Junagadh (jōˈnəgädˌ) [key] or Junagarh –gärˌ, former principality, Kathiawar peninsula, W India, on the Arabian Sea. The region of Junagadh became a district of Gujarat state in 1960. Grains, cotton, sugarcane, and oilseed are grown there, and the fishing industry is important. Junagadh was wrested from the Mughal empire in the mid-18th cent. by Sher Khan Babi, a Muslim freebooter who established a dynasty that was later supported by the British. In 1947 the Muslim ruler ceded his state to Pakistan, although the population was overwhelmingly Hindu. He was forced to flee when Indian forces invaded the state. The town of Junagadh (1991 pop. 167,110) was formerly the state capital and is now a district administrative center. It is also a market for gold and silver embroidery, perfume, and copper and brass vessels. The town has ancient Buddhist caves and Rajput forts, as well as a modern college. Nearby is the Gir forest, the only place in Asia where lions are found.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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