Junagadh Heritage Walk

This walk touches upon the pre-Babi architecture of Uparkot Gate, Lashkari Vav and Vav at Ram Temple and focuses on the heritage of the Babi period (mid-18th to mid-20thc.) ending at Mandvi Chowk (see box), it covers mainly the Old City area west of Uparkot, marked on the map below.

Some spots from earlier periods and from the Babi era lie outside the route towards north and west but yield more comprehensive insights into the city’s heritage. These are described at the end of the booklet. All information given relies on facts verify able from archaeological and historical records unless otherwise stated. Uparkot itself is not part of the planned walk, but it is worth quickly exploring its elaborate entranceway and some of the important sites just inside the gate and a short stroll uphill. Similarly, other important heritage sites scattered throughout the inside and outside of the walled city.

Entrance Passage to Uparkot

This passage –a series of arches that are not in chronological order –has many layers of history. The main entrance gate, first in sequence as we enter from the Old City, is a large north-facing pointed arch from the Sultanate period, flanked by two towers. Built centuries after the corbelled arches further inside, it added security against the more formidable military capabilities of invaders in that latter period.

Lashkari Vav

Next to small roadside cannon on the left, going from the main gate to the corbelled archway is the tiny entrance to the old  Lashkari Vav which can be accessed from the outer side of the fort, now in considerable disrepair.

Ram Mandir

Chronologically, the earliest settlements in Junagadh were at Uparkot. The westward growth of the city came later. According to popular belief, this temple complex standing a little off Dhal Road to the south and the stepwell over which it stands is one of the few Rama temples in Junagadh.

Pirzada House

The pre-Babi kings who ruled Junagadh from Delhi and later from Ahmedabad, brought from West Asia as advisors, administrators, and spiritual guides to their subjects, leaders of the Syed community, which claimed descent from the Prophet.

Limda Chowk

This chowk is named after a very old limdo (neem tree – Azadirachtaindica) surrounded by Raj Mahal, Bahauddeen Haveli and Ik-Minara Mosque. It is a large shady landmark and a famous central spot in the city. In the past, it also provided space for gatherings associated with the Bahauddin Haveli.

Jagmal Chowk and Jain Temples

Back on Dhal Road, on the way downhill, is Jagmal Chowk, a crossroads on Dhal Road named after an accountant for Jain Derasars on Girnar. Two temples of the Digambar and Shwetambar Jains stand here, the former to the north of the Chowk and the latter to the south.

Diwan Chowk

Diwan Chowk situated on the southern side of Circle Chowk and surrounded by the City Palace, Aaina Mahal, Museum and the other majestic Royal Buildings still reflect the past glory. If Circle Chowk symbolizes the civic Life, trade and commerce of Junagadh, this square bears the stamp of monarchy. It is an important civic space of the town.

Circle Chowk

Developed between the 1870s and the early 20th century this area was an urban renewal with the introduction of a chowk (a term that literally means a crossroads, but also used generically for a plaza, in this case alongside a crescent known as Mahabat Circle, named after Nawab Mahabat Khan II). The buildings around the chowk are built in harmony facing the palatial building. The chowk is entered through gateways from both ends and creates an exclusive cluster of buildings with most elaborate jharokhas and lintel chajjas matching those in the Nawabi buildings that it looks out over.

Mandvi Chowk

The Mandvi Chowk, a little more elevated, takes its name from the tax collection office existed here. Its watchtower, appearing in the picture above, was known as Mandvi Tower. It is located on the cross junction of Dhal Road and Chokshi Bazar.

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