Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Junagadh II

Contrary to the views of two Australians, John & his daughter Vivienne, whom I met in Sasan Gir, I quite like Junagadh. While it's noisy & dusty, it's also a small enough town to be able to get to most places by walking or by a short autorickshaw trip. And there's lots to see & do here. Yesterday I made the big walk to the top of Girnar Hill & beyond. There are apparently 10,000 steps, which were built between 1889 & 1908. Dotted along the way are numerous Jain & Hindu temples, some of them dating from the 12th century. After reaching the final temple where you get given some coconut & sugar, you can descend to an ashram for a free meal of roti, dhal, aloo (potato) and rice on big leaves. Later I bought a bottle of "Mecca Cola" which tasted surprisingly like Coca Cola. I spent nearly six hours on the hill, and had very tired legs at the end (different muscles to many of those used for cycling are used in climbing, unfortunately.) But note:

** WARNING: LEG MASSAGE SCAM **
As I walked stiffly toward the base of the mountain, a young man offered me a leg massage (from the knee down) for Rp10, which I gratefully accepted. After doing both legs (and it wasn't a bad massage, except for the bit where he cracked each of my toes by giving them a vigorous tug) he tried to charge me Rp 20, claiming that Rp 10 was just for one leg!

Also visited Uperkot Fort. At first it seemed pretty dull - a wall, a mosque and a rather unexciting Buddhist cave apparently 1500 years old. However, there are 2 baolis (wells) within the fort - one round and the other square. The round one was amazing enough, but the square one, with its superb winding staircase cut into the rock was just astounding - incredibly deep, and somewhat spooky, with hundreds of pigeons nesting and swooping about, and the associated cooing & smell of pigeon shit & urine (human).

I'm staying at the Hotel Relief (motto: "we care people carefully"). I like it - simple, cheap, clean, and the owner & his brother are very helpful and knowledgeable about Junagadh & its surrounds.

3 comments:

Andrew said...

simple, cheap, clean... but was it quiet and free from the sound of phlegm being expelled from the sordid depths of someones mucosal chambers?

david w said...

it certainly was, thankfully.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thank You Very Much for sharing your experience with us about Junagadh.

-- Girnar | Gir National Park | Somnath

Nice Work Done!!

Paavan