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Champaner and Pavagadh

Founded in the 8th century by the Chavda kingdom of Pavagadh. Located at 46 kms. from Vadodara in Gujrat, Cahampaner-Pavagadh archaeological park is a largely unexcavated UNESCO World heritage site that remains the only complete and unchanged site of a pre Mughal city.
A part of Panchmahal district, Pavagadh has ancient rock formations and prehistoric chalcolithic sites. Scattered all around Pavagadh are the ruins of a grand past that can put a spell on visitors with their versatility. More than 100 monuments from the 8th - 16th century create nostalgia and transport the traveller to Gujarat’s rich history. 
The great music maestro of 16th century, and Tansen's contemporary rival, Baiju Bawra came from Champaner.
Champaner-Pavagadh’s archaeological park has established a position in the list of world heritage sites declared by UNESCO in 2004.
Champaner was established by king Vanaraj Chavada of Patan in the memory of his wise minister, Champa. According to a legend, Mahakali once participated in a Garba dance here, assuming the form of a beautiful woman. The last Patai king Jaisinh eyed the Goddess with ulterior intentions that angered the Goddess who cursed him. He was killed soon after by Emperor Mahmud Begada in 1484 AD.
It was Begada who constructed the impressive structures here. He constructed the Champaner Fort, Uohra Mosque, Kirti Stambh, Mandavi and the Temple of Shalkh.The Jama Masjid, Nagina and Kewda Mosques were also constructed by him.
Champaner was made the capital of Gujarat for a short period and Begada made the best use of its topography and natural scenic surroundings.
The Hindu and Islamic architectural styles blend beautifully in the ancient architecture here. The Jama Masjid mosque stood as an example and model of mosque architecture for later generations.
Emperor Mahmud Begada of Gujrat ruled for more than 20 years from 1484 AD. Begada’s successor Muzaffar ruled from 1511-1526 AD. In 1535 AD the city was attacked by  Humayun. Later, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujrat ruled over the city and in 1536 AD aqftyer his death, the Mughals took control. In 1727 AD the city’s rulership passed over to the Marathas and finally the British.
This frequent change in rulership gave Champaner an eclectic blend of different cultures, beliefs and architecture. During the Mughal rule the importance of Champaner diminished and very soon it started falling into ruins; by the time the British took control of the area, the city was almost completely overrun by wilderness with hardly any significant population remaining.
The biggest excavation in 1969 was initiated by the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda led by Professor R. N. Mehta.
The Pavagadh Archaeological Park is a fine example of ancient Hindu architecture with its temples and military structures. It has special water retaining installations built during the 16th century rule of Mahmud Begada. On a hill above the city, at an altitude of 490 meters, there is a plateau called Machi Haveli. The ruins of the old Roval Palace can be seen here. Very close to the old palace stand the remains of are the Teliya Talav and Dudhiya Talav, the site of the famous temple of Mahakali - one of 51 Shaktipeethas at a height of 550 meters on the Pavagadh hill.
Pavagadh is also a gateway to Panchmahal, an area which is home to the Bhil tribes.
Kali Shakti Peeth
Dating back to 11th century, this temple can be reached by walking 5 km through the jungle to the top of the hill. Alternatively, it can be reached by cable car that takes you up to a mid-point from where 250 stairs take the visitor to this ancient shrine. The idol of kalika Mata in the sanctum has a red painted face. Kali is worshipped in the form of Dakshin Kali. Also present are the complete idols of Mahakali and Yantra of the Goddess Bahuchara. It is believed that the left breast of Goddess Sati or Parvati fell in this place when grief stricken Lord Shiva was wandering with her dead body. The temple has prominent fortifications. According to another legend, sage Vishwamitra set up the image of Kalika Mata at Pavagadh and a river by name of Vishwamitri originated from here.
Mosques and Dargah
Jama Masjid: This mosque was built by Mahmud Begada and prides itself with a big central dome and 2 thirty meter high minarets. Located on a high plinth, it has 172 pillars, seven mehrabs and a latticed stone carved gate. Nagina Masjid: This mosque has three domes over the central hall. There is ‘chhatri’ or cenotaph nearby with carved columns. It is located in front of an open field over a plinth. Kevada Masjid: This mosque has carvings on mehrabs and has a cenotaph near the water tank. Sahar Ki Masjid: Said to be the private mosque of the Sultans of Gujrat, it has three entrances each with a dome. Lila Gumbai Ki Masjid: It has a fluted dome at the centre. A kalash hangs in the center of the main prayer hall. Other masjids are Ek Minar Ki Masjid, Kamani Masjid. Sadan Shah Dargah: Above the Kali Temple on Pavagadh hill lies the Dargah of Peer Sadan Shah.
Champaner Fort
It is a rectangular fort with huge bastions and entrances with a carved citadel. These citadel gates are double storied. The east and south gates are the Halol and Godhara Gates. These are well preserved, large, rectangular structures. The lake named Vada Talav is located here along with the ruins of Mahmud Begada’s palace. The Atak Gate takes you to the first fortification and has 2 gateways. The Budhiya Gate on the western gate has three gateways. Machi Gate has four gateways with huge battlements. Here, Moti Shah Gate is cut through a solid rock and hence most impressive.
Lakulish Temple: An ancient temple depicting Shiva sculptures in various forms, it is located at Chhashia Talav. Shiva as Dakshinamurti, Ardhanariswara and Kalyanasundaramurti is sculpted here. Pavagarh Teerth Jain Temple: This temple is dedicated to Jain God Parsvanath Bhagwan. Many Jain saints attained ‘Moksha’ here, liberating them from the cycle of birth and re-birth. Another temple is the Shwetamber Jain temple.
Makai Kothar and Navlakha Kothar: These large structures were storage spaces for grains in old times. Seven Arches: ‘Saat Kaman’ are the seven arches which were made in ancient times without the use of any binding material.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
Vadodara Junction 49 Km 00H 53m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
48 Km 00H 51m
144 Km 02H 30m
48 Km 00H 51m
144 Km 02H 30m
Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat. The bustling metropolis is a fusion of old world charm and emerging modernity. It has a rich history of Muslim heritage.
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Best Seasons
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 23 °C 44 °C
Winter 10 °C 32 °C
It is advisable to avoid the hot and humid summer months.

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