Location : Junagadh
Situated at the foothills of the Girnar Range, Junagadh city and municipality, is the heart of Junagadh district in Gujarat. The name Junagadh literally connotes Old Fort. It acquired the prestigious epithet Sorath, from its erstwhile Muslim rulers. The History of Junagadh is a long tale of joys and sorrows, the humor and pathos.
On a plateau in the middle of the town, stands the imposing Uperkot Fort. It was constructed by the Mauryan king Chandragupta in 319 B.C.. It remained unnoticed for over 300 years and was discovered accidentally in 976 C.E. It was besieged for over 16 times in a span of 800-years.
History of Junagadh:
The inscriptions in Asoka's 14 rock edicts on a large boulder are all done in Brahmi script. In the same rock, you can also find inscriptions in Sanskrit by the Saka (Scythian) ruler of Malwa, which have been added to it, around 150 C.E. by Mahakshatrap Rudradaman. In northern part of the fort, lies the Khapra Kodia Caves while the Southern part is flanked by the Babupyana Caves. The occupation of Saraostos by Indo-Scythian kings along with Strabo and others had a marked impact in the History of Junagadh.
During the 11th and the 12th centuries, the Solanki, Chalukyas and others reigned from here. The steep wells located in Uperkot Fort reminds of the days of yore. After being annexed by the Delhi Sultanate, the Junagadh Fort gained a new dimension. It was polished with the sheen of Mughal Architecture.
The foundation of the city by the Gujarat Sultanate was a new beginning for the Junagadh Fort. With strong embankments raised along the city, attractive gardens and magnificent monuments the city gained a new prestige along with a new king. The year 1818 brought the Western Rulers in the Throne of Junagadh. British East India Company took formal control of the empire except the Saurashtra area.
The present old town was developed during the 19th and 20th centuries and it is a British Princely State in India. After the British East India Company, the Junagadh Fort came directly under the control of Independent India. Amidst protests and revolts, the Indians finally won the Junagadh Fort. The History of Junagadh, or the History of Junagadh Fort is therefore a tale of successors and who besieged the throne from time to time. The History of Junagadh Fort is therefore an interesting sojourn into the life and culture of Junagadh.