Things to do in Champaner-Pavagadh
Being included in the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe this marvellous archaeological park set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills is one of the most sought after places to visit in Gujarat. The distance from Ahmedabad to Champaner-Pavagadh is 146 kms and is a perfect place to visit with a lot of things to do over a weekend trip. One can plan a trip to this place over a weekend for an amazing experience of Indian heritage.
Places to visit in and around Champaner-Pavagadh
Fort of Pavagadh and the ruined Hindu and Jain Temples
As the name suggests, this fort is situated atop the Pavagadh hill and is an integral part of the Pavagadh hill landscape. Inside this outstanding fort, lay many religious structures and one of them being the very famous Lakulish Temple in the Mauliya plateau. The temples are built in ancient Nagara style and date back to 13th century. This is now a preserved site under Archaeological Dept of India.
Given, the immense amount of population of Jains in the state of Gujarat, the Jain temples have always been an important part here. The Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park also has its share of Jain temples which can be broadly subdivided into three groups : The Bhavanaderi temples near the Naqqarkhana gate called the Navalakka temples, the second group consists of the Jain Tirthankaras Suparshvanatha and Chandraprabha, while the third group is in honour of Tirthankara Parsvanath, situated on the south-east of Pavagarh Hill (Mataji’s cliff).
Jami Masjid, also known as Jama Masjid of Champaner is located about 150 feet (46 m) east of the city walls. Dating back to the 15th century, it is widely considered as one of the finest mosques in western India. It is quite popular among tourists and is known for its brilliant architecture.
Kalika Mata Temple
The oldest and the most celebrated temple in the vicinity of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is the Kalika Mata Temple. A long flight of steps leads one to this temple as it is located at a cliff at quite an altitude in between the dense forests near Halol.
Kevada Masjid was constructed amid a lot of greenery and open spaces, which is not the most common thing in Islam. The most interesting part about this mosque is its mausoleum and the globe shaped domes. It is a hot spot for tourists and is a must visit place.
Lakulisa temple sits calmly atop the Pavagadh hill. This temple dates back to the 10th century and was constructed by Lakulisa, who was the founder of Pashupata Shaivism which was one of the oldest and prominent Shaivite schools.
Lila Gumbaj Ki Masjid
This masjid is situated on a high pedestal and has a facade with a vaulted entrance at the center and is accompanied by two other lateral arches on both its sides. The 3 entrances have elaborate carvings and there are well-spaced minarets and decorated niches. This Masjid is highly preserved.
Nagina Masjid and Cenotaph
This splendid two-storied edifice is located about 0.75 miles (1.21 km) to the south of the citadel. Nagina Masjid is also known as the Jewel mosque because Nagina translates to jewel in English and is constructed in pure white marble. This masjid is quite popular in the region.
Gujarat – Special Cuisine
Gujarat’s food is as vibrant, distinct and colorful as the cultures here with countless elaborate styles of cooking and unique dishes that are enjoyed all over. The food is essentially vegetarian and you can sense the hints of sweetness and spice distinctly. As per tradition, food here is served in metal platters or ‘thali’. A typical Gujrati meal would Dal, Kadhi, Salad, Puri, Chappatis, Pickles, Papad and a some very popular sweets. The Muslim people are known for their famous beef and soup preparations. Dhokla, Thepala, Fafda, Kachori, Khandvi, Hahdwoh, Ganthia, Oondhiya, Debra, Surat Paun are just some of the countless Gujrati delicacies that define the food here. Other than these Basundi, Puran Poli, Shrikhand, Ghevar, Malpua are the traditional sweet dishes that you just cannot miss and are popular all over the country.
What to eat in Champaner-Pavagadh
Local Food and Cuisine
One will not find a lot of restaurants near the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, irrespective of the fact that Gujarat is quite renowned for its amazing cuisine. There are a couple of restaurants about 30 kms away from the main location. We have listed them down. No particular cuisine is followed but if you’re at it, you shouldn’t miss out on the Gujarati thalis. One can also find other cuisines like Chinese, Italian, etc.