I started to get positive feelings while planning the trip itself. I discussed my travel plans with many people, even few of facebook friend as well who belongs to Saurashtra region or they were visited before. I also consulted for a decent accommodation in Junagadh. And many of them suggested The Lotus Hotel, I got my booking confirmation by email where they offered good discount on their own, and it was a pleasant surprise for me!
We have started our journey form surashtra mail boarding form Borivali and my first adventure begin for travel guide for India, I was so excited to visit unknown place but heard lot about the historical place Junagadh and Oldest mountain Girnar.
It was Diwali time and I was supposed to climb the great Girnar (9999 large steps).There was lot of excitement when inquired about the climb many said it would take around 10 hours to reach Lord Dattatreya temple and come back. According to plan we were about to wake at 5.00 am and start our climb at 6.00 am. But as usual we got delayed, as we were tired with train journey and sight seeing of Junagadh previous day. Also after climbing up and down the Girnar we were going to have our feet and legs paining . Our goal was to reach Lord Dattatreya temple which was farthest from the ground point ( 9999 steps). First place to come while climbing was Jain temples and then Amba Mata temple and then climb down a lit bit and up again to Guru Gorakhnath Temple and again downwards and upwards to Lord Dattatreya and back.
Girnar has actually five peaks namely Ambaji, Gorakhnath, Guru Dattatraya, Oghad Ansuya and Kalka.First halt is at about 4500 steps and 3100 feet at Jain temples. And Then at 5000 steps come Amba Mata Temple. Then comes Gorakhanath Peak 3666 ( 6000 steps) feet which is highest point in Gujarat state. Then after climbing 2000 steps downwards and again that 2000 steps upwards comes Lord Dattatreya (little lower than Guru Gorakhnath) temple having his footprints ( padukas) inscribed (9999 steps). Finally the Devi Kalika peak which has very difficult approach and has no step way, but worth watching.
Totally there are about 9999 steps to and fro from Girnar Taleti ( foothills of Girnar Mountain) to Lord Dattatreya Temple.
Its area is around 70 miles and circumambulation is around 40 kms. Many saints and pilgrims come here 5 days during Diwali for circumambulation of these great mountains. Climbing of this mountain and taking darshan is daily regular activity. Naga Sadhus from Himalayas come here to celebrate Mahashivaratri here in Bhavnath Shiva Temple. So one can understand its significance.
Before we starts climbing up girnar we had typical gujarati Naasta Faafdaa , jalebi , mirchi and chai At the foothills of Girnar when we are just about to begin the climb, we saw the temples of Lord Hanuman, Mata Amba and Lord Dattatreya.
Finally we started our climb after having as usual Chai and faafdaas at 7.00 am. I thought it would be easy and not that much tough as I heard. I just thought that they were making too much hype.
We started at foothills with Darshan of Shree Hanumanji, Ambe Maa and Lord Dattatreya at foothills on the start of the climb. After having darshan the actual climb started.
We found many Jain temples on Girnar Mountain, but main one was Tirthankara Neminath temple, He renounced all worldy materials and pleasures after seeing animal slaughter in his wedding and attained Nirvana here.
Amba Mata Temple in Girnal,is one of the very ancient temples of India. Amba Mata Temple is highly sublime pilgrimage center for the Hindus. Amba Mata Temple is said to attract more than lakhs of pilgrims from all parts of the world, throughout the year.
And at last after reaching here after three hours at 12.00 noon what we found was a queue of around 200 people. That was required after climbing 6000 steps continously for 3 hours, We decided that we will go to Guru Gorakhnath Temple and Lord Dattatreya Temple first and then take darshan of Amba Mata. But friend it was really tough for me to climb more 3000 step, I was tired like anything and we have decided to go back and promised to lord Dattatraya that we will be back soon for his darshan, and we back to hotel.
How would you like to travel?
Rajkot is the nearest airport. One can get regular flights to mumbai from rajkot. Junagarh is two and half hour from rajkot by road.
The Junagadh Railway Station is well-connected to all the major cities in India.It is on Ahmedabad – Somnath Route of Broadgauge line.
Route from Ahmedabad to Junagadh Approximate distance 336 km, Drive time about: 6.72 hours
Route from Rajkot to Junagadh Approximate distance 110 km, Drive time about: 2.2 hours
Route from Vadodara to Junagadh Approximate distance 400 km, Drive time about: 7 hours