Saurashtra peninsula is bound on the south and south-west by the Arabian sea, on the north-west by the Gulf of Kutch and on the east by the Gulf of Khambhat. From the apex of these two gulfs, the Little Rann of Kutch and Khambhat, waste tracts half salt morass half sandy desert, stretch inland towards each other and complete the isolation of Kathiawar, except one narrow neck which connects it on the north-east with the mainland of Gujarat.
The peninsula is sometimes referred to as Kathiawar after the Kathi Darbar, which once ruled most of the region. However, Saurashtra is not entirely synonymous with Kathiawar, since a small portion of the historical Saurashtra region extends beyond the Kathiawar peninsula. Sorath forms the southern portion of the peninsula.
Dwarka is believed to have been the first capital of Gujarat. Dwarka has also been referred to throughout its history as "Mokshapuri", "Dwarkamati", and "Dwarkavati". It is mentioned in the ancient prehistoric epic period of the Mahabharata. According to legend, Krishna settled here after he defeated and killed his uncle Kansa at Mathura. Krishna is also said to have reclaimed 12 yojanas or 96 square kilometres (37 sq mi) of land from the sea to create Dwarka.
Dwarka was established as the capital in Saurashtra by the Aryans during the Puranaic. The Yadavas, who had migrated from Mathura, established their kingdom here when the city was known as "Kaushathali". A friendly population of natives also prompted Krishna to settle at Dwarka when he decided, after fighting Jarasandha, the king of Magadh, to retreat from Mathura. The kingdom, also known as the Yaduvanshi empire, was established by Uugrasena, father of Kansa the then ruler and later Krishna flourished and extended its domain. It is said that Krishna conducted the administration of his kingdom from Dwarka while residing with his family in Bet Dwarka. The city's Dwarkadhish Temple dedicated to Krishna was originally built around 2,500 years ago, but was destroyed by Mahmud Begada rulers and subsequently rebuilt in the 16th century. The temple is also the location of Dwaraka ma?ha, also called Sharada Matha/Peeth and "western peeth", one of the four peeths (Sanskrit: "religious center") established by Adi Shankaracharya. As an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus, Dwarka has several notable temples, including Rukmini Devi Temple, Gomti Ghat, and Bet Dwarka. There is also a lighthouse at the land end point of Dwarka.
Bhanvad is named after Jethwa ruler Rana Bhanji Jetva of Ghumli, who founded this place, when the Ghumli was sacked in 1313 AD. It was made a fortified town after the conquest of the country by the Jam of Nawanagar State. Ghumli which was once the capital of Jethwa dynasty and at present is an archeological site of interest is located some 6 km from Bhanvad.
Jamnagar District is a district of India located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Kutch in the state of Gujarat. Its headquarters are located in the eponymous city of Jamnagar. It hosts the production facilities of several large Indian companiessuch as Reliance and Essar. Among its attractions are several palaces, a Marine National Park and a Bird Sanctuary, known as Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary.
Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary is a bird sanctuary located in Jamnagar district of Gujarat, India. About 300 species of migratory birds have been recorded here.
If you look at Morbi’s location in the Gujarat map, you will most probably wash your hands off from this place. It is just before Kutch district, the last corner of Gujarat. Morbi toutist places are :
Suspension Bridge : The Suspension Bridge, an engineering marvel built at the turn of the century, reflects the progressive and scientific nature of the rulers of Morbi. This was built to give a unique identity to Morbi using the latest technology available in those days, in Europe. It is 1.25 m wide and spans 233 m on the Machchhu River connecting Darbargadh Palace and Lakhdhirji Engineering College.
Darbargadh Palace: The members of the royal family used to dwell in the Darbagadh, which was their initial and original home. It has a wonderful view of the river. The entrance of the Darbagadh is a huge gate, which has strikingly beautiful engravings on it. However this place has been now turned into a heritage hotel. The suspension bridge at Morbi was constructed in the early 20th century. The swinging pylons can be observed while entering Morbi. It is held up to a very high standard and is thought to be an engineering phenomenon. Repairing and restoring activities of the bridge has been carried out recently
Mani Mandir : It is a temple situated in the courtyard of Wellingdon Secretariat. The images of Laxmi Narayan, Mahakali, Ramchandraji, Radha- Krishna and Shiva are worshiped in this temple. Mani Mandir is made out of Jaipur stone with excellent workmanship and exquisitely carved elements-arches, brackets, jalis, chhatris and shikhara
Gir National Park is a pride of India because it has been a shelter of Asia’s last wild lions since 1965. The park is located 65 km in the south-east direction of Junagadh and stretched over a massive of 1150 sq. Km of the area. According to the reports, the numbers of lions in this park have increased from 200 to 400 and many tourists come here just to see them walking wildly. The sanctuary is also home to some other rare species like leopards, antelopes, large deer, gazelle, and wild boars.
There is a Kamleshwar dam in the vicinity of this park where one can also dwell in the thrill of watching wild crocodiles and birds breathing freely. Earlier, a small tribe used to live in this area who were later relocated to some other region but still, some of the people of that tribe lives here in the wilderness.
Somnath temple is a very sacred pilgrimage site of Hindu community and often, visited by thousands of devotees every day. The temple is the first of all the twelve ‘Jyotirlingas’ (a form representing Lord Shiva) and is of the reason why it is always deeply reverenced by the Hindu community. The temple is only 79 km away from Junagadh and lies on the western coast of Gujarat.
As per legends, the temple was built by moon God himself purely with gold. But the temple was later reconstructed with other different materials as King Ravana turned it in silver, Lord Krishna then turned it in sandalwood, and then lastly, it was built with stones by the rulers. There is no entry fee for the visitors.
Girnar is a centuries-old hill in the Junagadh district of Gujarat and it is regarded as a very sacred site by the Hindus and the Jains. There are a total of 866 Hindu as well as Jain temples up on this hill for which one have to walk down around 10,000 steps to pay homage to their Gods. This hill encounters the greatest number of devotees during Parikrama festivals, which is held on the 14th day of every year.
The trek to this hill starts from Girnar Taleti and after taking 2000 steps, one could easily see themselves surrounded by the panoramic view of this hill. The most gorgeous view one can have here is during the sunrise time when the sun shimmers the whole mountain in golden colour.
Shatrunjaya is another such sacred hill, situated at an altitude of 50 m above sea level in the Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. It is also crowded with lots of Hindu as well as Jain temples which are presumed to be built 900 years back. The famous temple of all the other temples is Shatrunjaya temple, which is considered to be the most sacred Jain temple.
There are only 3300 steps as compared to 10,000 steps for Girnar hill and will hand you the most splendid view at the top. The hill is famous for holding a ‘Teerth Yatra’ during Kartik Purnima and is considered a very great event among the Jains who never fails to pay their homage at that time.
Blackbuck National Park is located only 49 km away from Bhavnagar city and lies on the border of Gulf of Khambhat. The park covers around 34 sq. Km of the area which is mostly surrounded by agricultural field and wastelands. The park is famous for its blackbucks – a very beautiful creature who also sports two spiralling horns.
The park is also popular for its wolves and some other species like striped hyenas, hunting cheetahs etc. As per estimation, a total of 1600 blackbucks roam freely in this area and many travellers make their way to this park in the wake of catching a beautiful and rare sight of those blackbucks.
Uparkot Fort is a historical fort which was constructed by the Mauryan Emperor Chandragupta, somewhere around the 319 BC. The fort is located on the east side of Junagadh which consist of a beautiful mosque, a set of Buddhist caves and a pair of step-wells.
As per legends, it is believed that this fort once withstood 12-years of the military blockade. Standing on the rooftop, one can have a gorgeous view of the whole city and at night, the sight becomes really celestial.
Diu is a quaint town owning everything in Portuguese style which is located on the Southern coast of Gujarat. It is also the union territory of India which is often visited by young travellers because of its quiet life. Since the territory is separated by a tidal creek which is why it is only accessible by a bridge from the mainland.
The island has some pretty impressive attractions like Diu fort, caves, and some gorgeous beaches. The fort is a major landmark which showcases the authentic Portuguese culture. The beautiful beaches also beautify the island’s low skyline in a very elegant way.
Mahabat (not Mohabbat) Maqbara Palace, also Mausoleum of Bahaduddinbhai Hasainbhai , is a mausoleum in Junagadh, India, that was once home to the Muslims rulers the Nawabs of Junagadh. It was built by Nawab Mahabat Khan II of Junagadh
The city of Junagadh has other 18th-century mausoleums built by the Nawabs in the area around Chittakhana Chowk.
Vazir’s Mausoleum is another such architecture which stuns people with its admiring beauty. It is a neighbour to the earlier mosque and yet, attracts many travellers to have a duly visit to this place.
This mausoleum has four storybook minarets within its walls which can only be approached by French styled spiralled stairwells. It is also a must-visit place in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat if one is hoping to see some centuries old architectural design.
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