Junagadh – A journey through the ages

Junagadh is a city which is headquarters of Junagadh district in Gujarat. It is 327 km from Ahmedabad and is about 58 Km from Sasan Gir. The small city of Junagadh is rich in myths-legends and has such an eventful past that it almost breathes history. It is at the base of mount Girnar – a gigantic five-peaked mountain of volcanic origin that rises steeply to a height of 1117 m.

Mount Girnar as seen from Uparkot Fort, Junagarh

Mount Girnar as seen from Uparkot Fort, Junagarh



The name Girnar is an aberration of Giri-Nagar – meaning a town on the hill. It has been considered sacred and was on pilgrimage route of both the Jains and the Hindus, since before 3rd century BC. There is also a mosque dedicated to Jaismal Shah Peer that attracts Muslim pilgrims.

It is believed that climbing Girnar barefoot earns one a place in heaven. We stayed at Leo Resort that is near Girnar gate on the way to the Girnar Hills. Still we chose not to attempt climbing Girnar, even after wearing comfortable sport shoes, leave alone walking barefoot. A poet once commented

कँही इंसान से भगवान ना बन जाओं मैं, यही सोच कुछ पाप कर लेता हूँ मैं|
I too love Earth more than Heaven :-)

On a serious note, that limitation was dictated by my younger kid – Tanmay. There are around 10,000 stone steps to reach the summit and we felt that with a young kid it would be saner and sensible to skip the climb. Though, I must admit that it was difficult not to get lured by the promise of scenic and breath-taking views on the way, combined with a visit to the old Jain temples of 11th and 12th century.

The temple topped hills of Girnar has special meaning and significance for the Jains. Twenty second Teerthankar Bhagvan Neminath spent his life on and around Girnar. Neminath, who is also known as Arishtnemi, was cousin of Krishna. He was on the way for his marriage, with Rajul kumari – daughter of the king of Dwarka, when he heard the piteous moans of helpless animals that were to be slaughtered for the food to be served during the marriage ceremonies. The frightful shrieks of wretched-innocent animals had a touching impact on the mind of young Neminath. He decided not to marry, renounced all worldly pleasures, became a Jain monk and came to Girnar to attain salvation. After years of meditation and leading an ascetic life he attained highest state of enlightenment – Keval Gyan and the Moksha in the end. Rajul Kumari, his fiancée, also followed his path and became a sadhvi and founded the ‘Sadhvi Sangh‘, the organization of women ascetics. There is a 12th century old temple dedicated to Bhagwan Neminath on the hill.

On top of the peak is the temple of Amba Mata where newlyweds arrive to take blessings of Goddess to ensure a happy married life.

Junagadh derives its name from the fort of Uperkot, an ancient fort that stands on the eastern side of the city (literal meaning of Juna in Gujarati is old). Legend dates the origin of Uperkot fort to the times of Lord Krishna when Yadavas fled Mathura to settle in Dwarka, but historians believe that it was built by Chandragupta Maurya. Junagadh was an important city during the rule of luminous monarchs of Mauryean dynasty starting from Chandragupta Maurya in 319 BC till the death of its most famous monarch Ashoka in 232 B.C

On the way to Girnar Hill Temple, there is a huge uneven rock with a circumference of 7 meters and a height of 10 m on which Ashoka inscribed 14 edicts. This black and time stained rock provided a crucial link to the scholars of British Raj in decoding ancient Indian history.

Rock edict written in Pali (Ashokan Brahmi), Junagarh

Rock edict written in Pali (Ashokan Brahmi), Junagarh

Today it is hard to appreciate that as late as the end of 18th century nothing much was known of Indian history prior to the Mohammedan invasions. I realized the painstaking research done by the British scholars when I read the book – “India Discovered, the recovery of lost civilization” by John Keay. This book is dedicated to the British academicians’ and is a tribute to their conscientious effort to re-establish the glory of ancient India as the land of fantastic and exotic east. Those men came to India as amateurs; by profession they were soldiers and administrators, but they returned home as giants of scholarship. I would also like to quote Mr. A.J Arberry, a British Orientalist, “someday the whole story of British Indology will be told and that will assuredly make a glorious, fascinating and inspiring narrative.”

The very first book of John Keay that I read was ‘Into India”. I was skeptical at that time, “Do I need to read a book by a foreign author to know more about my own country”? But this book written in a free-flowing and a lucid style won my heart. I realized that my knowledge about India is quite incomplete. The complexity and the amount of research John has done increased substantially in his subsequent books – “India – a history” and “India discovered”. Both these books left me spellbound and brought forth wonderful facts/history of India.

Girnar inscriptions bring with it the story of James Princep – India’s most successful British scholar. Twenty years old James Princep arrived in India in 1819 as an Assay-Master of a mint. He was well educated in Chemistry, Mechanics and useful sciences. His outstanding traits were his habit of exactness and minute attention to details.

Inscriptions on the Orissan rock edict

Two important clues of ancient India were discovered at that time – the inscriptions on the pillars and the rock edicts of Orissa. They were written in Ashokan Brahmi and the scholars were clueless about the script and the kings to whom those inscriptions belong. Princep worked painstakingly to understand them. The rock edict discovered in Orissa was worn out and it was very tedious to make any sense out of it. And then came the news of Colonel James Todd (another notable historian) stumbling across Girnar inscriptions in 1822 and this is how he described his discovery.

…The memorial in question, evidently of some great conqueror, is a huge hemispherical mass of dark granite, which like a wart upon the body has protruded through the crust of mother earth, without fissure or inequality, and which by the aid of ‘iron pen’, has been converted into a book. The measurement of the arc is nearly ninety feet; its surface is divided into compartments or parallelograms, within which are inscriptions in the usual character. …

This discovery helped Princep to decode the script. He was then able to illustrate nine stages of development of each letter of the modern Devanagari. Nowadays it is recognized that the Devanagari script has passed through three distinct stages; first the Ashoka Brahmi; second a more ornate, chunky script (Gupta Brahmi); and third, a more curved and rounded script (Kutila) from which springs the script of Devanagari.

The Girnar Rock-Book, Junagarh

The Girnar Rock-Book, Junagarh

In the process of decoding the script, James Princep was able to establish that the Girnar inscription and the Orissa inscription were identical, written almost in the same era and to his own surprise and delight he was also able to establish Ashoka as a genuine historical figure – an Emperor – apparently one of the most influential and powerful – whose every word expressing the rationale of his rule had been miraculously preserved in his rock edicts.

Contributions of James Princep and Colonel Todd mentioned, Junagarh

Contributions of James Princep and Colonel Todd mentioned, Junagarh

Ashoka ruled from 269 to 232 BC. His empire stretched from Orissa to Afghanistan and from Himalayas to at least as far south as Madras, only Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas remained independent in the southernmost tip. His fourteen edicts in which he laid down his principles were engraved in Brahmi script on 18 great rocks and 30 polished sandstone pillars throughout the empire.

In the first eight years of his reign Ashoka ruthlessly consolidated his power. At a point of time, he went into war with the tribal kingdom of Kalinga (Orissa and northern coastal strip of Andhra formed the kingdom of Kalinga). Ashoka won the war but the bloodshed and the horrors of that campaign; burnt houses and scattered corpses made him pensive and repentant about the futility of wars and needless loss of human life. That war triggered his thought process and he abandoned terrestrial aggression to Dharma and got inclined towards Buddhism.

It reminds me of one of the powerful episodes of “भारत एक खोज” – A tele-serial directed by Shyam Benegal based on the book “Discovery of India” by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru that left a lasting impression on me. That episode was centered on Ashoka’s younger brother’s life. He was a carefree youth. He used to make fun of the Buddhist monks, their grim faces and their concept that the world is full of sorrows. He was always in conflict with Ashoka about his kindness and charity towards the monks. One day he grossly misbehaved with a monk and Ashoka felt that the time has come to make him realize his mistakes. He devised a plan with his prime minister.

One day when Ashoka was not in his court the prime minister prompted his younger brother to sit on Ashoka’s throne to get a feel of it. But as soon as he sat there, Ashoka entered, blamed him for a hidden desire to occupy his throne, got him arrested and ordered his execution. Then looking at his sobbing brother he mellowed down and added that the execution will take place only after one month and in that period, his brother is entitled for his every wish to be granted and fulfilled. It did not please his brother; he remained grim and sad for the whole month, with no desire and no interest in worldly pleasures.

Next month Ashoka told him the truth that it was all a drama to make him respect the grim-faced monks who have no interest in worldly pleasures as they are always aware of the ultimate end. This event dramatically changed the course of his fun-filled brother’s life. He accepted Buddhism and became a monk. Life brings forth situations that completely change a man’s destiny.

The Ashokan edicts on Girnar rock impart moral instructions on dharma, equality, harmony, tolerance, peace and repent the evil of war.

The hump-backed rock also has two later records in Sanskrit added by Rudradaman in AD 150 and by Skandgupta in AD 450.

ASI board describing the rock inscriptions, Junagarh

ASI board describing the rock inscriptions, Junagarh

Rudradaman’s Junagadh inscriptions are the earliest known classical Sanskrit inscriptions of any extent. It is mentioned in these inscriptions that Rudradaman had repaired the irrigation system that had since suffered severe storm damage. It throws light on an ancient lake – Lake Sudarshan and a dam constructed over it by none else than Chandragupta Maurya – Grandfather of Ashoka. Rudradaman also staunchly upheld Dharma just like Ashoka with whose edicts he was so happy to share rock space.

Skandagupta’s Sanskrit edict also talks about the repair of the same dam. Skandagupta was last of the five great Gupta Emperors (Chandragupta-I, Samudragupta, Chandragupta-II, Kumargupta and Skandagupta). Gupta empire was set by Chandragupta-I (don’t get confuse him with Chandragupta Maurya) in AD 320. It is also known as the golden age of Indian classical culture. To this period belong many frescos of Ajanta, the finest of Sarnath and Mathura sculptors, and the plays and poems of Kalidas. Skandagupta was the last powerful Gupta emperor to defeat and repel “White Hun” raids. After Skandagupta’s death Gupta regime declined.

Here is the list of the monarchs of Mauryean and Gupta empire and their ruling periods.

Mauryean Dynasty
Founded by Chandragupta Maurya (he ruled from 321 to 297 BC)
|
Bindusar (ruled from 297 BC to 272 BC)
|
Ashoka (ruled from 273 BC to 232 BC)

Gupta Dynasty
Founded by Chandragupta – I (305 -325 AD)
|
Samudragupta (335-380 AD)
|
Vikramaditya ( 380-413 AD)
|
Kumargupta (415-455 AD)
|
Skandagupta (455-467 AD)

After few centuries Junagadh area and its fort were abandoned, possibly due to another disastrous flood in Sudarshan Lake.

Today Girnar boulder is housed in a small roadside building, though it protects the ancient monument but its effect is marred. I feel the need of a short film on this hump-backed rock that mutely projects the majesty of Junagadh’s distinguished benefactors, or a sound and light show that could educate tourists about how this rock helped in providing vital links to understand the history of ancient India; a show that could help the tourists to know more about Ashoka – the great warrior, gory battle of Kalinga, Ashoka’s change of heart, acceptance of Buddhism and how the treasured discovery of this rock-book gave insight into the golden past of our country and the philanthropic Indian tradition.

42 Comments

  • nandanjha says:

    You are on the path to become a historian, engage in some fun travel as well to keep a balance :-)

    As in your recent posts, this one is very educative and helps fellow ghumakkars like me in growing-up, thanks.

    I am guessing that it would be under ASI. I am just back from MP and visited few heritage monuments in Chanderi and Mandu, and at both the places I witnessed a great deal of restoration work happening, all under ASI.

    Why not write to ASI with your suggestions. Where do you take us next ?

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Thanks Nandan for your comment. After such a long wait finally I am able to get one :-)

    I love stories. Some of these are very well known, some of them are lesser known and to a large extent this is travelling for me.

    Hahahahaha …. I am finding excuse for writing historical accounts. It means I am planning to continue with the same ;-)

    Junagadh is not yet complete. It has much more history to share. This post was only about the Girnar rock. So the plan is to keep you in Junagadh. I hope you will not mind staying here with me ;-) with no fun and all history.

    About the short film or a sound and light show, I wish ghumakkar will one day be so powerful that any suggestion on it will be taken seriously by tourism departments.

    Though sound and light show can be arranged by ASI, producing quality short films (something like Bharat Ek khoj) is about a commercial aspect, about possibility of being able to sell such small movies or arranging such shows to the interested tourists and it can be done by anyone. I feel it should be commercially profitable. Even if not, respective state tourism can invest in such films to attract tourists to the respective states (anyway they have good budget to invest). After all, an educated tourist is better than the one who is trying to make sense of something strange written on a rock :-) or leaving him at the mercy of lesser educated guides.

  • tripper says:

    hey great info bout junagadh…….i have visited junagadh quite a few times n loved reading bout it from u…..

    • Manish Khamesra says:

      Thanks Toral, believe me when I was reading about the Girnar rock in John Keay’s book, it was a revealation for me as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I enjoyed sharing its significance with the fellow ghumakkars as well :-)
      Its my pleasure.

  • tripper says:

    Most of us dont know that there is a ” liludi parikrama” means green parikrama of mt girnar during the holy shravan month……where people from villages and towns alike throng mt. Girnar and climb the mountain and take parikrama of girnar base……a big fair is a also organised…..also there is a competition to climb mt. Girnar.

    • Manish Khamesra says:

      Toral,

      Is this fair also known by the name of Bhavnagar fair or Shivratri festival. I read that this fair started at the time of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. Legend goes that when Arjuna was coming towards Saurastra region, Shri Krishna organized it to welcome it.

      About the race, according to wikipedia the fastest time a local has taken to reach the peak and come back was 42.36 minutes ( sounds unbelievable)

      Thanks Toral for adding it. It seems this fair is a good time to have a look at colorful India and Junagadh is a happening place at that time.

      • tripper says:

        i must correct my mistake the parikrama is organised in the month of KARTIK…when thousands of pilgrims gather at girnar…..this parikrama is different from bhavnagar fair…u have to walk for for 12 miles( 2-4 days)…devotees try to end the journey on full moon with darshan at bhavnath temple..for pilgrims who believe in lord shiva come for this parikrama…

        • Manish Khamesra says:

          Thanks Toral.

          Don’t laugh at me but Hindi month of Kartik corresponds to approximately which months of English calendar ?

          • tripper says:

            hindi month of kartik changes every year in english calender…..but to make it simple hindi month of kartik starts next day from diwali….and BHAI DUJ is the second day of kartik month so parikrama generally starts around 11 days after diwali….parikrama in 2008 was on 9th to 13th november2008 and in 2009 it was on 29 th oct to 2nd nov 2009…..gov of gujarat statistics show in total the parikrama takes 36 kms….and 4 days to complete with around 9 lakh devootes every year…..this is a unique parikrama associated with religion but the main pupose was to enjoy the beauty of gir forest…..

  • tripper says:

    I must add that junagadh and saputara are famous for trekking and mountaineering….. i took my first trekking lesson at junagadh at age of 11..and my first step of independence to buy my own glass of lemon juice soda was at uparkot junagadh.

  • nandanjha says:

    MK – I am enjoying my stay at Juna and am hoping that next episode would happen soon. Let it come.

    Insha-allah, with all the right intentions if we can make a difference, that would be like ‘good job done’. As for short movies, I guess posts like these are a fabulous start, may be next time one of us visits a place, we can carry a video-cam and get some footage. I am sure there would be enough Ghumakkars around who can chip in with editing/film-making. Someone needs to start. Insha-allah.

    Its not common for a story from you to wait for comments so I am guessing that delay would be rightly compensated by the flurry.

    • Manish Khamesra says:

      Good to know that I can continue for some more time in Junagarh ;-)

      I know its history, not everyone’s favourite …

      I am convinced Nandan that one day it will make a difference. About the film, I was thinking more about a serial or a small real movie like the episodes of Bharat ek khoj, describing in detail the events, may be running in small theater meant for tourists.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    I did not trek on Girnar, but I came across this beautiful blog by Nand Kumar, I am giving its link for anyone interested in knowing more about the trek:

    http://nandakumarr.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Thanks a lot Toral for updating about the month of Kartik :-) and about the time of Parikrima.

  • tripper says:

    its a pleasure to reply to ghumakkar

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for this interesting read, I learnt a lot of new things. We are going to Junagadh tomorrow and want to climb Girnar Hill. It will be even more interesting to do so now.

  • Manisha

    I found this post, after I have read your next !

    Nice and Detailed writeup!

    Any clues on actual location of Lake Sudarshan?

    -Manisha

    • Thanks Manisha for leaving the comment and liking the post. I am sorry for delay in my reply.

      Here is the result of my search: This boulder is supposed to be near Lake Sudarshan only that no longer exists. This lake was supplied by two rivers and their storm water falling from the slopes of Girnar was the cause of these floods.

  • arvindpadmanabhan says:

    Very detailed post. I will visit it again later. Nice pictures. I was at Junagadh a few weeks ago. I quite enjoyed reading the translations of the rock edicts. For those planning to visit the place, there is also a renowned maqbara in the city.

    • Manish khamesra says:

      Good to see your comment. Are you back or still on tour across India? I will be covering the Maqbara part in my third and last post on Junagadh. I will be eagerly waiting to hear and read your accounts of Junagadh as well.

  • hemant p joglekar says:

    MK, you have thrown up a great idea of sound and light show about the rock edict at foothill of girnar. Gujrat tourism should plan such shows at maybe 10 places including LOTHAL, WAv’s, Dwarka, porbandar, prabhas patan, jalaram bapa mandir, DIU,and even ahmedabad and its historic lore. Best way to go about this is to START PREPARING SCRIPT OF THE SHOW and when complete, approach govt of gujrat.
    BEST wishes and thanks. I have come to stay in junagadh recently.

    • Dear Hemant,

      Thanks for the lovely comment and adding to the list of the places that Must have sound and light shows. Though I have not been to many of them, but knowing about them, I agree that these places deserves sound and light show, educating tourists.

      About myself taking the task of doing the same, I feel humbled. I am sure some competent people will take note of the suggestion and start working over it.

      I wish you wonderful stay in Junagadh and do enjoy the Glory of Gir as well.
      Thanks for your comment. Please add to our knowledge about Junagadh and nearby places.

  • Chandra Doshi says:

    While searching for Asoka’s inscriptions, I came across your photos of the boulder at Girnar. The first photo is really impressive. Thank you for putting up these images.

    Studying Asoka’s inscriptions is a recent interest of mine and the clear cut images of the characters in the first photo is better than Hultzsch’s estampages. The calligraphic quality of the text in the image is amazing and none of the reproductions I have seen before this do justice to this ancient work.

    I wonder if you have more photos of the boulder, specially those showing the text. If you do, I trust you’ll consider putting them up as well.

    Your photos are truly an amazing find.

    Regards,

    Chandra

    • Manish Khamesra says:

      Dear Chandra,

      Its a pleasure to know that these photos came handy in your understanding and decoding of Asokas inscriptions.

      I fear that I have no more than what I already posted, but I will like to check once more (just in case). I will be able to update on it only after a couple of days.

      Sorry Chandra.

  • Chandra Doshi says:

    Dear Manish,

    Thanks for your comments.

    Girnar inscriptions have some interesting variations compared to those from the other sites. There is an artistic flair present in a few characters in the first two edicts I have studied. Quite possibly other edicts may also show similar examples. These variations certainly represent an expression of local individuality.

    I might place a brief note about this artistic flair on my blog. Hultzsch’s estampages will be used to illustrate this point. Your photograph could serve to illustrate the great craftsmanship of the stone cutter.

    Most of my work is of a technical nature but you are welcome to view it: http://jignashi.blogspot.com

    May I have your permission, when I do put the note up, to use your photograph? Full credit will of course be given.

    It’d be nice if you come across more photographs. But please, do not go to too much trouble.

    Regards,

    Chandra

    • Manish Khamesra says:

      Dear Chandra,

      I checked your work and I am pretty impressed by that.

      Please feel free to use the above photographs. It will be a previlege for me :-) Can you use them from the blog itslef or you want me to send them to you ? Please let me know.

      One request, if you find it ok, can you please write a synopsys of your work here as well giving a link to your blog for the readers more interested in it. Its just to share your study with larger audience.

      About other photographs, I promise I will check in a few days.

      • Chandra Doshi says:

        Dear Manish,

        Thanks. I’d appreciate the original photograph as the blog might have compressed the picture. My email can be found on my blog.

        I am pleased you find my work impressive. And I welcome your suggestion for reaching a larger audience. Research always benefits the wider it is spread.

        I’ll get in touch regarding the synopsis later.

        Warm regards,

        Chandra

      • Chandra Doshi says:

        Dear Manish,

        Here’s the synopsis I promised.

        I have long been interested in archaeology but it is only recently that I have done some work on matters that interest me. I have placed two papers about weights and balance on my blog, which can be viewed here: http://jignashi.blogspot.com

        The Harappan weight system was originally analysed by A. S. Hemmy, who also analysed the Mesopotamian and Egyptian weight systems. His analysis established the Harappan weight system as the most accurate of the three contemporary civilizations.

        I have analysed the Harappan weight system using a much larger data set and my first paper presents the conclusions of that analysis. The charts included in the paper show how accurate that ancient weight system was.

        Accuracy of the Harappan weight system has raised the question about the type of balance used. A conventional, centrally pivoted balance is not considered capable of such accuracy. It was while I was researching the weight system that I conceived of what I have termed The Externally Pivoted Balance. The second paper is about this device, a perfectly legitimate instrument. However. its use by the Harappans must be considered a conjecture until some supporting evidence is established.

        Trust the members find it an interesting read.

        Regards,

        Chandra

        • Manish khamesra says:

          Chandraji,

          Thanks a lot for sharing this information at ghumakkar. I am sure the interested readers will find it very interesting to know about the highly accurate weights and balances as discovered in Harappan civilization.

          I checked, but unfortunately I only have those two photographs. I wish I would have more that might have helped you. I request at this forum to the fellow ghumakkars/tourists who have visited Junagarh, to please check and forward them to your E-mail id in case they have similar photographs of interest.

          I feel privileged to know more about you and your work.

          Thanks a lot Chandraji.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Dear Friends

    As promised Chandraji has come up with a detailed analysis of Girnar rock edict. Its deep technical analysis. I am sure it would help inquisitive minds. And yes of course, some more photographs from fellow travellers will surely help him to further his investigations.

    Please have a look at his blog to go through his research, http://jignashi.blogspot.com/2010/11/artistry-at-girnar-by-chandrakant-doshi.html

    Thanks Chandrakantji, for me it is immense pleasure that these pictures helped you in your study :-)

  • Extremely beautiful description of the edicts at Girnar. Very informative and educating. Thank you for the efforts put in.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Thank you Mr Subramaniam for leaving your kind comment :-)

  • shruti says:

    nice blog! crisp and informative.
    I hit this link while searching for quick information on Rudradaman, but I coulnt stop reading till end. I really appreciate it.
    I might visit again to read more post :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Excerpt of an article titled “The art of losing the good stuff” by Aaker Patel, as published on Mint Saturday june 2, 2012.

    7th June 1837 was the day when James Princep unveiled Ashoka at the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal in Calcutta.

    Exactly 175 years ago, an Englishman told us of the existence of the Indian king who began all of this civilizing. A king who was short, ugly and with a little paunch, according to writer Charles Allen, but whose title was “lovely-to-behold” (Priyadarshi). A man in whose kitchen two peacocks (every day) and a deer (most days) were slaughtered for curry, according to his own regretful admission. A man whose monuments Hiuen Tsang, the Buddhist monk from China, recorded 900 years after his death. An Indian credited in the Lankan text with sending Tathagata’s message to them. A man whose name was mentioned once and dismissed in the Vishnu Puran. A man whose name means “without sorrow”, but whose most famous act was one from sorrow, after he butchered Oriyas at Kalinga.

    That evening, Princep announced that he had deciphered the Brahmi script in which mysterious and uniform inscriptions were found all over India, but not understood. One can imagine the excitement in him and in his audience, as Prinsep read out the single most commonly found line on rock edicts that were planted in triumph from Afghanistan to Bengal – on pillars in territory governed by Alexander the Great, where the European submitted for the first and only time to Indian.

    That night, after 23 centuries, from the time of classical Athens, our greatest ruler called us again:
    “Devanmpiya Piyadasi raja evam aha (King Priyadarshi, whom the gods love, say this).

    I put down these lines only to re-emphasize the importance of Ashokan rock edicts in our history. Today Ashoka and his lives looked so much part of our life, but only 175 years ago nothing was known about him. We are indebted to scholars like James Prinsep to bring back our glorious past to us.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Something common and different between us and our neighbours that is Pakistan (in the same article by Aaker Patel), “a pathetic comment about both of us”,

    The author went to Harappa, at the site of Indus Valley Civilization. It was heart-stoppingly beautiful and utterly deserted. The man at the counter punched out two tickets for foreigners and had them ready even before they reached them. He asked him, how did he know they weren’t Pakistanis? “Pakistanis don’t come here,” he said.

    What we do. Today, Indians at Ellora only litter and scratch. These places are noisy, vulgar picnic spots, not monuments that terrify us into looking at ourselves.

    (Some may fully agree, some may disagree about the extent to which it is true, however the fact would resonate with most of us, that we MUST learn to respect our ancient treasures).

  • Pinal says:

    Manish,
    As I see that you have wandered almost all the areas of Junagadh.
    Actually I am from Bhausaheb Desai family of Nadiad.
    Our great great great great great grand father used to be Diwan of the then king of Junagadh.
    I am trying to connect his work with Junagadh. Cannot trace even the smallest event other than he captured Kadu Makrani and constructed the Aji dam on Aji river.

    Any documents if you can provide, I will be happy to read the articles.

    Thank you.

    • Dear Pinal

      I am sorry for such a delayed reply. My knowledge about Junagadh is solely based on what I read and learnt during my travelto Junagadh. In-fact the name Kadu Makrani was also new for me. I checked on google and found some very interesting information about him.

      I am here giving the link of wiki page:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kadu_Makrani

      Though in this page they have not talked about the capturing of Kadu Makrani. On the contrary, he is said to be killed by an accident. I am sure you might be having some more information to share. Please feel free to share the story. It would be a pleasure if you could add some more local information about Junagadh. For me the whole process of writing this article is to know more about the place, its people and the history.

      Important notes for the lazy readers:

      – Kadu Makrani was a Baloch who immigrated to Junagadh and gained confidence of Nawab with his bravery.
      – The British conspired against him and soon he became a dacoit, he is considered among the first freedom fighters by some, Eastern Robinhood by some.
      – He cut around 300 noses and Dr Tribhuvan perhaps became the first doctor to conduct largest series of plastic surgery operating on his victims.
      – He died in Karachi Sindh, when he was running after killing a camel owner who tried to ditch him and a local policeman who tried to capture him. A laborer thought him as a thief and killed him with a stone, from the roof of one of the houses on a narrow alley from which he was running.

      I don’t know much about Kadu Makrani so I have just presented the facts on wiki without any remark/comment of my own.

      I would be happy to listen more from people who know more about him.

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