Girnar Ashoka Rock Edicts, Junagadh - Timings, History, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Junagadh Railway Station): 4 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 30 Mins

Place Location: On The Way To Girnar Hills

Transportation Options: Cab / Auto

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 2 km from Bhavnath Mandir and 4 km from Junagadh Junction, Girnar Ashoka Rock Edicts are the ancient rock inscriptions located on the way to Girnar Hills in Junagadh. These inscriptions are considered as the most important among the many edicts of Ashoka and among the must visit historical places in Junagadh.

Dating back to 257 BC, there are 14 Edicts of Ashoka inscribed on a large rounded boulder which is situated at the entrance to the valley providing access to Mount Girnar. Rediscovered by James Todd in the year 1822, the edicts are written in Brahmi script preaching the ideas of love, peace, and tolerance, and apply to persons of any faith, not just Buddhism. The scriptures were carved into stone by an iron pen, and enclose knowledge of significant historical importance.

On the same rock were also engraved two Sanskrit inscriptions, each by a significant king of India. The first one is the Girnar Prasasti, a tribute in praise of the Sudarshan Lake, by Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I, written in about 150 AD. The other is a prasasti of Skandagupta, written in about 457 AD, which also refers to the restoration of the embankment of the Sudarshan Lake. These inscriptions presuppose a flourishing center of learning and culture at Girinagara or Girnar.

To preserve this timeless piece of history, the Nawab Rasool Khan of Junagadh constructed a protective structure around the rocks in 1900. The building was repaired in the years 1939 and 1941 by local rulers, until its most recent collapse in 2014. A smaller version of the Ashokan Edicts has been showcased outside the National Museum in Delhi. The Archaeological Survey of India has officially designated the Ashokan Edict Rock, as one of four sites in the Junagadh and Girnar area, in its list of 203 Monuments of National Importance in Gujarat State. Now, it is one of the most popular sites in Gujarat for history buffs.

Timings: 9 AM - 1 PM & 2 PM - 6 PM

Entry Fee: Rs. 5 for Indians & Rs.100 for Foreigners