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Travel to Champaner
 


Champaner - The Destination

Champaner fort, Champaner
Champaner is an ancient fort located at the foothills of Pavagadh. The town derives its name from the Champa tree or from Champaraj founder of the town, a contemporary of King Vanraj Chavda of Anhilwada. The famous Muslim king of Gujarat, Muhammad Begada captured the fort in late 15th century after a long siege against the Khichi Chauhan Rajputs.

The entire landscape for miles around is scattered with remains of fort walls, ruined tombs, gardens, arches, pillars and wells. At Champaner,
you can see three fortifications the base (Champaner), the top (Pavagadh) and the area connecting both of them (Marchi). The lower fortification is the Citadel Royal enclosure- of Muhammad Begada, a perfect rectangle enclosed by massive walls with huge bastions and entrance gates with a carved citadel, a huge lake Vada Talav and the ruins of Sultan's Palace are worth visiting.

Jami Masjid is one of the finest examples of Sultanate architecture of Champaner. It is an imposing structure on a high plinth with two tall minarets of 30 meter height, 172 pillars and seven mihrabs. The central dome, the placement of balconies and carved entrance gates with fine stone jalis and rich decoration make the visit a delightful aesthetic experience.

The ruins of Khapra Zaveri Palace are located on the way from the base to Marchi. From its terrace, one can have a fabulous view of the origin of Vishwamitri river. Atak gate is one of the nine gates that leads to the hill top. Other monuments of interest include Makai Kothar- a granary with the fort, Kalika Temple and a shrine of Muslim Saint Sadanshah. Kalika Mata Temple (10th-11th century) is situated on the highest peak of Pavagadh hill and is one of the most sacred center of Hindu pilgrimage for devotees of Goddess Kali. Another temple worth looking out for is a Lakulish Temple (10th century) at Chhashia Talav. It has some beautiful sculptures depicting various forms of Shiva-Dakshinamurti, Ardhanarishvara and Kalyanasundaramurti.

Champaner - Facts at a Glance

State : Gujarat
Temperature : 25°C - 40°C (Summers)
12°C - 27°C (Winters)
Altitude : 800 meters (Champaner)
Best Season : October – March

History of Champaner

Champaner was earlier the capital of the Chauhan Rajputs, who had their fort on 822 meter high Pawagadh peak, a holy place of pilgrimage. On the hill can be seen the old fort with it’s superb rocky defenses, the Makai Kota where the rulers kept their grain, the ruins of Patai Rawal palace, Naulakha kotha mansion, the 11th century Laukalish temple, wells and numerous religious monuments.

In order to conquer this fort, which would not be possible by direct assault, Sultan Muhammad Beghada built a city, Muhammadabad near the fortified hill of Pawagadh, awaited the chance for a suitable siege. The main monument in the citadel of Muhammad Shah’s citadel in Champaner, beside the high walls and custom house, is the Jumma Masjid (1513 A.D.), with an intricately carved entrance, a vast and imposing courtyard surrounded by sheltered galleries, that speak volumes of the quality of the artisans who worked at Champaner.

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