A Brief History of Champaner Pavagadh

Pavagadh is famous for the temple of Goddess Mahakali on its top. These hills are so massive that the importance of Champaner at its base is obvious. Despite being a natural site, Champaner and its surrounding area have many ancient structures, and most of them are in relatively good condition. The repair work on these structures is complete now, and the beauty of the place has been enhanced after the same. The stone-walled town of Champaner and the architectural masterpieces inside, outside, and around it take us back in history for a little over five hundred and six years. Let’s discover the history of Champaner Pavagadh in this article.


History of Champaner Pavagadh
Delhi gate of Champaner

Legends and Lore of Champaner Pavagadh : Home of Goddess Mahakali and Baiju Bawra

Legends about Champaner are more prevalent than history. It is believed that Godess Mahakali resided here, as described in folk songs. However, as it is a matter of Purana and fits into the Garba (folk songs) gradient, it looks so picturesque. According to another legend, Baiju Bawra, one of the Nine Jewels of Mughal Emperor Akbar‘s court and the independent singer who competed against the famous singer Tansen, was a native of Champaner.

Unveiling the History of Champaner Pavagadh : Theories Behind the Town’s Name

There are three theories about the name of this town. It is believed that the name Champaner was derived from the color of the reddish stones here, which resemble the champak (golden) flower. According to another theory, Champaner is said to have been named after Champa Vania, a friend and diwan of King Vanraj Chawda of the Gujarat region. A third theory also says that the town was named Champaner after a Bhil leader named Champa.

Pre-historical connection of Champaner Pavagadh

History of Champaner Pavagadh

Pavagadh and Champaner, situated at its foothills, have been of special importance in the history of Gujarat. Remains of the Stone Age (dating back to 3000 BC) have been found during excavations in this area. Coins from the period of Maitraka rulers (AD 465–AD 767) have also been found. The rocks of some areas here are known to be of Precambrian age, which can be said to be the oldest rocks found in India.

Who ruled over Champaner-Pavagadh?

history of Champaner Pavagadh

Around 1300 AD, the area of ​​Pavagadh came into the hands of the rulers of the Chauhan dynasty, whose total reign spanned 184 years. To capture Champaner, Ahmadshah invaded in AD 1418 and AD 1420, but he did not succeed. Once more, he attacked in 1431, and once more, he returned empty-handed. In 1450, Muhammad II attacked here and captured the lower fort. However, he eventually had to leave for Godhra.

The last Rajput ruler of Champaner was Patai Rawal, who was defeated by Sultan Nasiruddin Muhammad Shah of Gujarat. Muhammad Shah besieged his fort for twenty consecutive months and increased his aggression. Patai Rawal fell after that siege, which lasted from April 1483 to December 1484. Muhammad Shah made Champaner his second capital, and he named it Mehmedabad. Muhammad Shah, who conquered Pavagadh, was later nicknamed ‘Begdo’ (conqueror of the two forts of Junagadh and Pavagadh) and came to be known in history as ‘Muhammad Begda’. Bagda’s contribution was also important in the construction of towns like Khambhat, Bharuch, Junagadh, Mahemdabad, and Ahmedabad.

Champaner flourished during the reign of Muhammad Begda, but it was short-lived. Mughal Shah Humayun invaded here and then returned to the capital shortly after Muhammad III captured Chapaner during the reign of Emperor Akbar. After many years, the town came into the hands of Krishnaji Kadam and then into the hands of Sindhia at the turn of the eighteenth century. It was finally handed over to the British in 1853.

Points to know before visiting Pavagadh and Champaner:

  • Avoid visiting on Navratri (Chaitri and Aso) or religious festival days to get the most out of Champaner.
  • Boards are placed here showing the name of that architecture, but the whole map showing how many architectures are there in the whole area and in which place is not seen. Hence, it is important to keep the speed of the vehicle slow so as not to miss anything.
    Before reaching Champaner village, in the village, and after crossing the village, there are many buildings whose name boards are placed on the road.
  • Jami Masjid is the main attraction here, for which there is an entry ticket. The guide facility is not found here. Hence, if you visit Chapaner after getting basic knowledge about Jami Masjid and Muslim architecture in advance, you can enjoy it in a real sense.
  • Carry sufficient water, especially if you’re climbing the steps to the temple.
  • Be cautious with your belongings and avoid isolated areas.Gujarati is the predominant language spoken in the region, but Hindi and English are also understood in tourist areas.
  • Remember to do your research and plan your trip well in advance to make the most of your visit to Pavagadh and have a memorable experience.
  • Full address:  Pavagadh, Village: Champaner, Dist: Halol, Gujarat, India 
  • Latitude: 22° 28′ 0.19″ N
    Longitude: 73° 30′ 1.73″ E


Since Pavagadh is a mountain, there is no doubt that there is natural beauty to be enjoyed. The Hindu-style architecture on the hill has to be talked about separately. But Champaner at the foothills of Pavagadh is mostly missed or overlooked on the way to Pavagadh. Hampi, Madu, or other places outside Gujarat, we can’t ignore Champaner, a wonderful architectural city at our doorstep. Even if one does not have a special understanding of art and architecture, the beauty of Champaner is such that a person, regardless of religion, caste, religion, or history, would feel like enjoying it. Champaner can only be understood if a whole day is spent meaningfully wandering here.

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Journey Back in Time: Discovering Champaner-Pavagadh!

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