Champaner – The original city was built by Vanraj Chavda, the succeeding Rajput Chauhan. However, in 1484 the Champaner- Pavagadh site was captured by Sultan Muhmad Begda who was the ruler of the Sultanate of the Gujarat State. They were considered to be the great constructors and the credit for building the biggest centres of time goes to their credit. Begada added many new forts, mosques and tombs in his fortifications. The structure built by him was a complete blend of Hindu- Muslim architecture. The existing structure of Pavagadh hill that accommodates the famous Kalika mata temple and also Jain temples added a spectacular view to the structure already built by Begada. The city is spread at the foothills of Pavagadh and is one of the most fascinating places. This place is an amalgamation of religious shrines of Hindu, Muslim and Jain communities.
There are ample places to be visited in Champaner. They are
- Champaner Pavagadh archaeological park – UNESCO World heritage site
- Kalika Mata temple
- Fort of Pavagadh
- Ruined Hindu and Jain temples
- Jama Masjid
- Kavada Mosque
- Lakulisa temple
- Lila Gumbaj masjid
- Nagina Masjid
- Shahar ki masjid
This is the only standing structure of Pre- Mughal in India. One of the site not to be missed while visiting the place is the Archaeological site of Champaner Pavagadh. Champaner remained the capital of Gujarat until 1535, later it was looted and conquered by the Mughal Emperor Humayun.
The entire site beholds several majestic and intriguing mosques. Amongst all the mosques that have their importance, Jama Masjid stands apart of all. You will get to witness the best water harvest structure during the times of the reign. Various ponds and step wells were erected to meet the requirement of water as Champaner is a site that faces water shortage. Due to many wells constructed Champaner was known as the ‘City of thousand wells’.
Kalika Mata Temple
One place not to be missed is the Kalika Mata Temple in Pavagadh. This is the Hindu goddess temple at the summit of Pavagadh hill. Visited by lakhs of deities every year, it is one the religious shrines of the Hindu community. Temple is located on the hilltop covering around 1800 steps to the temple. You have to climb the steps to reach the temple, however, with the innovation and facilities, ropeways are built across to reach the temple straight away. This shrine is one of the shaktipeeth. Pavagadh offers the most charismatic and mesmerizing view of the valley and the entire place. This is why it is recommended to climb the steps in comparison to taking a ropeway.
How to reach Pavagadh
The nearest railway station is the Champaner that is located just 1 km away from the hill. Other ways are to reach the nearest city Vadodara and take the most convenient route of bus, rail or hire a private car.
Jain Temples of Pavagadh
Jain temples on Pavagadh belong to the Digambar sect of Jainism. The site of Champaner Pavagadh presents a unique and clear picture of religious harmony in the past. Wide range of mosques, the shatipeeth – Makali Temple and Jain temples of Digambar sect represent the concord with which people lived earlier.
This is the oldest temple that dates back to 10th Century. This was constructed by Lakulisa who is the founder of the Pashupata sect of Shiva followers. The temple is in ruin condition; however, it gives an idea about the exquisite Hindu culture and architectural techniques.
Best time to visit
Best time to visit this place is between October to February. You will find pleasant weather with mid-range of temperature that would not go beyond 29-degree c and not less than 13 degrees C.
Champaner has various archaeological sites and that attracted various historians and archaeologist, however, such a stunning place is a treasure trove and beholds beauty and history in its womb.
This blog is written as a part of the blogchatter A to Z challenge, letter C.
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