Historical Fort and Guns of Uparcot in Junagadh in India

Junagadh is one of the cities of Gujarat State in India that has a very old history. As a result, there are many historical monuments worth seeing in the city of Junagadh. One such vital monument is the fort of Junagadh, known as Uparcot. The original city of Junagadh was within this ancient fort. The fort is around 1200 years old and was built by king Ugrasen. This fort was a witness to the most famous war between Sidharaj Jaisingh, king of Gujarat and Ra khengar, king of Junagadh. Ranakdevi, the queen of Ra Khengar was the reason of this war. King Sidharaj wanted to marry Ranakdevi at any cost and he attacked Junagadh. Junagadh was defeated after a long war of 12 years but Sidharaj could not get Ranak, as she committed suicide after the war.
Uparcot is really a worth visiting spot. It is located in the middle of the city. It takes around couple of hours to fully see this historical fort. It is advisable to visit this fort in the morning hours so as to avoid long strenuous walks and climb during peak heat of afternoon. It is also preferable to hire a guide to show all the places in the fort. The guide charges are around Rs.80 ($2). The gate of this fort has wonderful stone carvings both from inside and outside. There is a big statue of Lord Hanuman on the gate. You will need to buy the entrée ticket at the gate by paying Rs.25 (60cents) per person. The fort remains open all throughout the year. There is a palace of Ranakdevi on the right as soon as you enter. A chori (wedding place) can still be seen even today, where the marriage of Ranakdevi was performed with Rakhengar. There is a samadhi of two young princes of Rakhengar who were killed in the war. You will be able to see two large, long distance firing guns positioned on the highest point of the fort. These guns are named Nilam and Manek. These guns were extensively used in the famous war of Junagadh against Sidharaj of Gujarat. Nilam gun is 17 feet long and Manek gun is 13 feet long. These guns have a capacity to fire up to the distance of 5 miles. On viewing to your right at this point, you will be able to see the mountain of Girnar. When you walk ahead for about 15 minutes, you reach to an ancient Buddha cave. Take lot of care while going inside this cave, as it is around 1000 years old. The steps to go down are not in good shape. However, the inside atmosphere is very calm and quiet.
You can take rest for a while at this point and then, proceed to the famous Adi/Kadi vav. The two ladies servants named as Adi and Kadi gave their lives in this well, as water was not coming in spite of many efforts. That is the reason this vav is named in their memory to remember their sacrifice. This vav is 310 feet long and 200 feet deep having 7 floors altogether. You need to be extremely careful while getting down up to the water as the stone steps are in very bad shape. The construction of this vav is unique as it was able to store huge quantity of water. The next spot is Navghan well. This well is 200 feet and it is said that it has an enormous quantity of water in it. The well is 200 feet deep and is having 225 steps to get down. Again, be careful in case, you decide to go all the way down. If you decide to go down in both these water wells, make sure that you are physically fit, as it is very strenuous to go down and climb up back. If you walk straight ahead, you will be able to view the famous Wilingdon dam that is supplying water to the city of Junagadh. There is a huge water purification plant here that is also worth seeing. You can reach back to the entrance of the Uparcot and your visit to the famous fort of Junagadh is completed.
The history of this fort and the minute details of the war between Junagadh and Gujarat can be known from the guide or from the small booklets that are available on sale outside the gate of the fort. I have myself visited this fort for 3 to 4 times and each time I have found something new. I hope all my AC friends would also try to visit this historical fort in case they happen to be in city of Junagadh in India.
Source: http://voices.yahoo.com/historical-fort-uparcot-junagadh-india-493504.html

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