Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Around the Old City


Around the Old City
A walk around the old city of Junagadh will take you to many places worth visiting. The tombs of the Babi Nawabs, including the first Nawab of Junagadh, who made the princely state independent from the Mughals in 1748, have interesting designs, and though somewhat poorly maintained, are still worth seeing. Far more spectacular, however, are the Maqbaras from later in the Babi period, built over the grave of Nawab Mahabat Khan II. The awe-inspiring architecture mixes Moorish, Hindu and European influences with an exquisite eye for detail. The Maqbaras are not to be missed.

The Junagadh Museum, open from 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm every day except Wednesday, houses prehistoric stone and bone implements, 9th-century stone carvings and many bronzes, manuscripts, silverwork, glass crafts, woodcarvings, textiles and other items from the history of the area.

Next door is the Sakkarbaug Zoo, open from 9am-6:30pm (closed on Wednesday, like the museum), which is known for its conservation and captive breeding program for the Asiatic Lion, found in the wild in nearby Gir National Park. Entry to the zoo is Rs.10/- for Indians, Rs.50/- for Foreigners.

The Darbar Hall Museum, open from 9am-12 noon and 3pm-6pm (closed Wednesday and the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month), exhibits the era of the Babis of Junagadh, with lavish furniture, thrones, textiles, arms, portraits and photographs from the period.

Entry: Rs. 2/- for Indians and Rs. 50/- for foreigners. The Museum charges Rs. 2/- per photograph (if you wish to take photographs). Mobiles are to be switched off during your visit.

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