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Exploring the Historical Towns of Champaner – Pavagarh
A Glimpse into the History of Champaner - Pavagarh
Champaner is a historic city located at the foothills of Pavagarh hill station in the Panchmahal district of Gujrat. Champaner was established by King Vanraj Chavda of Chavda Dynasty at the foothills of Pavagarh, in the memory of his beloved friend and minister Champa. The region is well-known for its ancient monuments and religious places. This remarkably well preserved region houses numerous Hindu and Jain temples that date thousands of years back. There are also several mosques belonging to the era of Gujrat sultanate part from other archeological buildings, which indicate the existence of a well-planned and prosperous city.

History of Champaner - Pavagarh
King Vanraj Chavda founded Champaner of Chavda Kingdom during 8th century period. As per Historical data the beautiful city of Champaner got its name after the King Vanraj's friend as well as minister Champa. The Pavagadh area and the kingdom of Champaner got captured in the year 1300 AD by Rajput Chauhans. In 1484 Pavagadh was again captured by Mahmud Begda and he gave the name of Muhammadabad to this city. He invested almost 23 years in renovating this city and later moved to Ahmadabad making it the new capital of his kingdom. In 1535, Humayun the Mughal emperor captured it. Later it came under the rule of the British. During 1969 a full proof 7 years study was throughly conducted on the lost city by Herman Goetz, a German archaeologist by profession and the history of this city was penned down. 

Major Tourist Hot Spots
Champaner – Pavagarh is a popular tourist destination not only because of its historical significance, but also because of its religious places. Given below are the details of the major tourist hotspots in the region.

Pavagarh Fort: located on top of the Pavagarh hill, this is one of the most famous forts of ancient Gujrat. The fort is divided into three main sections, which include the ruined areas, the palace located in the centre of the fort and upper fort which houses the Hindu and Jain temples. Most of these temples are constructed in the Nagara style of architecture. The fort was once a very significant part of the Solanki Empire and also featured like a Lakulisa Hindu temple which was constructed around the 10th century.

The Champaner – Pavagarh Archeological Park: This archeological park is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the region. Located on the hills of Pavagarh, the park is renowned for its great collection of historic, unexcavated archaeological and living cultural heritage assets. The park also features temples which present a great example of the combined Hindu and Jain architectural styles. The park was bestowed the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004.

Maa Mahakalika Temple: This temple is unique in that it is revered by the people of both the Hindu and Muslim communities. Located in the centre of thick forests on a cliff of Pavagarh hills, the temple is one of the 51 Shaktipeeths. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kalika, who is believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Kali. Tourists can reach the temple either by a ropeway or by walking up the steep incline of the cliff. After that the tourists further need to climb 250 steps to reach the temple. The temple also has the Sadanshah Pir Dargah, which is held in high reverence by the Muslims.  

Tomb of Sikander Shah: Located in Halol, at a distance of just a few kilometers from Campaner, is the tomb of Sikandar Shah, the last ruler of Campaner. Sikander Shah was killed by Imad-ul-Mulk, Khusqadam in 1526 after which his dead body was buried at this place. The tomb is beautifully constructed from stone and has a central chamber along with entrance porches that have fluted domes. Despite the simple appearance of the tomb, it has beautiful carvings of floral designs and geometrical patterns on the plinth base and the brackets.

Jami Masjid: This main Masjid in Champaner district features two tall minarets, one on each side of the entrance, each having a height of 30 m. Constructed in 1523; the Masjid presents a beautiful site with carved balconies and entrance gates. The Masjid also features two floors of open arcades with nets around the pillared courtyard that have extensive carvings. The mosque presents a fine example of the Sultanate style architecture in Gujrat. With nearly 172 pillars, 7 mehrabs and a central dome, the Masjid is a great work of combined Jain and Islamic traditions.

Helical step well:  This is a 16th century well having a staircase, in which the stairs are of 1.2m-wide. The design of this well is quite different from the usual wells of this place.


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