Girnar Hill - History, Timings & Entry Fee

Pilgrimage | Adventure / Trekking

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Junagadh Bus Stand): 10 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 4-6 Hours

Place Location: Near Bhavnath Temple

Transportation Options: + Walk/Trek

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 10 km from Junagadh Junction, Girnar Hill is a sacred mountain situated in Junagadh, Gujarat. It is one of the popular Jain places of pilgrimage in Gujarat, and among the must-visit places as part of Junagadh Tour.

Spread over an area of about 70 miles, Mount Girnar is older than the Himalayas and the Jain temples upon it are amongst the most ancient in the country. It has five principal peaks Ambaji, Gorakhnath, Guru Dattatreya, Oghad Ansuya and Kalika. Out of these, Gorakhnath is situated at an altitude of 3672 feet and is the highest point in Gujarat. For centuries, Mount Girnar has been one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Gujarat and indeed in all of Western India, with 866 Hindu and Jain temples spread over its 5 summits. For Jains, this place is considered holy as this is the Nirvana Kshetra of 22nd Tirthankara Neminath and for Hindus, this place is considered holy as Dattatreya stayed here.

One will have to climb 10000 steps to reach the final summit. Trek to Girnar Hill starts from Girnar Talati, which is about 6 km from Junagadh Junction. While ascending the stone path that connects the temples along the 5 summits, one will pass temples of many different sects of Hinduism. Among the must-visit sightseeing places in Junagadh, the Bhavnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is the first one that can come across while ascending Girnar Hill. The temple is famous for Bhavnath Fair when the 'naked sadhus' come to celebrate Shivaratri here.

After 4000 steps up and 800 steps before the first summit, one can come across a plateau with a complex of 16 Jain temples. The Neminath temple is the largest temple of the group and is the place where Neminath, the 22nd Tirthankara of Jainism, died after 700 years of ascetic meditation. The temple was rebuilt completely by Sajjana, the governor of Saurashtra appointed by Jayasimha Siddharaja, in 1129 CE. There is an inscription on one of the pillars of the mandapa stating that it was repaired in 1278 CE. It consists of two rangamandapa halls with two porches and a central shrine (Gudhamandapa), which contains a large black image of Neminath sitting in the lotus position holding a conch in his palm.

Further 2000 steps up, the temple of Amba Mata is visited by Hindus, Jains, and newlyweds seeking blessings for a happy marriage. These last 2000 steps are intimidating but well worth the trip for the spectacular panoramic views from the summit. Beyond here there's quite a lot of down as well as up to reach the other four peaks and further temples of Gorakhnath, and Guru Dattatreya. Locals say that Paduka of Guru 'Dattatreya' is resting on the uppermost tonk of the Girnar. Atop the final outcrop is the temple of Kalika, where the Aghora ascetics smear themselves with funeral ashes. The view from the mountain was amazing.

Girnar is also home to the Mahashivratri fair which is held on the auspicious day dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. This fair is the backbone of the economy of Junagadh, as more than ten lakh pilgrims who visit the fair generate the revenue of 250 million in only five days. The Girnar hill is flocked equally by pilgrims of all religions including Hindus, Buddhists and Jains during the Girnar Parikrama festival which involves circumambulation of the base of the Girnar Hills for religious reasons.

Though there is dholi facility available, the real experience of Girnar is to be found in walking. Start early in the morning, carry plenty of water, and stop for rest often during the hot hours of the day, and your climb of Mt. Girnar will be fruitful.

Dholi Cost: Rs. 4000 per Person (50 kg - 70 kg) & Rs. 4500 per Person (above 70 kg)

Timings: 24 Hours