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Champaner and Pavagadh

Distance from Nadiad: 90 KM

Champaner and Pavagadh is 1 hour and 45mins (90 Kms) from Nadiad.These two destinations, located northeast of Vadodara and south of Godhra, are often mentioned separately, but are so closely intertwined in geography (just 4 km apart) and history that it makes sense to treat them together.

Pavagadh Hill that rises from the surrounding plain. Ages ago this was a deep valley situated below the ashram of Rishi Vishwamitra. One day his miraculous cow, blessed with an inexhaustible supply of milk, slipped into the gorge. Unable to climb up the steep slope, she filled the depression with milk and swam to safety. To prevent a repeat episode, the sage prayed for the valley to be leveled. The gods responded by air-freighting a large chunk of the Himalaya with Hanuman. Three quarters of it was adequate for the task. The remaining quarter (pav in Gujarati), which juts out of the plain, is Pavagadh.Pavagadh bustles with activity during the Navratri festival. The natural beauty of the area, the breathtaking views from the hill, and the religious importance of the site draw hundreds of visitors daily.

Champaner, at the foot of Pavagadh, is believed to have been founded in the 8th c. by King Vanaraj, who ruled Gujarat from Patan, and is named after his governor, Champa. The first known historical reference to Pavagadh and Champaner dates from around the 13th c. AD when it was captured by the Khichi Chauhan Rajputs fleeing from Mewar (the area around Udaipur), which had been invaded by the forces of Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi. Descendants of these Chauhans, who built the first fortifications of Champaner, held the place sporadically until 1484, when Sultan Mahmud Begada of Ahmedabad captured it after a long siege. The total number of monuments in Champaner is well over 100, not all of them notified for protection. Most of them are from the 15th-16th c., and a few from the 10th-14th c. Champaner continued as the capital of the Sultanate after Mahmud’s death in 1511, until it was taken by the Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1535. The capital was shifted back to Ahmedabad, marking the end of Champaner’s era of glory, and effectively, that of the Gujarat Sultanate.