EP 3 Junagadh Tour | Girnar Hills, Dam visit, Kumbhkaran Thali | Saurashtra Tour
Namaskar friends! Welcome to Visa2explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. You already know we are on the tour of Saurashtra region in Gujarat. Right now, we are about 110 km from Rajkot, in Junagadh.
Ahmedabad would be about 320 km from here. You can look at the "Bhavnath Pravesh Dwaar" (Bhavnath Entry Gate) behind me. We will go through this gate.
This area is known as Girnar Taldgi and we are going to climb the Girnar Mountain. Going further, we will buy our tickets to the ropeway and go up the mountain. So, we will join you back in a little while. It took me at least 40-45 minutes in a queue before I purchased the ticket. The price of the ticket is Rs 700 per person. It would have been better if we had purchased the ticket online in advance.
That would have saved us the waiting time. Behind me, you can see the small scale model of the Girnar Ropeway. The Girnar Mountain has "Ambaji Temple" on top and... ....the ropeway will take us there in 8-10 min. Let us go to the ropeway.
We are inside the trolley now. Each trolley accommodates 8 persons and there are 25 trolleys in all. Look at the view out there. Lovely! You already saw the crowds down there, though it was only 8 am.
The area around here is known as Sagwan Forest and the trees are teakwood! When the ropeway wasn't there, the devotees used to climb the stairs... ...and you can see those stairs down below. There are total of 6000 steps from the base point to the Ambaji Temple. We've reached the mountain top in a jiffy and are about to reach the temple too.
The hut-like structure that I can see, that is the temple of Guru Dattatreya. It is right there. Thank you! We had a good darshan of Ambe Mata inside the temple. You know there are 52 Shaktipeeths in India and this temple is one of the 52.
Devotees belonging to far-off places come here to pray to Ambe Mata. We met Mahant ji here who told us about the significance of this temple. I am going to repeat that for your.
Girnar mountain is believed to be more ancient than the Himalayas. The locals even call Girnar the 'grandfather' of the Himalayas. Local lore also mentions that Lord Krishna used to come here,.... ....accompanied by his wife Rukmani, to pray to Ambe Mata. After insistent prayers of Lord Krishna, Mata appeared before him... ...in the same form, as we just saw in the temple. After Diwali every year, on the day of Dev-Diwali, devotees often... ....complete a parikrama (going around) of the the Girnar mountain. The whole distance of parikrama can be completed in 2-3 days.
This occasion is significant because of the belief that the 33 Koti of deities.... ...as per Hinduism, reside in this mountain and.. ...they all come together in this temple on Dev-Diwali day. The parikrama of Girnar Mountain is most significant because in this... ...you don't just go around the ancient mountain but also... ..all the deities worshipped in Hinduism. We felt good after the darshan.
Next we are going to visit Guru Dattatreya Temple for which... ..we would need to climb 3500-3800 steps. The path goes up and down both, and it includes climbing more than 3500 steps. An interesting fact - the base point from which we took the trolley, it is a total of... ...9999 steps to the Dattatreya temple, just one short of 1000. So, it is almost 10,000 steps to and fro to the temple. Thanks to the ropeway, we could skip climbing 6000+6000 steps, total of 12,000 steps.
Now let us go to Guru Dattatreya Temple. There are 7-8 food stalls near the temple and... ...we have come to one of these for some breakfast. I checked what all is available here. I saw maggi and ordered maggi for myself. Second dish is called "Boongda-Batata", which is a popular combination to eat. The right way to eat it is to pick this up and pierce the potato with this.
No, I don't think I am doing it right but anyways, this is the way to mix and eat this dish. So this is a popular breakfast in the area. This is something we used to eat a lot during childhood.
And today, I might be eating it after 25-30 years. Maggi is okay, not that tasty. But I liked this dish very much. Maggi comes for Rs. 50 and this costs Rs. 40.
They usually give 8-10 of these per plate, but I took only two for myself. I also bought this packet of chips for myself and I didn't even know when I finished these. I liked these chips very much. And I am thinking of adding the last few chips to the maggi and see how it tastes. Hmmm! It is delicious now! I asked them not to add extra masala to the maggi but...
...these chips have enough spice in it. Balaji is a Gujarat-based brand and I really liked the flavour of these chips. Though I've had these chips for the first time but it is really delicious. Very tasty! If you will see there, the first hill has a Shiv Temple atop it and... .... on the hill behind is the temple where we have to go. And the path is uneven, going down, then up, then down and up & like that.
Let us start! We have covered 200 m so far. The giant water body that you can see in the distance is called Hastinapur Dam. It has hills on either side of it.
I can also see a city spread beyond the dam. This view is very nice! Let us move on. We have been walking for the last 15 minutes and... ...now we have reached these two gateways. Sri Guru Dutt Dwaar and Sri Kamandal Kund Dwaar.
First we will go to the Guru Duttatreya Temple. On our return, we will show you the Kamandal Kund as well. Time is 12.30 pm and the sun is shining right above our heads. It is starting to feel a bit hot too.
Inside this shed, a sage is offering water to thirsty pilgrims on their way to or from the temple. I saw a lot of places where discarded plastic bottles are thrown around. It is for the devotees to make sure that they take away empty plastic bottles...
..with them and dispose them off at a proper place. I remember at Gaurmukh, before we started our journey towards Gaumukh,... ...at a checkpost, they check your baggage while going and coming back.... ..to ensure that you've brought back everything with you and... ...nothing is left back in the mountains otherwise you are fined. That is something the local authorities of this place can also enforce here. That would solve this problem. We've almost reached our destination. I can see the temple right there. You've got the right place to sit at! What do we have here? Ohh wow! Cool breeze! I will sit here for 5 minutes. Wow! This is wonderful.
Oh God! Unimaginable. Unimaginable! I mean this breeze is cooler than what an AC throws at us. Wow! I cannot explain how good it feels. Lovely! I will take a 10 minute break here and then we will carry on. Inside the temple, we had a good darshan of Guru Dattatreya. Photography is not allowed inside, so I will narrate the tale of this place.
As per ancient belief, the holy trinity of Hinduism - Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh... ...acquired the form of sages and came to test Anushya Ma on earth. They asked Anushya Mata to serve food to them naked. In response, Anushya Mata sprinkled holy water on all three....
....and they turned into toddlers. Once that happened, the three reigning deities - Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati... ...also reached there and asked Anushya Mata for forgiveness... ...and also asked her to bring their husbands back to their original selves. Anushya Mata relented and sprinkled the holy water on all three... ...and everything became good again. At that time, Anushya Mata also predicted that Guru Dattatreya, the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu... ...would meditate at this place and appear before the devotees during Kalyug (the present age). The "Charan Paduka is the one, which I am talking about. Guru Dattatreya spent 12,000 years in meditation at this place.
Let us go back now. We took these stairs to reach here and now we are going to visit Kamandal Kund. We visited inside and also ate the Bhojan prasad. The food service is available 24 hours for the pilgrims. The priest inside gave us this packet of sacred ash to take back home.
And he also gave us this image of Guru Dattatreya and with him... ... you can also see a picture of Mahant Shri Amritgiri Maharaj. The temple visible right now is dedicated to Lord Neminath. We've travelled about 6 km from the ropeway and... ..we are standing at Modern Lassi Shop right now. This shop is known for its lassi (buttermilk) and patties. So, I am eating patties first and then I will go for lassi.
This patties is made of boiled potatoes mixed with spices, etc. People usually prefer eating these on the fasting days. It has nothing but potatoes.
And it is served with this flavored, watery yoghurt called 'chutney.' This patties tastes totally different, perhaps because it has in it... ...garam masala, black pepper, peanuts, cashew nuts, raisins, etc. All this has gone into these patties.
Overall a decent taste! They have lot of varieties in lassi and I've ordered myself a mango lassi. You can see it is topped with cream, cashew nuts, raisins and jelly pieces. Usually lassi is a drink but looking at its thickness here,...
....I feel I will have to eat it with a spoon. It is good! The lassi is so thick and rich that a glass of this lassi could also be a light lunch for you. We've reached the Willingdon Dam. There is a strong wind blowing around here. Let us take a walk and show you the dam properly. We have come a little further after a long walk. The view from here is too good! This dam is built on the Kalwa river, which flows in between the Girnar & Datar mountains.
This dam was built in 1929, during the reign of Governor Willingdon,... ...after whom it is named as well. These hills are both part of the Datar mountain range and in the middle you can see... ..the "Sakhi Datar" temple on top of the hill, which is visited by.... ..both Hindu as well as Muslim pilgrims. It would be better to visit this place after 5 or 5.30 pm because...
...there would be less sunshine. Otherwise, I feel, if you visit Junagadh, you must also visit here. Walk around, enjoy the strong breeze and the picturesque surroundings. After travelling 3 km from the dam, we've reached the historic Ashok Shilalekh (Ashok's rock edicts).
The road in front is the one we earlier took to reach the base point of Girnar ropeway. So, we've retraced our route to reach back here. Now before I tell you anything more about this place, let me buy my ticket... .. because due to Covid-19, only online ticket facility is available. The ticket cost is Rs. 20 per person. So, I will join you in a short while and...
...till then you can read what is written here about the rock edicts. We were inside but since photography is prohibited, I am going to show you... ...some photographs of the place inside. We all know that after the battle of Kalinga, Emperor Ashok sent his messengers of peace... ..throughout India and other countries, specially Asian countries. These messengers carved rock edicts at different places, representing ...
..the thoughts & beliefs of Emperor Ashok. It is written here that all these edicts were written between 273-232 B.C.E. Some of the emperor's beliefs included respect for animals, respect towards elders... ..kindness towards prisoners, etc. All such things are also written in the rock edicts here.
These thoughts of Emperor Ashok were those of a king towards his subjects,... ...and were meant to be used to handle the kingdom and manage the people. That was the point of view of presenting all those thoughts to the people. In Odisha too, on the rock edict 13, Ashok had sought forgiveness from his people. We had told you about all this during our Odisha tour.
I am going to mention the link of that video in the description of this video... ...so that you can watch that video as well. Apart from Emperor Ashok, the rock edicts inside also contain the thoughts of two other kings. This board also contains the names and timelines of those rulers.
So, whenever you come to Junagadh, you can come here and see the rock edicts for yourself. We've come a km away from Ashok Shilalekh, directly towards Bhavnath Taleti. On our right hand side is the Damodar Kund. Let us go inside and give you more information about this place.
Inside the temple, we had a darshan of Lord Damodar and his son, Pradyuman. The pond in front of the temple is known as the Damodar Kund. The kund on the side of the temple is known as the Revati Kund. According to the information that we have been able to gather around here,...
..let me tell you that this place is known for a poet and ardent devotee of Lord Krishna... ...Narsee Mehta Ji. According to an old tale, the erstwhile ruler of this place set up his court here... ...and challenged Narsin Mehta to prove that he was a true devotee of Lord Krishna... ..and enjoyed his blessings. In response, Narsin Mehta sang Raag Kedar at this place. That made Lord Krishna so happy that he put a garland around Narsin Mehta's neck. The king was also satisfied and Narsin Mehta won the challenge. We have the temple priest here with us to tell us in more detail about it.
Pandit Ji, Jai Shri Krishna! Could you tell us some more details about this holy place? We want to know more because people come here to... ...immerse the sacred ashes of their dead family members and... ..this place is also known as the abode of Revati Maiyya. This temple has Lord Krishna as well as his elder brother, Balaram, as resident deities. In fact, this place is also known as the home of Balaram's in-laws.
He was married to Revati, daughter of Revatachal. They got married right here, in the Revati Kund. It is believed that praying in the Revati Kund on a particular time and day... ..helps you get child, if a couple is facing any problem We have had several cases from Junagadh itself, where women, who prayed at the Kund... ..were able to bear children, despite facing problems earlier. We've heard that Revati Maiyya was born during Satyug.
Can you throw some light on this? Though Revati Maiyya was born in a different era, Satyug, she received a boon.. ..from Lord Brahma, that she would get married in the Treta Yug. So, it was after 3 eons of her birth that Balaram was born and... .. it was Lord Krishna who brought him here Revati, at that time, was as tall as the Revatachal mountain and... ...Balaram used his super powers to shorten her height... ...and they got married in the Revati Kund. Thank you so much! Jai Shri Krishna! At the base of the Girnar mountain is a very ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
It is known as the "Bhavnath Taleti Temple." This whole area is known by the name of this temple. No body has any idea about how ancient this temple is Here, we came to know that while Lord Shiv meditated right at this place...
...Ma Parvati meditated on top of the Girnar mountain. On the occasion of Mahashivratri, a huge fair is organized at the temple,... ...which is attended by pilgrims, from far and wide, as well as the Naga Sadhus. The Naga Sadhus also take a bath in nearby kund , on any one day during that festival. We've had darshan at the temple and are now leaving. For your information, Junagadh is a small city,...
...you can reach from one corner to another by travelling 7-8 km. Let us leave now! We were on our way for dinner from the Bhavnath Temple and we saw... ..this Kawa stall on the roadside. So, we stopped at one of these stalls, where we also met some channel subscribers. I have been talking to them for the past some time. They have told me if you visit Junagadh during winter season, you will get to... ...see such stalls at many places along the roadside. Like I can see 8-10 Kawa stalls right here, at a distance of 50 m each.
So, these stalls are popular during rainy season and winter season but... ...not so much during the summer season? Alright! Brother, please Kawa for everyone here! The Kawa is ready! They added a dash of lemon in the end. Usually, we don't add lemon to the Kawa we make at home.
That is one difference! The Kawa made at home is not this strong. This is very strong brew. Second thing, we don't add lemon, but this has sourness. One thing that I noticed when I came here is that...
...they are making Kawa in a copper pot. This is one more difference and, in fact, all the stalls here... ...are using a copper pot like this one. Isn't it brother? Yes! Kawa is basically made with Coffee grinds, roasted first,... ...which gives them this black colour. Also this drink has ginger and black pepper in abundance! The Kawa could easily treat common cold in a person.
How do you guys spend a weekend with your families? Where do you go for a weekend outing? Families in Junagadh have 2-3 spots to spend the weekend but... ...mostly, they prefer visiting the Bhavnath Taleti. They usually come on Sundays and carry their own tiffin. Bhavnath Taleti is a forest area too, so it is cooler and... ...has a pleasant environment. This place is alive with people even till midnight. You mean on Saturdays and Sundays this place is bustling with people? Yes! There would be at least 50,000 people here on weekends. Really! Yes! That is great! For dinner, we've come to Patel Restaurant, opposite the Sakkarbaugh Zoo.
When we reached here, we saw there are two Patel Restaurants here. The food is good at both these places and... ...we's made a random choice between the two. This one is on the first floor. Look at this attractive poster that they have put up. A 'Kumbhakaran Thali' on the first floor - 35 items, 10 kg in weight. I am going to figure out whether I can eat this thali or not, once we are upstairs.
Once there, we will also look at other options. Let us go upstairs. It is for the first time in the past several years that... ...I would be eating so much for dinner. This is the Kumbhakaran Thali.
The total number of dishes in this thali is 35 and some of those I can't even understand. Therefore, I've requested the restaurant manager to sit with me and guide me through it. Great! First of all, this thali isn't unlimited. So, a family of 4 or 5 can easily share this thali among themselves. Now the big question is where to start and what to start with.
What is this? This is paneer tikka dry. Okay, let us take some paneer tikka dry. And a Basket Chaat with it. This is a Gujarati Dhokla, Schezwan Dhokla! It is one of Gujarati appetizers. So, here is Schezwan Dhokla! Hmm! Good taste! The Schezwan sauce on this dhokla is a little sweet.
Overall nice taste! What is interesting about this thali is its multiple choices. You can pick whatever catches your fancy. Like I felt I should eat these three items, so... ..very good. The taste is good. Nice taste! When did you start the Kumbhakaran Thali? We started serving this thali about 3 years ago. And we've received such tremendous response to it that... ...not just India, people from other countries are known to... ...come here specially to eat this thali. Really! The food is tasty! Now I am going to try the Bhakri (thick flatbread) with...
...you call this Oro? Yes, Oro. It is basically 'Baingan Ka Bharta', made with roasted eggplants... ...cooked in Kathiyawadi style. Yes! I am eating Bhakri after a long time. He told me this Bhakri is made with Jau (Barley) flour. Hmm! Very tasty! What I've seen in this thali is that it has a mix of...
..North Indian as well as local dishes. This is "Pahadi Raita'. I visited Uttarakhand 2-3 months back and had this there as well. So, I am going to taste it now. What to eat it with? Let us pick naan. This is roti, not naan. I am going to take some biryani with it.
This raita is famous in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. There they add Rai (mustard seeds) to it. So, you also must have used rai in it? Yes! This Kumaoni Raita is very delicious. This thali is a delicious experience to experience! So, if there are 4-5 persons in a group, this is a good choice to make.
Now I am going to finish the food with my team and... ...we will join you again soon. Someone told me that before going to your hotel, you must... ...also see the entry gate to Junagadh city, located right opposite the railway station. So, we are here at the entry gate. This is an old entry gate and it is written on it, "Sardar Patel Darwaza. The city was surrounded by six such entry gates but with time...
..the city spread far and wide & only two entry gates are now left. We had come here to see the lighting on this gate but... ..since it is already 11 pm, they have turned off the lighting. We started our day at 7 am today and after visiting Girnar mountain... ..and reaching here at 11 pm now, it has been a long day for us. But we enjoyed a lot. Now it is time to say bye-bye to you. We will stay in Junagadh for the second day tomorrow. We have planned a lot of activities for tomorrow.
We will spend tomorrow night in Junagadh as well and.. ...the day after we will be going to the Gir Forest. I will say bye-bye to you now. We will next meet in the next episode.
Thanks for your time! In the past few days, I've noticed that in this region, known as Kathiyawad,... ...Sev-Tamatar is present in every meal! Am I right? Yes! So, apart from Sev-Tamatar, this oily potato curry is also a common feature here. This is because in this region, oil is used generously in the food. And I just told you about the sweet dal too. Whenever you will be here, you would want to stop here for some time and... ...just watch & appreciate this lighting.