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An overview about the place
Pavagadh, situated in the main town of Champaner, is a huge attraction for devotees from all over the country and the globe as it houses the famous temple dedicated to Goddess Kali, who is considered as the culmination of Parvati, Durga and Sati. Around 3 million pilgrims visit this place every year to pay their respects at the temple of the Goddess. This place witnesses huge crowds especially during the Navratri festival conducted every year. Due to the tenure of the Mughal rule, there are also some interesting and artistic mosques that were built in this place. This hill station also houses the expansive Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, which was declared as a heritage site by UNESCO, during the year, 2004. In a nutshell, Pavagadh is a hill station that combines the best of both the worlds of tourism and spirituality in the right flavours.
History of Pavagadh
While understanding the history of Pavagadh, it becomes imperative for tourists to understand about the history of the Champaner town. It is believed that this town was established in memory of Champa who served as the brain behind Vanraj Chavda, by serving as the latter’s clever minister. This small town erupts with life during the Navratri festival, when young women decked up in their best clothes and join together to perform the famous Garbha dance. Goddess Maha Kali came to earth in the form of a beautiful woman and people believe that She joins with the young woman in their dances. Jaisinh who was the final ruler of the Patai dynasty cast some wicked glances at the beautiful woman who was actually the Goddess. Kali got enraged at Jaisinh and gave him a curse that he would be killed soon.
True to the curse, Jaisinh was defeated by the Islamic ruler, Mahmud Begada in a war and Champaner came under Begada’s control. He also took away Jainsinh’s life. Champaner became a refined town under Begada’s rule as many temples, mosques and forts were constructed during his town. The Champaner fort, mosques like Uohra, Jama Masjid, Kevda and Nagina, temples like Shalk, Mandavi, Kirtistambh etc. were some examples of structures that were constructed during Begada’s reign. Tourists who visit Pavagadh can still witness the remnants of the Begada Palace at a little distance from Champaner. One of the greatest musicians of the world who lived during the 16th century, Baiju Bawra was from the Champaner town. In those days, he was also the rival of Tansen, who was the official court musician of Emperor Akbar.
Where is Pavagadh located?
Pavagadh falls under the municipality of Panchmahal and it is situated at a distance of about 46km from the main city of Vadodara in Gujarat. Pavagadh hills are located at a height of 822m above sea level. Champaner, the town in which Pavagadh is situated is connected with the major cities of Gujarat through an ample network of cabs and taxis. The exact geographical specifications of the Champaner town are 22 degrees 29’ 0” towards the North and 73 degrees 33’0” towards the East.
How to reach Pavagadh and the modes of local transport
Pavagadh is an important religious hill station in the state of Gujarat and it is easily accessible mainly because of its proximity to Vadodara or Baroda which is one of the state’s important cities. This is the third biggest in the state in terms of population and size. Pavagadh is situated at about a distance of 142km, 309km, 609km, 1443km and 300km from Ahmedabad, Indore, Pune, Bangalore and Udaipur respectively.
Air – Vadodara or Baroda airport is the one that is nearest to Pavagadh. There are connecting flights to and from here to all the big cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Goa and many more.
Rail – Vadodara railway station is the closest railway junction to get to Pavagadh. There are many direct and connecting trains that touch upon this rail junction to run to almost all the important cities in the country.
Road – Due to the short distance between Vadodara and Pavagadh (a distance of about 46km), there are lots of different kinds of buses available from here to reach the hill station. Tourists can choose among the normal buses, deluxe coaches, air-conditioned buses and luxurious buses etc. from Vadodara bus stop to reach Pavagadh. Some of the buses that come to Pavagadh from Vadodara also connect attractive tourist spots from the neighbouring state of Rajasthan like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur etc. thereby increasing more tourist inflow for Pavagadh. There are plenty of private cabs and taxis available from Vadodara to Pavagadh for the benefit of tourists.
Local transport – Once inside the hills station, the best way to explore the beauty of the place is by foot, local bus service or auto-rickshaws. Walking along the picturesque sceneries of Pavagadh gives an unforgettable experience for the travellers.
Tourist spots in and around Pavagadh
Being a hill station that combines the true essence of the Hindu and Islam cultures with general dollops of nature, Pavagadh has many important tourist attraction spots. They are explained below:
Goddess Maha Kali Temple – This is one among the 51 Shakti Peeths located all over the country. Legend has it that this is the place where the toe of Goddess Sati fell when her corpse was being carried by Lord Shiva, Her husband, on His shoulders. The natural beauty of this temple is immense as it situated in a thick forest cover on top of the Pavagadh hill. It has been estimated that on an average around 3 million Hindu devotees come to this temple every year. The crowds increase during the Navratri festival.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park – This was declared as a world heritage site in the year 2004 by UNESCO. This park is located in close vicinity to Pavagadh hill station in the district of Panchmahal. This is a must visit place for tourists who want to view the archaeological brilliance that existed during the16th century. Different kinds of forts, fortresses and monuments belonging to both Hindu and Islamic styles can be found here.
Nagina Masjid – Built during the 15th century during Mahmud Begada’s reign, this fort is a remarkable piece of architecture containing domes, minarets, stairs and other typical architectural styles adapted by the Muslims.
Sadanshah Pir Dargah – This is a unique piece of structure as travellers get awestruck at the presence of a mosque and temple within the same premises. This spoke volumes about the unity that existed in this part of the country as early as the 15th century.
Activities at Pavagadh
Trekking is an important area in which the tourists can engage themselves in while in Pavagadh. The small groups of hills that lead to the temple are ideal choices for tourists who are looking for reasonable doses of adventure in their treks.
Where to eat and what to eat in Pavagadh
There are various hotels and restaurants in Pavagadh that serve different kinds of cuisine from India and the world to cater to the needs of thousands of pilgrims who come here. Some of the most famous restaurants in Pavagadh are Kai Asia, Offside Lounge, Barbeque Nation, 22nd Parallel, Fiorella Italian restaurant, Peshawari, Pizza on the rock, Little Italy, Bayleaf, Mainland China, Sankalp, So South etc.
While in Pavagadh, tourists can savour authentic Gujarati dishes, which are predominantly vegetarian. The restaurants in Pavagadh have chefs who cook some of the local delicacies like Kachori, Dahi Vada, Dhokla, Vegetable Handwa, Muthia, Sev Khamani, Pulao, Paratha, Bajri Roti etc.
Accommodation options in Pavagadh
Pavagadh is an important tourist destination in Gujarat. Therefore, it has many hotels with different kinds of tariff to suit the affordability of the tourists who come here in large numbers. Hotel Champaner is one of the most sought after options in this place. This is a budge hotel and is ranked top among all other budget hotels in the hill station. There are no luxury hotels here. The other affordable hotels in this area are Shree Hari Hotel, Hotel Delight, Hotel Geeta Bhavan and Hotel Ashiyana.
STD, PIN and emergency numbers in Pavagadh
The STD code of Pavagadh hill station in Gujarat is 2676, while the Postal Index Number of the place is 389360. Some of the emergency numbers that can one can reach out to in terms of emergencies are 9723065840 (Dhiraj General Blood Bank), 02652437676 (Indu Blood Bank), 09540161344 (Air Ambulance) etc.
Tourist Offices, Banks and Hospitals in Pavagadh
For information about a trip to Pavagadh, tourists can visit the office at the nearest main city of Vadodara at the following address to know about all information related to their travel.
Gujarat Tourism Corporation
Block C, Narmada Bhavan
Indira Avenue, Vadodara – 390001
Ph: 02652427489, 02652431297
There are many nationalised and private sector banks in and around Pavagadh for ease of operation of the devotees who throng to the hill temple every day. The detail of Dena Bank, the biggest bank in Pavagadh is given below:
Main Bazaar of Pavagadh, Halol
PIN code – 389350
1 - Baba Ramdev Patanjali Chikitsalaya
No. 4/8, Pavagadh Road, Halol
PIN code - 389350
2 - Ankur Maternity Clinic
No.17, Pavagadh Road, Halol
PIN code – 389350