The little-visited town of Junagadh (or Junagarh) is an intriguing small city with a striking skyline of domes and minarets. Its lively bazaars, Buddhist monuments, Hindu temples, mosques, Victorian Gothic-style archways and faded mansions – plus the magnificent Jain temples on Mount Girnar – make it well worth exploring. Because of the sanctity of Mount Girnar, the Shivratri Mela (Feb/March) assumes particular importance here, when thousands of saffron-clad sadhus set up camp in town. Fireworks, processions, chanting, chillum-smoking and demonstrations of body-torturing ascetic practices run for at least five days and nights. In addition, every November, up to a million people take part in the Parikrama, a three-day 36km walk around the base of Mount Girnar and the surrounding hills to Bhavnath.

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