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“Champaner UNESCO world heritage site. It deserves :)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Pavagadh, India
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Ranked #2 of 5 Attractions in Pavagadh
Type: Ancient Ruins, Cultural
Attraction details
Bhuj-Kutch
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Champaner UNESCO world heritage site. It deserves :)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

Recently I have been to various places of Gujarat (India) with my family and explored some of random sites, I never been before such as Champaner (Panchmahal-North East district of Gujarat State)

Before I share my travel story, let me tell you that Champaner, Gujarat is one of the “UNESCO World heritage site” that I knew for long time but couldn't manage to visit until now.

I went to Champaner along with my family. Before I reached there I visited Krishna temple at Dakor, swam in to Mahisagar River at Galteshwar. We reached Champaner an hour before the sunset. You could drive 5 km up to the ‘Machi’ -kind of base where there are dozens of food stalls, couple of guest houses and paid parking zone. Even if you don’t have personal vehicle, you could get shared jeeps from the bottom of hills. Roads were very good around this area, perhaps due to being one of the World Heritage Site so there wasn't any problem getting up there.
costs Rs. 90 per person. Crossing valley by rope-way was one of the best moments. Before you reach top of the hill where Mahakali Temple is located, you will find typical pilgrimage atmosphere such as hundreds of flags, coconuts, deities of God/Goddesses, foot wears (Pic-14) We wanted to stay one night at Hotel Champaner-Run by Gujarat Tourism but couldn’t stay unfortunately as the manager over there explained to us that they didn’t have water due to some electricity interruption. So we had no choice but either to stay at another guest house up there which was kind of prison surrounded by shops and unpleasant smell. So we drove back to the bottom of the hill and found another guest house called “Shiv-Shakti” located in the middle of fortified Champaner village which was reasonably clean, staff was very supportive and most of all they had water ;) You could view Pavagadh hill straight from your room.
Before we left Champaner, we explored various old mosques, ruins of old fort, temple, etc. The trip was wonderful and I would highly recommend you to visit Champaner if you ever come to Gujarat while travelling in India. It is peaceful, safe, well kept site (comparatively) and now my one of the favourite historical site. I wish I could have spent bit more time so I must go to Champaner again :)

Next time, I should explore bit of forest also where tigers wanders according to locals.

Thanks for reading/viewing pictures.
Kuldip Gadhvi
Kutch Adventures India

Visited May 2013
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12 reviews from our community

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English first
Vadodara, India
Top Contributor
250 reviews 250 reviews
182 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
373 helpful votes 373 helpful votes
“To Understand Real Meaning of Mindblowing Visit This Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

As I was really tired after climbing to kalikamata's temple , going to Atak fort , visiting Khapra Jhaveri's palace at Pawagadh and then appreciating Jama Masjid at Champaner , I decided to visit other monuments of this park next Sunday , I started from my home at vadodara at 0700 on 25th Nov. 2012 . I should apologize here that in my earlier two reviews on " Pawagadh Hill " and Jama Masjid due totypographical error and my oversight the year of my earlier visit was mentioned as 2013 instead of 2012 .

First of all i reached Machi and fom there I moved to a ruined Nagar styled temple of Lord Lakulish . Except Gudh Mandap and Ardha Mandap of the temple , everything else has been crumpled . At the entrance on a lintel Lord Lakulish blessed me . There are beautiful and intricate stone carvings . Lord Ganesh in the most attractive tribhang position did not permit me to look elsewhere . But the sculptures of Bhrungi ,Dakshinamurti , Durga , Five headed Ishan ,Gajendra Moksha , Sursundaris ,Trimurti of Brahma Vishnu & Mahesh , etc . invited me to see the sculptures' artistry .

After having the breakfast at Hotel Champaner , I went to Champaner to visit the jewel of the mosque , Nagina Masjid , 1.25 km NW of jama Masjid . This is the only mosque with Mughal architecture at Champaner . Flowery motifs are engraved on minarets surrounding the mosque . The facade , pillars and niches are intricately carved in floral and geometric designs . The 8 mihrabs are decorated in Jain temple style . The cenotaph of Nagina Masjid has brilliant Arabasque and intervine designs of jaali work . One beautifully figured creeper with only leaves stands in a question mark style . At the base of one minaret , two creepers intervine like sarpyugma ( snake couple ) but with sufficient space between them to show delicate art work of the most beautiful leaves and only one flower at the centre .

Later on I went to Kevada Masjid having central archway flanked by one minaret & two jharokhas on ether side and oneitrcately carved stone work on left hand sde . In front of the masjid there is a Cenotaph with 36 pillars and porch with 4 pillars . A wall carving depicts two chabutaras on both sides of the carving . Fro the chabutaras trunk of elephants emerge and the nostrilsof the run support a wheel of life at the top .from this wheel 3 beautifully carved interlinked chains support another ornately cved lamp .

Shahar ki masjid , built in the second half of the 15th Century , is an imposing structue with 5 mihrabs . The main entrance has an arched doorway flanked by two minarets . there are two more entrances on either side of the central one . These entrances ar flanked by Jharokhas . Every entrance has a lage dome with small cupolas on all the four sides . Cntral dome has 9 lyers of rings .Rook styled cantilever walls support te outer wall from outside . Exqisitively carved latice work enhace the majesty of his Masjid .

I ended my journey to the park by visiting the extra ordinary helical step well . I used the word extra ordinary , not for its intricately carved scultures , but , for its unique design . Most of the step wells in Gujarat are long ones runnng from east to West or from North to South .One quarter of a circular well is opened up and flights of steps lead one from the ground level to the water level . The engineering problems encountered while excavating and constructing the well in sady soil are surmountd by inserting pavilions at regular intervals in the stepped
corridors .

At Champaner the soil is not sandy . It ha a hard strata . Therefore instead of copying the step wells from other regons of Gujarat , a helical step wellwas construted . A1.2 m wide stair case sprals down along a wall of the well making it an uncmmon design .The three distinct typologies of stepped well - spiral , linear and composite completes the heical well . There are 6 - 8 steps in each flight .

I highly recommend to visit this park to understand the aesthetic and engineering senses of our forefathers .

Visited November 2012
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Jaipur, India
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Gujarat religious trip”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

The sites at the park are spread out over a vast area and if you do not have a private vehicle you would need to plan your travel properly since there are no public transport/autos or rickshaws available. The place was devoid of any tourists which surprised me since this is a world heritage site. But the place was well preserved and had a mix of Hindu, Muslim and Jain architecture as I had read. Clubbed with a visit to the nearby Kalika Mata Mandir the trip is worth it.

Visited February 2013
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A UNESCO World Heritage site”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Excellent, but you need a guide. There is absolutely no signs or audio to learn from.

It is about 45 min to 1 h drive from Vadodara. And YOU MUST arrange to stop for lunch at HERETAGE HOTEL. It looks like a normal roadside stop, but the vegetarian restaurant serves an “out of this world” spicy lunch for a bargain (about 4-5 USD). You have the option of sitting outside or in air-condition.

A concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological and cultural heritage properties.
Incl. a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital. It is the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat. Monkeys has taken over one of the tempels.

The site also includes fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, agricultural structures and water installations, from the 8th to 14th centuries.

You can’t buy anything in the area, but in shops nearby.

But, again, you need a guide to explain all this. A be prepared to be the only turist on the site.

Visited March 2013
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Ahmedabad, India
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Champaner Archeological Park is Attractive !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

We drove to the destination from Ahmedabad for about two hours.The roads are excellant right upto the park.We enter the old capital city by the Arched stone gate of the fort remains.Narrow road leads inside to the whole park.The Muslim rule of Mohmmad Beghdo shows its prosperity by the tall standing monuments.First is Shaher ki Masjid where you can buy 30 Rs.tickets for the whole city tour and also a guide map brochure worth Rs.100 to get all the details and pictures of the Park.The road now leads to Mandvi Gate and then to Jami Masjid .All these are approachable by drivable roads.The rest of the monuments are accessible by unpaved non motorable small lanes.We need to walk to see the Cenotephs and Excavation site through these lanes. The Monuments of the main Masjids are neat,clean and well preserved .The architecture is unique combination of Hindu-Muslim combined stone carving structures.Its worth my visit.The place has poor facilities of restaurants and dining.Its not crowded and dirty like Pavagadh.Kabutar Khana on the outskirts is reachable by good road over the lake but the monument is in ruins and ill maintained.I recommend the place for all Archeology lovers.

Visited January 2013
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