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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Champaner

How about a taste of history backed by immersing architecture and a nostalgic feel? Think rich tradition and culture and you have Champaner. This is a vacation for those interested in delving deeper into the intricate traditions of the country through some of its most unique cities. This does make a compelling case for itself with regard to a nice trip.

Champaner, located in Panchmahal district in Gujarat is a historic city. It was founded by Vanda Chavda of the Chavda Dynasty in the 8th century. It is a major tourist attraction because of its abundance of places with historical significance.

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When to visit

The best time to visit Champaner is between the months of October and February which is the tourist season.

How to reach

By road:Several state busses are available from Ahmedabad and Vadodara which venture out in the route connecting to Champaner. Some of the nearby cities of Champaner from where it can be reached easily are Vadodara (49 KM), Ahmadabad (149 km) and Bharuch (122 km).

By rail:The Champaner railway station, located on the Godhara to Vadodara line, does not have frequent connectivity with the city. So, the more convenient option is the Vadodara Railway station which is 43 km away and has good connectivity.

By air:The Vadodara airport is the nearest domestic airport whereas the Ahmadabad International Airport is the closest international airport to the city at a distance of 125 km away. There are several cabs and public transport that you can avail from outside the airport.

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Places to visit in Champaner

1. Pavagadh Fort

Thisis one of the most important tourist destinations in Champaner. During the Solanki reign, it used to be a palace. It now stands only in parts which are reminiscent of the ancient Hindu Lakulisa Temple and other Hindu and Jain temples of the Nagara style. It is situated atop the Pavagadh Hill and is now preserved under the Archaeological Department of India

2. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

pavagadh archaeological park

This famous park is a historical rich concoction of unexcavated archaeological living and past cultural heritage properties like chalcolithic sites and remains of the 16th century capital state of Gujarat. This site is a mirror to the 8th-14th century Gujarat and it takes you back to the past through the various water installations, vagaries, residential precincts, fortifications and religious buildings of the contemporary period. The most important shrine of this park is the Kalikamata Temple which attracts a considerable number of tourists every year.

3. Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary

Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary

This sanctuary, located in the Panchmahal district of Central Gujarat, is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Targol Round, a small part of the sanctuary, shares its space with the Vadodara district. This is a dense forest filled with fascinatingand magnificent species of trees like teak, bamboos and others. Two water reservoirs, one at Kada, the other at Kargol, amp up the aesthetic value of this place. The habitat is shared by animals such as leopards, wild boar, blue bulls, sloth bears, four-horned antelopes and jackals.

4. Sikander Shah’s tomb

Sikandar Shah's Tomb

Sikander Shah was the ruler of Champaner and was murdered by a man named Imad-ul-Mulk in 1526 AD. He and his brothers are buried here. It is a simple yet regal structure covered by fluted domes. Its architectural style is a remarkable mixture of craftsmanship and aesthetics. It is open all days of the week from 8 am to 6pm.

5. Masjids of Champaner

 Champaner houses several famous mosques which stand testimony to time since the Mughal reign. Most of these date back to the 15th century. Some of these mosques are:

Nagina Masjid, situated on a high plinth which is placed in front of a wide open field. The center hall is surrounded by standing cenotaphs on three sides. The nearest cenotaph is beautifully carved with niches and columns.

Jama Masjid, the central mosque of Champaner is flanked by two 30m minarets at the entrance. The pillared courtyard and two storied open arcades are intricately carved with jaalis and details.

Kevada Masjidhas cenotaphs near its tank for ritualistic reasons and also has carved mehrabs

Lila Gumbai ki Masjid lies on a raised platform, has a huge central dome which was once colored and also has a hanging kalash in the central praying hall.

Sahar ki Masjid, is located just next to the royal entrance and is believed to be the private mosques of many Sultans with domes over all its three entrances.

6. Helical Step well

Helical Step Well

 This famous one of a kind well has spiraling narrow staircase along the walls of the well give it an unusual appearance. It is a 16th century creation designed by one of the Champaner rulers as a part of the efforts to spur better water management in the period. November to February is the ideal time to pay a visit to this unique creation.

 What you can eat in Champaner

Champaner food has the true essence of the traditional Gujarati cuisine which are as vibrant and colorful as the city itself. Vegetarian food dominates the cuisine but the specialty of it is that you can taste the spice and sweetness distinctly with every bite you take. Food everywhere is served in a “thali” or a traditional metal plate which can fit many food items together.

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