Visit Uparkot Fort in Junagadh: History, Structure, Places to Visit Nearby, How to Reach Uparkot Fort (2020)
The Uparkot Fort is in Junagadh, Gujarat. The Uparkot fort is in the Girnar Hills. The entrance is at the foot of the Girnar hill, and the fort area stretches towards the top. Though secluded, Uparkot fort is a popular tourist location because of its architectural beauty and experience of trekking and reaching the destination. If you plan to visit the Uparkot Fort, read this article to know what to expect.
History and Structure of Uparkot Fort
The Uparkot Fort is a formidable structure and retains some of the old charms even today. At the fort, you will see some of the artifacts like cannons at the windows and niches. The Uparkot Fort originates from the time of King Ugrasen. Experts claim that King Ugrasen has built the fort in his time. You will see some intricate sculptures and designs along the pillars and the walls. The Uparkot Fort has some contemporary buildings today, like a Hanuman temple that’s at the very beginning of the fort.
Inside the Uparkot fort, you will see the famous Neelam and Manek cannons. The cannons play a role in history as well. The Ottoman Sultan sent them to fight the Portuguese during the Battle of Diu in the 1500s. You will see some other structures that are part of the medieval lifestyle, like the water wheel, two steps wells, and the old palace. One of the wells shares the names with two servant women who fetched water, Adi and Kadi, and the name of the step-well is Adi Kadi Vav (Vav is well in the local language, Gujarati).
Unfortunately, the step-wells don’t have any water any longer, and there’s garbage strewn in the wells.
You will also see a set of Buddhist caves in the Uparkot fort, which are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The caves themselves date back to the 3rd century. You will also see a couple of Hindu temples inside the Uparkot fort structure.
The other places of interest are the Jama Masjid and the tomb of Nuri Shah, an Islamic scholar. The authorities are maintaining the fort well, and there are steps and staircases all over the structure.
Some of the structures inside the Uparkot fort complex are the Ronak Devi Palace and some temples. From the top of the Uparkot fort, you will also be able to see the Girnar temple. There are some Buddhist caves in the fort area, known as the Uparkot Caves. These Caves are unique, as they are one of the very few two-story structures when it comes to forts. The caves date back to the 1st or 2nd century. A tour of the caves gives an idea of the lifestyle back then.
Places To See Near Uparkot Fort
Have a weekend and would like to visit other places near the Uparkot fort, like the Ashoka Rock Edicts and the Durbar Hall Museum. You can also visit places like the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. All of these places are within a three-kilometer radius of the Uparkot fort.
But if you go further, there is another clump of areas of tourist interest that you can visit, like the Jain Derasar, the Dataar Hills, the Dattatreya Temple, etc.
At the Uparkot fort, you will also see the Nawabi Lake, an artificial lake. There are some theories and myths connected to the fort, and it makes sense to hire a tour guide who will give you the detailed information.
You can spend around two hours at the fort. There are some vendors of beverages at the entrance, but none inside. So, it makes sense to pack some snacks and drinking water for at least an hour. The Uparkot fort has a mesmerizing view from the top and gives an excellent view of the Girnar valley. While the trek is an easy one, you do need the stamina to cover the entire fort, which will take two hours or more. If you intend to visit all the places, right from where the guns are to the step-wells, you might even spend five hours at Uparkot fort.
And if you are spending four to five hours in Gujarat, make sure that you have something to shield you from the punishing sun. So, arm yourself with sunglasses, sunscreen, and a cap. The tourism places generally don’t have designated shades and shelters, so you might end up taking refuge at one of the interior structures at the fort.
The Uparkot fort is a popular local tourist destination, so you will find school kids and even locals coming here for short trips. The Uparkot fort premises can end up being a bit crowded during the weekends, but that’s an experience in itself, where you get an idea of the lifestyle of the locals.
The visit to the Uparkot fort can be an informative and calming experience if you visit it at the correct time. The best way to know everything that there is to about Uparkot is to hire a guide. Since this is a tourist area, you will see some around, and you can hire one at under 500 rupees.
The visit to the Uparkot fort is an excellent opportunity to know more about India’s history and culture. Uparkot is in Junagadh, which is a tourist location, and therefore, you will see several hotels that cater to all budgets. If you are booking the hotel online, make sure that you read the rules and regulations and services and amenities that are on offer.
Some of the hotels might not allow unmarried couples to share the room, while others might not allow pets. Also, you might need to check the cuisine available, as not all hotels will offer the cuisine you generally get in the urban areas. The price for a night’s stay in the hotels near Uparkot ranges from 4000 INR to 1000 INR.
How To Reach Uparkot Fort?
The Uparkot Fort is in Junagadh, and therefore simple to reach, as Junagadh connects well with the other cities in the country. The closest airport to Junagadh is Rajkot Airport, which is about 100 kilometers away. Several trains connect Junagadh to the cities, and you can reach Junagadh via roadways as well. The route has several private buses plying.