Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins
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8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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103 reviews
Very good

Pune, India621 contributions
Dec 2021
First of all don't rely on google maps. It ends earlier if you put "Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park". The main location is ahead of Pavagad ghat road on left side. We saw Jama Masjid and its beautiful architecture. The road going to kevada masjid was closed and we could not find any other road to reach there. The gmaps was continuously showing closed road.

We came back to main road and drove for few meters and n right side there is some jungle entry like road with no signboards. After few meters of driving on off road inside that jungle we reached Minari Masjid. We took 1-2 photographs and left the place.

The cons of Champaner is there is no sign boards anywhere which can take you to these masjids. The locals are not knowing few names of masjid and they also could not direct you properly. The minari masjid is good for photography but lies inside forest like area which i would not recommend for families especially in evenings.
Written January 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Minar G
Mumbai, India52 contributions
Mar 2020
The historical sights within the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park are scattered around over a large area. Private transportation is must to move around and see all the sites. A good amount of time is required to see all the sites. We reached around 2PM and could see only some of the sites which are located near the base of the Pavagad Hill, as the closing time is 5PM. Some sites are manned by Archaeological Survey of India guards and need an entrance ticket. One ticket gets you entry to all the sites. Some sites are situated on the way to the Kalikamata Temple situated on top of the Pavagad Hill. If you plan to see both the temple & the ruins, full day is easily required.

The main site of Saher ki Masjid is situated opposite the Pavagad bus stand, here the guard was very helpful and he patiently explained about all the scattered sites with an informative & illustrated book published by the Archaeological Survey of India which is also available for sale at the ticket counter for Rs100. It is a good idea to buy this book as it helps to plan all the sights that one wants to see.

We later saw Jami Masjid, Kevda Masjid & Cenotaph, Nagina Masjid & Cenotaph, Iteri Masjid, Ek Minar Ki Masjid

Some of the sites are well preserved and are a sight to behold with well maintained gardens. If you are in Baroda make it a point to visit this place.
Written March 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pune, India195 contributions
Feb 2020
The monuments of this 15th CE citadel town were awarded their well deserved recognition among the UNESCO world heritage sites in India. Among some of the aesthetically most pleasing monuments we've seen anywhere in India, these ancient and apparently forgotten gems of the Indo-Islamic architectural style still exude what must have been the robustness of the wealth and the culture of the rulers of yesteryear. The crumbling walls of the citadel, the majestic minarets of the various mosques hidden away among forested paths, a cenotaph within the walls of one of the places of worship, all satisfy the casually curious and the passionate...the only disappointment is the helical step well, where the ASI has fenced off and locked up this supposedly beautiful piece of engineering.
Besides visiting the monuments two tasks await you to embellish your visit....firstly, do visit Prof. Ghanshyam Joshi, a venerable octogenarian professor who exudes passion and knowledge about the rich past of (his) sleepy little Champaner. And, try to get yourselves a guide - apparently the only one worthy of his salt is a guy called Vijay, elusive and only contactable by the ticket sellers at the citadel kiosk.
Written February 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

RoadTripper Abhishek
Mumbai, India138 contributions
Aug 2020
Located at a drive of around 30 minutes from the Jambughoda palace, the archeological park is a definite must see. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that this is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site!

What’s intriguing is that Vanraj Chavda, a king of the Chavda dynasty constructed the city name after his…BEST FRIEND! The king actually sponsored construction of a city named after General Champa or Champaraj, and not himself. A few buildings and fortifications still stand even today. The ASI are excavating most of the other buildings at their own sweet pace. Nevertheless, once can spend a leisurely morning wandering around the ruins. They are quite beautiful, and certainly better laid out than several modern cities!

The Pavagadh fort and surrounding city changed hands from the Vaniyas to the Rajputs. From the Rajputs it passed to Alauddin Khilji. From them back to Rajputs. Ultimately the Gurjars took over only to lose it to the Sultan of Begada. This game of musical chairs was finally put to rest by Humayun. He defeated the Sultan, and drove everyone from the capital for good. In the time honoured tradition practised by Muslim invaders, when the Sultan defeated the Gurjars, he asked the Gurjar ruler, Raval Jaisingh, to convert to Islam or face death. He chose death. His son didn’t. The Sultan gave him the moniker ‘Nizam ul Mulk’ and appointed appointed him Sultan of Champaner. Bottomline is that you can see mosques, Hindu temples & Jain mandirs all co – existing in various states of disrepair all over the archeological site. Or whatever part has been excavated so far.

Interestingly, the Jama Masjid looks like a perfect example of a Hindu temple. This was apparently built in the mid 16th century. The mosque is laid out exactly like a temple would be, with 172 pillars and domes. Obviously, the Sultan Mehmood Begada converted the temple to a mosque. Our historians, most of who are ‘certified’ geniuses, have credited him with its construction.
Written January 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kutch Adventures India
Bhuj, India41 contributions
May 2013 • Family
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
Written May 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dilip S
Vadodara, India1,122 contributions
Nov 2012 • Solo
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 .
Written April 19, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vadodara, India45 contributions
Marval monument on way to Machi. It shows how locking of stones techniques makes support less arches. Across these 7 arches it captures great landscape
Written February 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, United Kingdom23 contributions
Nov 2019 • Solo
I've seen some posts asking about how to get here and I don't think the guide book I had was super clear so I wasn't too sure but I risked it with a bus and it was very easy so I thought I'd write it up here:

You can either book a nicer government bus in advance or go to the bus station and hope there's space left and if not, from the same station you can just get on a local bus which leave regularly. It takes an hour or so. I got on the local bus and it was very easy. It's Vadodara's main bus station so there are plenty of people to ask. All the bus options drop you at Pavagadh bus station. It's one of the main stops where lots of people get off so it's hard to miss. And it's a bus station not just a little roadside stop. It's also right by a main road with a market that's good for snacks, water, fruit etc. for your adventure. From Pavagadh bus station and market, you are right by the main access point for both Champaner archaeological site and Pavagadh temple.

Champaner is peaceful, picturesque and empty. Pavagadh is vibrant, fascinating and far from empty.

From the bus station, you can walk around most of Champaner's sites with ease. Three or four mosques and other historic sites dotted about a 15 minute walk from each other. Buying a ticket for one gets you into them all. One is right opposite the bus station. At the ticket office, they can point you in the right direction for the others. The one not to miss is Jami Masjid. All the buildings are beautiful, the lawns are well kept and perfect for a picnic, the walks are through little villages and green spaces and there are very few tourists. A couple of other buildings are a bit further and I didn't go, but I'm sure you can reach them if you're up for another walk or get a tuk tuk from near the bus station.

For Pavagadh, the journey up the hill from the bus station can essentially be split into three stages. Stage 1 you can walk or get in a shared jeep (20 rupees, ask around and you'll find one, then you just sit in it until it fills up... and I mean full to the brim!). It's a hefty walk so I took a jeep. It was uncomfortably full but it's only 15 minutes or so. I had to ask quite a few people to find the right section of the street for the jeeps. But basically if you point up the hill, they'll know that's where you're going and you'll find a jeep that's going there. This takes you to stage 2.

Stage 2 you can either walk or get the cable car. I walked up and cable carred back. I'd advise getting there early if you're planning to walk... I went in November and it was still really, really hot. There are places to buy water and stuff if you're planning to walk. Especially at the start of Stage 2, then they peter out as you climb. It was very interesting to walk... there are very few foreign tourists but loads and loads of Indian pilgrims coming for the temple. You get some nice views and experiences but honestly, you probably can get all of that in Stage 3 anyway and save some time (giving you more time to enjoy Champaner at a slower pace for example). But if you're a keen hiker, why not walk the whole way up? There are nice views, you see a lot of interesting people and it's a challenge. Get there early for that though! I reckon walking Stage 2 alone took me between an hour and 90 minutes. It's the heat that's the challenge. It's all well stepped and paved. If ever you feel tired, take a look to the side and see the old guy balancing a huge bag full of vegetables on his head for inspiration! It's definitely doable.

Stage 3 (from the top of the cable car onwards) has only one option: walk. It's probably another 15 minutes to the temple entrance and the walk is full of souvenir shops and places selling water and snacks. I arrived at the temple entrance early afternoon and it was packed so I had to queue a good extra 30 minutes (very cramped and pushy "queue") to spend a very swift amount of time in the temple itself. Ultimately, Pavagadh is more about the views, the experience of seeing the devoted pilgrims and the challenge/adventure of the walk, than about the beauty or the time spent in the temple itself. It's not easy to get a view of and it's very small. If you're looking for a beautiful Hindu Temple to while away an hour or so, don't come to Pavagadh. Architecture is Champaner's thing. Experience is Pavagadh's thing. But it's amazing to get both of these things in the same day so close to each other.

I went to Pavagadh first, then Champaner. I'd recommend that way round and getting there as early as possible to beat the heat and maybe the crowds at Pavagadh.

Then just head to the bus station and get in the first bus back! There are plenty to Vadadora.
Written November 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

India2,622 contributions
Feb 2014 • Couples
I had heard about the Champaner Pavagadh heritage site only vaguely and to be honest, I was never interested enough to find out more.

Earlier this year we had to go to Baroda for work and decided to combine this with a mini Gujarat vacation. With the better part of a day spare before reaching Baroda from Ahmedabad, the last stop in our leisure itinerary was the Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park. The Champaner part of it, that is. To see the C-P site in its entirety, you will actually need a couple of days at the very least. The 5-6 hours we had was barely sufficient for the main monuments of Champaner and I am sure there was a lot more for us to discover - on a subsequent visit with Pavagadh as well.

From what I had found in a hurried Google search before the trip, I was not sure if we would be sufficiently interested. How wrong I was!

Champaner is a fantastic place to visit, even if you are not that interested in the history of this ancient site. Every stone exudes an ambience of times gone by. The atmosphere is loaded with antiquity and guaranteed to please.

The architecture is splendid with exquisite examples of Gujarati stone carving at its finest. Though predominantly Islamic in Champaner, we could recognise some of the designs and styles that we had seen a few days before at the very Hindu Rani Ni Vav in Patan (another absolute must see). We enjoy ancient heritage, especially in stone as in the Cauvery Delta of Tamil Nadu. I never imagined that Gujarat also had such treasures - Modhera, Patan and now this.

The weather was pleasant, not too warm and with hardly any other visitors around we almost had the place to ourselves.

The monuments are just about everywhere, some minor, some majestic such as the Saher ki Masjid. There was a marked difference between these and the Mughal monuments of north India even to our untrained eyes. Some of the monuments are in clearings in the forest and not at all well signposted. For example the Nagina Mahal which I enjoyed the most, took quite a bit of effort and enquiry to stumble upon. It is right in the forest and hardly anyone ever bothers to go there.

Even though this is a designated UNESCO heritage site, it is not that promoted on the tourist circuit. The Archaeological Survey of India and the Baroda Trust seem to be in charge of maintenance. Snack foods are available and restaurants serving meals can be found on the main road just before getting to the site. In summer it will be unbearably hot, and so will the afternoons for most of the year apart from the monsoons and winter months. Carry a hat and comfortable walking footwear to better enjoy your visit. Oh, and loads of camera batteries and memory cards too - Champaner is a photographers paradise, needless to say.

One could really walk around all day exploring Champaner including the living village in winter and I would surely hope to come back here some day and see Pavagadh as well. Guides are available at negotiable rates for those who want them. We usually prefer to look around on our own, though it would be a good idea to engage a guide at particular monuments.

Highly recommended in a Gujarat itinerary. Convenient from Baroda, and Ahmedabad. We had hired a taxi for our entire Gujarat trip. Sightseeing taxis are available from Baroda at fair rates, and there are also public buses for those on a shoe string budget. Baroda is a convenient place for accommodation, though there are lodges and small hotels on the main road coming to these sites.
Written December 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mumbai, India546 contributions
Feb 2013 • Family
a world heritage site with loads of monuments, buildings with pretty architecture.. worth a visit anytime!
Written January 31, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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