Champaner Pavagarh Archaeological Park


About

The Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park is situated in the Panchmahal district in the state of Gujarat, India. Declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 2004, this place is located around Champaner, a historical city built by Sultan Mahmud Begada.

The Pavagadh Hills here comprise one of India's oldest rock formations that are reddish-yellow in colour. The Champaner Forts with bastions are studded in this heritage site right from the hills of Pavagadh to the city of Champaner. The landscape of the park houses remains of the 16th century capital of Gujarat, hill fortresses, chalcolithic sites and other heritage monuments that are of historical and archaeological importance. On top of the Pavagarh hills, at a height of 2,600 feet (800 meters), lies the ancient and famous Kalika Mata Temple that attracts pilgrims throughout the year. Other attractions include palaces, mosques, arches, tombs, agricultural structures, entrance gates, water installations and residential complexes that date back to the 8th and 14th centuries.

History

The name of the city is derived from Champa, who established this place during the reign of Van Raja of Ahilvada from 746 AD to 806 AD. It was then ruled by Ram Gaur Tuar in the 11th century until he was defeated by Allauddin Khilji in 1297. The Pavagadh Hill remained a renowned Hindu fortress of the Solanki Kings of Gujarat, and thereafter the Khichi Chauhans. Sultan Mahmud Begarah in 1484 took control of the fort and renamed it as Muhammadabad. The Mauliya plateau, where these monuments are located, is situated on the Pavagadh hill. Remains like the antarala and gudhamandapa of a 10th to 11th century temple that is dedicated to Lakulisa can be seen here. Other 13th to 15th century Jain and Hindu temples are also present here. The temples reflect the Nagara style of architecture. Out of the mosques located here, the Jama Masjid deserves a special mention. The structure illustrates a perfect fusion of Hindu-Muslim architecture. The chalcolithic period saw inhabitation of this place, although until around 400 AD it remained neglected. History goes that the right toe of goddess Kalika fell here, which brought divinity to the hills. For several centuries, the Pavagarh Hills and Champaner have witnessed lot of battles and change of rules, and now stand as a deserted and neglected landscape.

Location

The Champaner Pavagarh Archaeological Park is located about 68 km south of Godhra and about 50 km east of Baroda in the state of Gujarat. The city of Champaner is located in the southern foothills of the Pavagadh Hill at a distance of 1.6 km. The Pavagadh Hill is about 2,600 feet high and is composed of reddish-yellow stones believed to be one of the oldest rock-formations of India.

Best Time to Visit

During summers, the temperature of Champaner shoots up above 40 degrees centigrade, making it extremely uncomfortable for sightseeing. It is better to avoid a trip this time. However, if unavoidable, then it is advised to take proper precautions to avoid dehydration and other ailments due to the effect of the scorching sun. Monsoon prevails from June to September. From October to February, as winter sets in, the weather becomes pleasant. The best time to visit the place is after monsoons, that is, from October till February-March, before summer sets in.

Opening Timings

The Champaner Pavagarh Archaeological Park remains open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How to Reach

Champaner has good connectivity with major cities of Gujarat by extensive roadways, trains and flights. The nearest airport is the Vadodara Airport, about 42 km away from Champaner. The Vadodara Airport is connected with many cities in India. Taxis are available from airport, and take about one hour to reach the city of Champaner. The nearest international airport is Ahmedabad, about 145 km away from Champaner. The city has its own railhead between the Gandhara and Vadodara rail route. Vadodara is the main railway junction, located at a distance of 53 km. Buses and taxis are easily available from Vadodara to reach Champaner.



Last Updated on : December 30, 2013

     


     

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