Situated in Gujarat, a state in India, Champaner is a city with a deep and interesting historical background. For a limited time period, Champaner city served as Gujarat’s capital city. During the reign of Chavda, the city of Champaner was discovered. This presence of this ancient city dates back to the 8th century. One of the major attractions of Champaner is Pavagadh, a hill fort located above the Champaner city. Many visitors come to see the fort.
An archaeological site is situated in the city of Champaner. It is a major crowd pulling destination amongst the tourists. In the year 2004, the denomination of UNESCO World Heritage site was given to this archaeological park.
Sultan Begada constructed the Jama Masjid, one of the most spectacular monuments that the state of Gujarat has. It is situated in the very own city of Champaner. As many as 172 pillars are situated in this structure and also it has an altitudinous main dome. Nagina Masjid, Kewada Masjid and Shehar ki Masjid are the mosques that are present in the city.
The city of Champaner was the place where the famous film, Lagaan’s shooting was done. The film was nominated for the Academy Awards and it had won many other awards also. The city contains numerous other wrecks of forts, tombs, gardens and other architectures.
CHAMPANER – PAVAGADH
There are numerous ancient cities all over the world, which, at once upon a time was the focal point of an important civilization, but many centuries later has gone to an abandoned state and now lies in desolation, with the strong architectures still intact and the other small structures has been destroyed. Again there are the other many cities which at the present time have developed to a great extent and now it is a combination of the old and the new. However, one has not seen a city, which has gone from being a not so significant place to being a capital city of an entire kingdom and then again being completely abandoned.
Champaner is an ideal example of the above stated fact. Here one can experience the present ofancient forts, old palaces, numerous mosques and also wander around the roads and breathe in the antique environment. For many centuries, this place was a location for the pilgrims, served as the capital city of Gujarat and then got lost in the wilderness. The rise and fall of Champaner was very quick. However many visually appealing sites were left behind. The conservation of the city and all its important historical monuments has been done in a good manner. It has temple belonging to Jain and Hindu faith which dates back a thousand years, numerous mosques belonging to Gujarat Sultanate period, granaries and other proof of the existence of a well organized city such as step well and cemeteries.
THINGS TO SEE
Mosques of Champaner: Numerous big and distinct mosques are there in Champaner, which reflects the glorious history of the city, which served as a capital of Gujarat. Most of the mosques exist since the 15th century.
Jama Masjid: This masjid is the most important masjid amongst the all other masjids. Two minarets stand beside the masjid. The height of the minarets is 30m each. Two storey of unclosed arcades, fine and ornate engravings and jaali around the courtyard are also parts of the masjid.
Nagina Masjid: In front of a broad open field, on a high elevation ground, the Nagina Masjid is situated. Over the main hall, there are the three dome like structures. A structure built in the memory of a person is present here, which are surrounded with pillars and niches having fine engravings.
Kevada Masjid: Near the tank of Kevada Masjid, another beautiful cenotaph is present.
Sahar ki Masjid: Situated beside the royal courtyard, the Sahar ki Masjid is supposed to be the Sultans’ personal mosque. Each of the three entry points contains big dome like structures.
Lila Gumbai ki Masjid: Situated on an elevated ground, the Lila Gumbaj ki Masjid contains a main dome. The dome was at one time covered in different colors and the prayer hall also has a kalash which remains hanging in the hall.
Sikander Shah’s Tomb, Halol: In the year 1526 AD, Imad-ul-Mulk murdered the king of Champaner namely Sikander Shah. Sikander Shah’s dead body is buried here, where his other two brothers have also been buried. A visually appealing yet a simple in architecture, a spectacular stone like structure is present here. It also has fluted domes.
Sakar Khan Dargah, Halol: In the entire of this ancient city, Sakar Khan Dargah is biggest mausoleum here. It is constructed at a low elevation and also has a big dome.
HOW TO REACH
By road: The distance between the city of Champaner and Vadodara is a mere 45 Kms. Many buses and other private taxis run between these places.
By rail: On the Godhara to Vadodara railway line, the station of Champaner is situated. A less number of trains pass through this station. Vadodara railway station is the major railway station.
By air: The closes airport to Champaner is located in the city of Vadodara. Ahmedabad has the closest international air terminal.