhabitants were predominantly Hindu and the nawab soon found himself in exile, which perhaps explains the sorry state of his former palace and fort.
The best source of information is Mr.
Sorathia, the manager of the Hotel Relief -
the town's unofficial tourist centre. The Bank of India, near Diwan
Chowk, has money hanging facilities. Junugdh's GPO is inconveniently located south of the city centre at
Gandhigram. There's a branch in a small street just off MG
Rd near the local bus stand. The telegraph office is on Jhalorapa Rd, near Ajanta Talkies.
to reach !
The timetable at the STC stand is entirely in Gujarati. Buses leave for Rajkot every 30 minutes (two hours, Rs 24), for Sasan Gir every hour (two hours, Rs 13 to Rs 19), and there are regular departures to other centres in the state.
The Somnath mail and Girnar Express run between Ahmedabad and Veraval via Junagadh. The Somnath Mail departs Junagadh at 7 pm, arriving in Ahmedabad at 4.20 am. The Girnar Express departs at 9.10 pm, arriving in Ahmedabad at 6.10 am.
The 377km trip costs Rs 104/310 in 1st class. In Veraval, there are additional services at 6.30 and 9.05 am, and 2.30 and 6 pm. The two hour trip costs Rs 25/l05 in 2
nd/lst class. At 6 am there is a train to Sasan Gir (21/2 hours, Rs 13), which continues on to Delwada (for Una and Diu), arriving in Delwada at 12.30 pm
(Rs 43/101 in 2nd/1st
class). The Veraval-Rajkot mails run between the Rajkot and Veraval via Junagadh, departing Junagadh for Rajkot 1.15 pm. The 131 km, four hours trip costs Rs.35/138 in 2nd/1st class.
Buses to Girnar Hill leave from outside the post office every hour from 6 am
(Rs 2). An auto-rickshaw costs about Rs 30. Junagadh's taxis seem to be mostly I940s vintage Ford Plymouths, and there're dozens of them; probably
the greatest concentration of working examples any where in the world.