Uperkot Fort is believed to have been
constructed by the Yadavas (the clan to which Krishna belonged) when they
came to settle in Dwarka. This ancient citadel formed the centre around
which the fort of Junagadh was built. Famous in bygone times for its
virtual inaccessibility, the Uperkot or 'Upper Fort' is girdled by a wall
that is, in some places, over 20m high. An ornate entrance gateway leads
to the ruins.
Although extensively renovated and extended many times during the course of its long chequered past, its antiquarian outlook remains intact to this day.
Cannons: The fort has many interesting exhibits like the two cannons placed on the western wall and believed to have been cast in Egypt. The bigger one is the colossal 5 m long cannon called 'Nilam Tope'. It was cast in Egypt in 1531 AD and left behind by a Turkish admiral who was assisting the Sultan of Gujarat against the Portuguese at Diu in 1538 AD. The other cannon is known as 'Kadanal'.
Step Wells: There are also two interesting large step wells ('vavs') here. The 11th century Navghan Kuva has a circular stairway that descends over 50m down into the well. The Adi Chandi Vav descends down 170 steps.
In and around the fort, one can find several Buddhist caves belonging to the 200 BC to 200 AD era. In the Uperkot is a two storeyed cave said to belong to the first century. It is believed to be a Buddhist Chaitya cave.
There are also Buddhist caves at Bava Pyara Math found below the Southern walls of Uperkot arranged in three rows. Scholars believe that these Buddhist caves possibly belong to the period between 200 BC and 200 AD.