Uparkot fort...Junagadh, GUJARAT

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prakash manjrekar

Uparkot fort in Junagadh is located at the foothills the sacred hill of Girnar. Chandragupta Maurya is said to have constructed the fort in 319 BC and has been rebuilt and extended many times centuries in places. There are two fortifications: the fort walls surrounding the town and Uparkot in the west. The entrance of Uparkot has a fine specimen of Hindu Toran. The major sites are Buddhist caves, Jami Masjid , Adi-Kadi Vav and Navghan Kuvo. The Buddhist caves are fine examples of rock cut architecture with ornamented pillars, carved entrances, water cisterns, chaitya hall, monastic cells for meditation and chaitya windows. Jami Mosque was originally a palace of Ranakdevi, converted into a mosque by Muhammad begada to commemorate his victory over Junagadh in 1470 AD. Another interesting artefact from past is `Nilam' canon, brought to Diu from Egypt to fight against the Prortuguese and it was manufactured by the order of Suleyman, the Magnificent, King of Turkey. Adi-kadi Vav and Navghan Kuvo were built by the Chudasama Rajputs and are unique water structures among the numerous step wells of Gujarat. The Adi-Kadi Vav(15th century) has a long flight of 120 steps leading to water, while the Navghan Kuvo (1260AD) is hewn from soft rock and is 52 meter deep, reached by a circular staircase winding around the shaft.