Champaner : Capital of Gujarat Sultanate lost in ruins?

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Well maintained garden at Jami Masjid

 

Short Intro:

For a majority of people and specially for the people of Gujarat, Champaner is a place to seek blessings from Mahakali Mandir. This temple is situated at the top of the Pavagarh hill (reachable by steps and ropeway) and then that’s it. 99% of the crowd that comes to visit the temple, does not bother for a visit to these ancient ruins

Best time to visit:

Post Monsoon: Oct – Feb. Summer will be hot
If you are more into photography and wanderer types and want to avoid crowds, avoid times when the goddess festival celebrations take place

– Kindly consider the environment
– DO NOT throw any kind of garbage, carry it along with you
– This is NOT a place for party
– NO consumption of Alcohol here
– DO NOT climb on the monuments please. Respect!

How to reach Champaner:

The nearest major city to reach Champaner is Vadodara (formerly Baroda). Champaner is around 50 km from here

Personal vehicle will get you easily to Champaner. I saw frequent buses and share taxis running all the way up the mountain of Pavagarh. I would highly recommend coming here by your own vehicle if you wish to cover major attractions

If you wish to come by train, you can either get down at Vadodara or at Champaner Road railway station
From Mumbai, there is only 1 long distance train that stops at Champaner Road railway station
19019/Mumbai Bandra Terminus – Dehradun Express

Also note: Champaner Road railway station is far away from Champaner. You will have to get to the historical town of Halol and from there to Champaner

Airport:

The nearest major airport is Ahmedabad. You can easily get local transport or cabs to Champaner from the airport

Top reasons to visit Champaner:

– Architecture student/photographer/lover
– UNESCO World Heritage Site (all the Ruins in the Champaner Archaeological Park)
– Mahakali Temple
– Ropeway
– Spectacular Sunrise

The Trip:

My plan is to ride my Duke from Mumbai to Champaner, stay there for a couple of days and explore the area
Total journey will be around 880 km

I had pre-booked my stay at Gujarat Tourism – Toran hotel at Champaner. One night charge is just 1000 INR for a non-AC room of good size and you can get Flat 50 off if you book online
Unlike MTDC (Maharashtra Tourism) the rooms here are really good

You can book it here: Toran Hotel Booking

However, don’t stay here for more than 1 night. They have a set food menu that does not change. For lunch and dinner there is just a Thali which is good in taste but you surely won’t like to eat the same thing again and again

Tip: The ropeway station is right in front of the Toran hotel. Also, to avoid crowds, go early before 06:30 am. A lot of people start coming by 07:00 am, weekday / weekend doesn’t matter. The ropeway runs daily from 06:00 am – 08:00 pm

You may like reading: > Rani ki Vav and Modhera

 

Tip: While returning I had lunch at Toran restaurant near Surat on the highway. It’s an AC dining hall with very good food

If you like the below pictures, do pay a visit to Champaner. If you are from Mumbai or nearby, it is surely not that far for a weekend getaway
PS: There is a ASI fee of 40 per person at Jami Masjid, rest other monuments are free to visit

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Sun burst through delicate stone work at Jami Masjid

 

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Insides of the Lila Gumbaz ki Masjid

 

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Entrance to Jami Masjid

 

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Insides of Kevada Masjid

 

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Kamani Masjid

 

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Kabutar Khana sans Kabutar and sans khana as well

 

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They made the dome in a way that it would glow by the sunlight and spread light in the entire area

 

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Delicate work on the minar (tower) of Kevada Masjid

 

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Sunlight flowing through the Kamans (arches) at Kamani masjid

 

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Close up of the work at Jami Masjid

 

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The golden pillar

 

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One of the most beautiful insides of a dome stone art work

 


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