Uparkot Fort

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Uparkot Fort
Junagadh, Gujarat, India
Gate of Uperkot Fort 02.jpg
Uparkot fort rediscovered and rebuilt during reign of Chudasama ruler Graharipu [1]
Coordinates 21°31′25″N70°28′10″E / 21.5236831°N 70.4695183°E / 21.5236831; 70.4695183 Coordinates: 21°31′25″N70°28′10″E / 21.5236831°N 70.4695183°E / 21.5236831; 70.4695183
Type Fort
Site information
Controlled by Government of Gujarat
Open to
the public
Condition Ruins
Site history
Built by Graharipu of Chudasama dynasty [2]
Materials Granite Stones and lime mortar

Uparkot is a fort located in east side of Junagadh, Gujarat, India.



A fort and town was established at the foothills of Girnar hill during reign of the Maurya Empire and continued to be used during Gupta period, but it lost its importance when the capital of Saurashtra region was moved from Junagadh to Vallabhi by Maitraka. Chudasamas settled around Junagadh from 875 CE according to bards when they acquired Vamansthali (Vanthli) from Chavda ruler. [3]

Chudasama ruler Graharipu (r. c.940-c.982) [4] cleared the old citadel free from the jungle. From the evidence contained in the Hemchandra's Dvyashraya, it can be concluded that Graharipu laid the foundations of the citadel as it now exists. the legend is told about its rediscovery. [3]


After several Chudasamas of Vamansthali had ruled, a woodcutter one day managed to cut his way through the forest and came to a place where stone walls and a gate existed. Nearby sat a holy man in contemplation, and on being asked by the woodcutter the name of the place and its history, he replied that its name was "Juna" — old. The woodcutter returned by the way he had come to Vamansthali, and reported his discovery to the Chudasama ruler, who ordered the forest to be cleared away. This being done, the fort came into sight. But there was none who knew its history, or who could tell more than the holy man had told the woodcutter. So the place became known as "Junagadh" for want of a better title. [5]

If this story is to be believed, either Graharipu rediscovered an ancient stronghold or else after he had built the fort, it was abandoned and afterwards found again by a later ruler Navaghana who transferred Chudasama capital from Vamansthali to Junagadh. [5] [3]


In 1893-94, Haridas Viharidas, the Dewan of Junagadh State, had restored the fort. [6]

In July 2020, the Government of Gujarat initiated the restoration of the fort and the structures inside it at the cost of 44.46 crore (US$6.2 million). The project will be completed in 18 months. [7]

Architecture and places of interest

The Uparkot is one of the most interesting of old forts. The parapets on the east, where the place is commanded by higher ground, have been raised at least three times to give cover against the increasingly long range of projectiles. [8]

The entrance is beyond the town in the east wall, and consists of three gateways, one inside the other. The fort walls are from 60 to 70 feet high, forming a massive cluster of buildings. The inner gateway, a beautiful specimen of the Torana, has been topped by more later Indo-Saracenic work. [8]

On the rampart above the gate is an inscription of Mandalika III, dated 1450. [8] Near this is the Jumma Masjid built by Mahmud Begada. [8]

The Tomb of Nuri Shah, close to the mosque, is ornamented with fluted cupolas, and a most peculiar carving over the door. There are two Wells in the Uparkot — the Adi Chadi or Adi Kadi Vav, said to have been built in ancient times by the slave girls of the Chudasama rulers, is descended by a long flight of steps (the sides of the descent show the most remarkable overlappings and changes of lie in the strata, for which alone it is worth a visit to anyone with geological tastes) ; and the Navghan Kuvo, cut to a great depth in the soft rock, and with a circular staircase. [8]

Uparkot Caves are 2nd-3rd century Buddhist caves located in the Uparkot. It is double storyed cave complex used by Buddhist monks during ancient times.

Nawabi Lake is a square artificial lake located in the Uparkot.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Navaghana (king)

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Graharipu was a 10th-century Chudasama king of Saurashtra region of western India with his capital at Vamanasthali. He was a contemporary of Mularaja, the first Chaulukya ruler of Anahilapataka. Graharipu built or repaired Durgapalli, the ancient fort in Junagadh identified as Uparkot.

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The Chudasama dynasty ruled parts of the present-day Saurashtra region of Gujarat state in India between the 9th and 15th centuries. Their capital was based in Junagadh and Vamanasthali, and they were later classified among the Rajput clans. They claimed to be of Lunar race from which the deity Krishna sprung.

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Uparkot Caves

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Ranakadevi was a legendary 12th century queen of Khengara, the Chudasama ruler of Saurashtra region of western India. She is mentioned in the bardic tragic romance representing the battle between Chudasama king Khengara and Chaulukya king Jayasimha Siddharaja. However, this legend is not credible.

Navaghana was a Chudasama king of Saurashtra region of western India who reigned in the late 11th century. His capital was at Junagadh. He was a contemporary of Jayasimha Siddharaja, the Chaulukya ruler of Anahilapataka. According to bardic legends, Jayasimha attacked during his reign and he was defeated and became is vassal. He moved capital to Junagadh. He was succeeded by Khengara who had vowed to take revenge.

Navghan Kuvo

Navghan Kuvo is a stepwell in Uparkot Fort, Junagadh, Gujarat, India.

Architecture of Gujarat

The Architecture of Gujarat consists of architecture in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Jumma Masjid, Uparkot State protected monument of Gujarat

Jumma Masjid or Jama Masjid is a mosque in Uparkot Fort in Junagadh, Gujarat, India. The mosque was built in 15th century by converting a temple or a palace now identified as Ranakdevi Mahal by local people. There is a controversy surrounding the identification of the structure.


  1. Soundara Rajan, K. V. (1985). "Junagadh".
  2. Soundara Rajan, K. V. (1985). "Junagadh".
  3. 1 2 3 Harold Wilberforce-Bell (1916). The History of Kathiawad from the Earliest Times. London: William Heinemann. pp. 54–83.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. Shastri, Hariprasadji (1976). Gujaratlo Rajkiya Ane Sanskritik Itihas Granth Part-iii Itihasni Gujaratlo Rajkiya Ane Sanskritik Itihas Granth Part-iv Solanki. pp. 163–165.
  5. 1 2 Gujarat–Daman–Diu: A Travel Guide. Orient Longman Limited. 1998. ISBN   9788125013839 . Retrieved 2017-07-11.
  6. https://www.phulchhab.com/news/303205
  7. "Vijay Rupani lays foundation stone for Uparkot Fort restoration". The Indian Express. 2020-07-17. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Murray, John (1911). A handbook for travellers in India, Burma, and Ceylon . University of California Libraries. London: London : J. Murray ; Calcutta : Thacker, Spink, & Co. pp. 153–155.PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.