Gujarat: Pilgrimage at Mount Girnar affected as boulder slid and blocked stairway after heavy rains

Mount Girnar is part of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Extreme rainfall in Gujarat on September 12 and 13 caused a boulder to break loose and block the stairway leading to the top of Mount Girnar following heavy rains at Gujarat’s tallest peak on Monday. The boulder ended up obstructing the middle of the stairway, disrupting the movement of the pilgrims.

The Forest officials, however, have assured that the stairway will be cleared and repaired for the convenience of the pilgrims soon. Mount Girnar is part of the Junagadh territorial division also considered a sacred mountain as it is covered by Jain and Hindu temples. Pilgrims come from far to take the long climb upto 10,000 stone steps to the summit. The highest mountain in Gujarat is 3666 feet high and is older than the Himalayas. One can only see the peak of Girnar Parvat from Junagadh, which is at an elevation of 351 feet.

Recently due to heavy rains in the state mountain, Girnar witnessed a landslide during which the boulder slide from its position and rolled down onto the stairway about 1,100 steps from Bhavnath Talet, foothills to the mountain. Sanjay Berwal, deputy conservator of forests (DCF) of Junagadh territorial forest division talking to Indian express informed that since Girnar is a rock formation mountain, heavy rains can trigger boulders to slide down obstructing pathways. Steps in the airway, damaged by the rain, however, have been repaired.

A member of an organization working for tourism development in the area, however, said that the phenomenon of landslides on Mount Girnar is new. But fortunately due to heavy rains flow of pilgrims was low, hence no big loss was witnessed.

Four districts —Devbhoomi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Rajkot and Porbandar — have received excess rainfall this season. Heavy rain is forecasted for the week starting September 20 that is expected to recover the rainfall deficit, said IMD official.

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