Gujarat holds a prominent place when it comes to knowing Indian history. Right from Mahatama Gandhi to various historical events and sites, one notable example being the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, the contribution of Gujarat in making India shine on the global map is quite significant.
As the name suggests, this park is full of some really amazing architectural marvels like palaces, temples, gateways, and even mosques. Thus, for anyone who likes to read about history and relish the subtlety of legends and stories, this place won’t disappoint.
Apart from all this, the tourist also gets to experience the old remnants of Indian history in the form of several categorical topics ranging from water conservation, agriculture to the Hindu and Islamic forms of architecture.
Moving on the best time to visit Champaner, Gujarat, would be between the months of October and February. This is a time when the overall climatic conditions are pleasant for sightseeing and exploring around.
According to historical records, this place was founded in the 8th century by Vanraj Chavda who was the 8th Chavda King. Talking about the name of this place, it is believed that the king had named it after one of his generals and also his friend Champa.
On the other hand, there are many people who also believe and claim that the name of this place has been derived from the yellow tinted rocks sited in Pavagadh.
In terms of trade as well, Pavagadh was quite a vital route linking Gujarat to North and South India. Perhaps it was due to this reason, that sometime later in history, Pavagadh was made the capital city of the entire region by Mahmud Begda during the early Mughal period.
By the 1800s, the town had still not seen much progress as compared to its neighbors which were already industrialized. Although all of this is long gone with the passage of time, and today Champaner is considered a world-class heritage site in India.
This archaeological park is a UNESCO World Heritage site that, in its essence, depicts the human lifestyle from pre-historic times to the 16th century.
Places To Visit in and Around Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
1. Pavagadh Fort
The fort was built by Mahmud Begda, the then Sultan in the 10th century and is considered to be one of the most ancient pieces of architecture in all of Champaner. The nearby regions of this fort are filled with numerous Jain and Hindu temples, thus anyone who has an inclination towards religion will definitely like this place. Overall, it is a great tourist destination to visit in Champaner.
2. Jami Masjid
The masjid is also known to be the Jama Masjid of Champaner and carries a great historic significance. From the historic point de Vue, this masjid is a remarkable example of architecture in Western India. Visiting here, you also get to see how the architectures of that time were so advanced and used the-then modern techniques to accomplish this project.
3. Kalika Mata Temple
This temple is believed to be built between 900-1000 BC. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, this incredible temple sees a lot of tourists flocking here on an annual basis. Interestingly, this temple is also one of the 52 Shaktipeethas in India. Thus, devotees of Maa Kali must give this temple a visit for sure.
4. Lakulisa Temple
Located quietly atop the Pavagadh hill, this temple dates back to the 10th century. It was constructed by Lakulisa who was also the founder of Pashupata Shaivism. However, in today’s date, this temple lies in ruins and the beauty which it once held has now, more or less vanished. Visiting here, you can get a glimpse of how exquisite the Hindu culture was back in the day.
How to Reach Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
To reach Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park in the state of Gujarat, you will need to cover a total distance of about 975, 460, 1,906, 1,435 km from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Check out the following details on how you can reach here by the following means of transportation.
You will need to deboard at the Vadodra Airport (BDQ) situated at a distance of 40-45 km away. It has good flight connectivity with other Indian cities. From the airport, consider booking a taxi to reach here.
From Bengaluru - Board IndiGo, Air India flights from Bengaluru Airport. The airfares start from INR 4,000-5,000
From Mysore - Board Air India, Go Air, IndiGo flights from Mysore Airport. The airfares start from INR 5,000-6,000
The nearest train station is the Vadodra Railway Station (BRC) situated 40-50 km away. This station has very good connectivity with nearby towns and districts with frequent trains running to and fro. Once you get off the junction, book a taxi or avail some locally available means of transportation to reach your destination.
From Surat - MMCT NDLS SPL from Surat Junction and deboard at the Vadodra Junction
From Ahmedabad - Board ADI MFP SPL from Ahmedabad Junction and deboard at Vadodra Junction
The road connectivity to Champaner is well-maintained; the roads are accessible and regular buses run at a good frequency from nearby cities and towns. You can also choose to travel by inter-state buses or your own vehicle to reach here.