Temples, Girnar [Gaumukha Shrine]
Photographer: Nelson, F.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Gaumukha shrine on Mount Girnar, taken by F. Nelson in the 1890s from the Lee-Warner Collection: 'Photographs of Junagadh'. The holy Mount Girnar rises more than 900 metres on the outskirts of Junagadh. It was an important pilgrimage centre since the third century BC. The mountain is particularly sacred to the Jains but there are also several Hindu temples and a Muslim shrine. At a height of about 650 metres there is a group of sixteen Jain sanctuaries dedicated to Neminatha which constitute a temple city. These temples date from the Solanki period and later. In the 'Report on the Antiquities of Kathiawad and Kachh of 1874-75', Burgess wrote, "...about 200 feet above the Jaina temples, is a Hindu shrine, called Gaumukha, beside a plentiful spring of water." The temple takes its name from a natural spring flowing through a sculpted cow's head.