Hindu and Jain pilgrims from across India descend to Junagadh in Saurashtra to scale Mt Girnar, western India’s holiest mountain. Over the week of Shivratri in February–March their ranks are swollen by tens of thousands of naked, dreadlocked ascetics, who mass at the base of the hill in a huge encampment, preparing to complete the sacred circuit around it by smoking prodigious quantities of hashish.

In the town itself, a rock edict dating from 250BC and a particularly exuberant Nawab’s tomb, the Maqbara of Vizir Sahib Baka-ud-din Bhar, are the main sights.

 

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