Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
|Champaner Pavagadh Archaeological Park|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||iii, iv, v, vi|
|Inscription||2004 (28th Session)|
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in Panchmahal district in Gujarat, India. It is located around the historical city of Champaner, a city which was built by Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat. The heritage site is studded with forts with bastions starting from the hills of Pavagadh, and extending into the city of Champaner. The park's landscape includes archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage monuments such as chalcolithic sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat. There are palaces, entrance gates and arches, mosques, tombs and temples, residential complexes, agricultural structures and water installations such as stepwells and tanks, dating from the 8th to the 14th centuries. The Kalika Mata Temple, located on top of the 800 metres (2,600 ft) high Pavagadh Hill, is an important Hindu shrine in the region, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year.
The transition between Hindu and Muslim culture and architecture in the late 15th to early 16th century is documented in the park, particularly the early Islamic and pre-Mughal city that has remained without any change. It was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2004.
The Champaner-Pavagadh heritage site is spread over an area of more than 1,329 hectares (3,280 acres) with a buffer zone of 2,812 hectares (6,950 acres). In addition to the Primary Heritage Zone of 983.27 hectares (2,429.7 acres), there are several other sites which include: Kabutarkhana, Maqbara, Maqbara Mandvi, Maqbara near Patidar Village, Malik Sandal Ni Vav, Hathikhana, Sindh Mata, Sikander Ka Reuza, Babakhan Ki Dargah, Nau Kuan Sat Vavdi, and Chandrakala Vav. The site is 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Baroda and 42 miles (68 km) south of Godhra, whose history is recorded from the 2nd century AD and which has many religious monuments of Gujarati Sultans (of Turkish descent), Rajputs, and Jains. It includes the Palace of Mahmud Begada, grandson of Ahmed Shah, who founded Ahmedabad City, Jama Masjid and other mosques. The setting is undulating hillocks and plateaus. There are steep rock exposures formed by ancient volcanic eruptions and lava flows.
Champaner is located at  The highest point of the hill presents an undulating forested topography in the direction of Jambughoda. The Pavagadh Hill has a historical fort where the ancient Kalika Mata Temple is situated. The path to the summit passes through many old gates and cuts through staircase-like natural ledges of rock with precipitous sides. Midway up this path is a flat area strewn with boulders. Above this point there is a very steep scarp with a marble temple and two lantern towers., about 1 mile (1.6 km) to the south of Pavagadh Hill. Pavagadh Hill rises to a height of 800 metres (2,600 ft), has a geological setting of reddish-yellow stone, and is considered to be one of the oldest rock formations in India.
- Early history
Judging by early archaeological remains and according to records, the area had already been inhabited in the chalcolithic period; however, it remained neglected until approximately 400 AD. The history also reports a local legend that the divinity of the hills was derived from the right toe of the goddess Kalika, which had apparently fallen on the hill.
The name Champaner is derived from Champa, who was either a Vania or a Kanbi. He established this city during the rule of Van Raja of Ahilvada (from 746 to 806 AD). In the eleventh century, Ram Gaur Tuar ruled, and Champaner was under the Ahilvadas until 1297 or so when they were defeated by Alauddin Khilji, who made it their stronghold. During this period, the Chauhan Rajputs had also settled in Champaner. The Pavagadh Hill was where the Solanki kings and Khichi Chauhans built fortresses and ruled from. However, they lost their authority in Champaner in 1484. The Rajputs ruled on the northeastern side of the foothills of Pavgarh Hill below the fortress of Pavgadh. In 1418 and in about 1450, they managed to fight off their neighbour, Roa of Idar, and the Muslim rulers of Ahmadabad, thanks to the protection provided by the hill. However, in 1483, when Mahmud Begada’s captain, Malik Asad, was raiding through Champaner, he was attacked and killed by Raval Jaisingh. What ensued in the following years was the complete defeat of the Rajputs by Sultan Begada. The hill was surrounded and the fort held under siege for more than a year and was finally captured on 17 November 1484, when Kivamul Mulk and Malik Ayaz Sultani penetrated the walls and broke the main gate, destroyed the army and injured the leaders of the Rajputs. Raval Jaisingh was wounded and for six months was given amnesty but was then killed since he refused to convert to Islam.
Raval’s son, however, converted to Islam and was made a noble with the title "Nizam-ul-Mulk". After the fort was seized, Mahmud renamed the city "Muhmudabad Champaner". It was during this period that Mahmud laid the foundation stone for his mosque. He built elaborate ornate structures, fortified both the forts, made the hill fort his Mauliya (meaning Lord of the Hill) and his citadel over a period of 23 years and eventually moved his capital from Ahmadabad to Champaner. During this period, Champaner was famous for mangoes, sandalwood trees (used then for house building and sword blades), and colourful silks. Merchants and craftsmen prospered. Mahmud died in 1511 and his successors continued to rule from Champaner until the death of Bahadur Shah (1536). The city of Champaner had been very well planned with streets and whitewashed stone houses. In 1526, young Sikander Shah died and Bahadur Shah became the next ruler of Champaner. In 1535, the Mughal Emperor Humayun invaded Champaner and looted the coffers. Upon Bahadur's death in 1536, the capital and the court shifted back to Ahmadabad. The city fell into rapid decline, was largely abandoned and for several centuries was neglected and almost deserted.
- Later history
The British visited the town of Champaner in 1803, at which time there were only 500 people residing there. The old city was in ruins and wildly overgrown. They refounded it and it became a great exporter of silk, with facilities for washing and preparing raw silk. However, a cholera epidemic reduced the population to 400 families by 1812. When the British finally usurped the area on 13 July 1829, it was almost deserted; efforts at that time to populate the place by inducting cultivators with an incentive of Rs 1260 to develop the lands at that time also failed. In 1879, a few Bhil and Naikda tribes resided there, but over the next few years, it became well known in India for its rulers and the monuments left behind by them.
In the last decade the site has received attention by archaeologists and Heritage Trusts working in the area to develop it into a tourist attraction and a World Heritage Site. The Baroda Heritage Trust took the initiative in this direction and carried out a landscape study of the former urban centre. A Master Plan for an archaeological park was developed for Champaner City and Pavagarh as a cultural sanctuary, and the Archeological Survey of India, supported by the Baroda Heritage Trust, submitted a proposal to UNESCO to declare the site a World Heritage Site. In July 2004, UNESCO approved the proposal and inscribed the site on the World Heritage List with the justification of its “joint significance as a living Hindu pilgrimage center, its cluster of Jain temples, its remarkable preserved medieval urban fabric, its exquisite sandstone-carved mosques and tombs and its intangible heritage values.” Tourism in the area was affected by the Godhra Hindu-Muslim riots, resulting in conflicting interests in developing infrastructure such as roads, ropeway and accommodation facilities for the pilgrims and tourists visiting the various monuments in this site.
Remaining at the site are the Royal precincts within fortified walls, the entrance gate or the city gate, the mosque outside the fortifications, the royal walkway leading into the palace, and the second enclosure consisting of unexplored Jahanpanah. The urban planning of the city reveals well laid and paved streets which lead to the city centre. The residential area consists of houses of both rich and poor; rich people’s houses are built with scenic gardens and water channels. Public parks and pavilions surround the housing complex. However, temples, mosques and tombs are mostly concentrated in the Pavagarh Hills. The walk up the hill from the plains is called the Patha (pilgrim's route); considered to be the "soul of Champaner”, it has thousands of steps and is embellished with ornamental and essential structures.
- Rainwater harvesting
One of the innovative features of the two historic monuments centres was the development of methods for harvesting rainwater, in the form of tanks or ponds in the Pavagadh hills (called the “hill of hundred pools”) and innumerable wells in the city of Champaran, which was nicknamed "city of thousand wells". The Vishamitri River is the only stream that rises from the Pavgadh hills, and was tapped for feeding wells in Champaner and tanks in Pavagadh. The tanks served the pilgrims and other utilitarian, recreational, spiritual and aesthetic needs. Some of the tanks were built by constructing embankments and diverting the stored water into stone cisterns. Some of the famous water structures are: the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi Kunds (in the Mauliya plateau); the Wada Talao, the largest water tank fed by rivulets located on the eastern part of the city; the innovative Gaben Shah tank; the exquisitely ornamented helical stepwells such as in the public gardens and at the entrance to the city, and the Royal summer pavilions. The water channel in the house of a noble, called the “Amir’s Manzil,” is cited as a reflection of the “superb workmanship of water structures built by those responsible for the palatine and religious architecture of Champaner.”
Significance of Champaner Pavagadh
- 1. Significant Setting
Champaner- Pavagadh has a truly spectacular setting of the dominant Pavagadh and a series of hillocks cradling the built heritage of different periods. The hill of Pavagadh reises to a height of about 800 m and comes down in five successive plateaus viz., Kalikamata Plateau, Mauliya Plateau, Bhadrakali Plateau, Machi Plateau and the Atak Plateau. This hill, said to be an outcome of a sudden volcanic eruption, is the only one in the surroundings and commands a breathtaking view from as far as Baroda on one side and Godhra on the other.
- 2. Significant Geology
Champaner series of rocks is the oldest land form in India which falls within the buffer zone. The “pre cambrains” or the older rocks found in the area beyond Wada Talao constitute the Champaner series comprising phyllites, slates, and quartzites.
- 3. Significant Pre- Historically
The chalcolithic finds have been discovered along the river bank testifying it as a prehistoric habitat.
- 4. Significant Regional Town Planning
There are considerable remains of Rajput hill fortress of the earlier Hindu capital that prove that there is a possibility to better understand the Gujarat regional planning and its development. Since more work has been done on the Mughals we have a different perception of their contribution. An understanding of such regional capitals would lead to a very different perception where Regional Town Planning becomes more important for revealing the derivation of Islamic Town Planning from its Rajput predecessor.
- 5. Significant Archaeological Site
- The 15th century deserted capital of greater Gujarat, built by great
builder Mahmud Begharha, is now lying buried beneathe the forest cover. Apart from the excavations carried out by Dr. R. N. Mehta in the 1960s, the buried city is absolutely unexplored. One can find the evidence of the medieval city in its most complete and untouched form. This site is a milestone in reconstructing history of the regional medieval times.
- 6. Significant Built Heritage Components
- The site offers a variety of components forming the built
heritage. All the identified structures in Champaner- Pavagadh can belong to any of the following typologies distinguishable by its original function. The building typologies identified are military structures like Armoury, Barracks, Manjanik (Catapults), Darwaza (Gates), Killa (Fortifications), Kotardi (Prison Cells); residential structures like Mahal (Palaces), Manzil, Kothar; civic structures like Baradari (Pavilion); religious structures like Mandir, Masjid, Maqbara; Jalaashay like Kund/ Hauz (Tanks), Kuan (Wells), Bandh (Dams), Hamam (Baths), Pul (Bridge), Water Channels, Vavs (Stepped Wells); residential and commercial precincts. The military architecture of the site is definitely significant with its arrangement of Fortifications, Catapults Gates, Catapults, etc.
- 7. Outstanding buildings as examples of Gujarat Regional Style of Architecture
E.g., Jama Masjidunique which signifies the continuation of the Hindu building traditions and incorporates the new Islamic style, it typifies the best of regional architectural expression. Its entrance- Gatehouse is a forerunner to the Jahangir Style of buildings belonging to the Mughal times constructed in marble. Budhiya Gate- an extraordinary semi- rock cut and constructed gate which resolves successfully the difficult topography and change of levels of the Pavagadh with numerous turns in a labyrinth form to confuse and trap the enemy, Atak Fort with Catapults- the most spectacular pre- artillery military defence, Lakulisha Temple- the oldest temple in the region
- 8. Significant Scientific Developments
Understanding the traditional water networks is an emerging area of research. Slowly the traditional engineering and knowledge are being rediscovered. In Champaner, the challenges of the Pavagadh hill were considerable but still water was being stored at a considerable height and supplied to the city very efficiently. The water was collected in large catchments by diverting it from small rivulets and stored at a higher plane to keep the ground water recharged. The city is dotted with thousands of wells which catered to the requirements of the individual households. The royal palaces had elaborate systems of water channels running through the inner rooms for creating comfortable and cool environments for the inhabitants. The impenetrable natural defences was backed with impressive pre-artillery fortifications and surviving military architecture.
- 9. Significant Example of a Creative Genius
Mahmud Begharha was a famous builder of his times in the 15th century. He founded several cities in Gujarat of which Champaner is a paramount of his accomplishments.
- 10. Regional Religious Significance
Champaner- Pavagadh is an important regional religious centre for the state of Gujarat. This makes it not just an archaeological site but a “living” settlement and a thriving pilgrimage destination. The temple of Kalikamata at the summit of the Pavagadh hill is valued immensely in the region. It is a very important shrine and is visited by lakhs of pilgrims through the year
Two prominent precincts are identifiable today. The Royal Enclosure, an oblong quadrangle fortified by high stone walls, with towers at regular intervals, running north and east at right angles and the main entrance being the East Bhadra Gate. Once it used to have the palaces, gardens, a royal mosque and other administrative buildings. The thorough excavations help us to read the city accurately and give a coherent picture of what a medieval capital looked like and how it was planned. A processional pathway from the royal palace went through the Mandvi straight through the South Bhadra Gate to the Jama Masjid outside the enclosure, probably lined on both sides with administrative buildings, officers’ quarters, barracks, stables, etc. The other precinct is the Jahanpanah- the capital city of Begharha. It is now in ruins lying buried at the foot of the hill, which got deserted when the Begharhas lost to the Mughal Empire in mid1500s. The city is circumscribed by a wall backed by the hill on one side. This defines the shape of the city, which is roughly semi- circular in shape. Within this boundary various zones can be identified with specific use. There was a zone for the military and one for the civilian population. The civilian zone can be further identified by areas for housing, recreation, religion and commerce. The roads make up a definite system and deserve appreciation. Roads from the rim of the circle of fortification lead to the centre and diffuse around the central focus of the city. That means that it is not possible to drive through. The security implications of this feature must be noted. These arterial roads are straight except when the uneven ground demanded a change. By- lanes cut across at right angles in most places. Road surfaces were kept even and at places paved. Potholes and depressions were filled with local gravel. The roads leading up the hill were more carefully constructed with large pieces of stone and the slope maintained to aid men and animals. Rivulets and ravines were spanned by bridges. It clearly illustrates that there existed a proper system of urban planning. Residential areas were located within the walls and in the suburbs although varying in details and layouts. A residential unit comprised a compound with structures within. The larger compounds held homes of the wealthy with servants’ quarters and space for the animals.
Suburban houses were also of the same stylecompound with buildings and gardens within, and paths leading from one area to another. Some of them had murals in them. Gardens were an intrinsic element in all these residential complexes, which were enhanced by water channels flowing through rooms, into passages and into gardens making the whole complex alive. Other house patterns, smaller in size, had a square or rectangular compound with common protective walls. Yet each house was independent by itself. This indicates the functional unity of the community occupying the area. In such compounds, the house form consisted of one, two or three rooms. Some larger ones had a central courtyard. All these are now excavation sites except for the Amir’s Manzil, which is already excavated and open to the tourists. The plan of the city permitted shops to be erected at convenient locations. They were usually found along certain streets and at road junctions; normally single- celled but larger ones also existed with underground storage. Recreational areas consisted of gardens with single roomed two storeyed pavilions. The buildings of Champaner were constructed of local rubble with sandstone from Nathkuva mines. There is evidence of bricks, both fired and sun- baked, are in evidence laid in lime- mortar. A fair quantity of glazed tiles was also uncovered. The mosques were located conveniently near residential and commercial areas, for the inhabitants to perform their religious duties. These mosques are scattered throughout Champaner and some of them are quite magnificent. Public mosques were located near the main road. By the side of the mosques, graveyards and mausoleums can be seen. Quartz, schist and fine dressed stone from Nathkuva mines were used. Significant Built Heritage Components The site offers a variety of components forming the built heritage. These structures present a very formal though impressive image of Champaner Pavagadh to the visitors. All the identified structures in Champaner- Pavagadh can belong to any of the following typologies distinguishable by their original function. The building typologies identified are pilgrims’ path, military structures like Armoury, Barracks, Manjanik (Catapults), Darwaza (Gates), Killa (Fortifications), Kotardi (Prison Cells); residential structures like Mahal (Palaces), Manzil, Kothar; civic structures like Baradari (Baradari); religious structures like Mandir, Masjid, Maqbara, pilgrims’ path; Jalaashay like Kund/ Hauz (Tanks), Kuan (Wells), Bandh (Dams), Hamam (Baths), Pul (Bridge), Water Channels, Vavs (Stepped Wells); residential and commercial precincts. Champaner- Pavagadh is an important regional religious centre for the state of Gujarat. This makes it not just an archaeological site but a “living” settlement and a thriving pilgrimage destination. The temple of Kalikamata at the summit of the Pavagadh hill is valued immensely in the region. It is a very important shrine and is visited by lakhs of pilgrims through the year.
There are eleven different types of buildings at Champaner-Pavagadh, including mosques, temples, granaries, tombs, wells, walls, and terraces. The monuments are situated at the foot of and around the Pavagadh hill. The Heritage Trust of Baroda lists 114 monuments in the area, of which only 39 monuments are maintained by the Archeological Survey of India, due to limited funding. The Forest Department owns 94% of the land here, while the temple trusts and other sectarian establishments provide facilities for boarding and lodging to the pilgrims and tourists. On the southern side near the foot of the hill some dilapidated houses and the foundations of Jain temples can also be seen.
The monuments include:
- Helical stepped well
- Sakar Khan's Dargah
- City Gate near Kasbin Talao
- Citadel walls
- City walls at south-east corner of the citadel going up the hill
- East and South Bhadra Gates
- Sahar ki Masjid (Bohrani)
- Three cells inside the citadel wall between Sahar ki Masjid the local fund Dharmashala
- Mandvi or Custom House
- Jami Masjid
- Stepwell north of Jama Masjid
- Kevda Masjid and Cenotaph
- Tomb with a big dome in the centre and small corner domes on way to Khajuri Masjid near Wada Talao
- Cenotaph of Kevda Masjid
- Nagina Masjid
- Cenotaph of Nagina Masjid
- Lila Gumbaz ki Masjid, Chapaner
- Kabutarkhana Pavilion on the north bank of Wada Talao near Khajuri Masjid
- Kamani Masjid
- Bawaman Mosque
- Pavagad hill
- Gate No. 1 on Pavagarh hill (Atak Gate)
- Gate No. 2 (with three gateways, Budhiya gate)
- Gate No. 3 (Moti gate, Sadanshah-Gate)
- Gate No. 4 with big bastion with cells in the interior
- Sat Manzil between gate Nos. 4 and 5 right up to bastions on top
- Mint above Gate No4
- Gate No. 5 near Machi (Gulan Bulan Gate)
- Gate No. 6 (Buland Darwaza)
- Makai Kothar
- Palace of Patai Rawal with tanks
- Gate No. 7 near iron bridge (Makai Gate)
- Gate No. 8 (Tarapore Gate)
- The fort of Pavagad and ruined Hindu and Jain temples on the top of Pavagad hills
- Navlakha Kothar
- Walls of fort on top
Fortresses and walls
The fortress built by the Solanki kings of Gujarat was further fortified by Khichi Chauhans. In 1484, Sultan Mahmud Begadah captured the fort and renamed it Muhammadabad Champaner. The fortifications start on the Mauliya plateau, which is situated on the hill and ends on the plains. They are very large and are built with sandstone walls connected with bastions at intervals and have elegant balconies. There are several gates in the fortifications and the enclosed area within also have barracks and jails. The west gate has fortifications running from the ridge to the north built of brick and cement, followed by a freely laid stone wall for about a mile, then followed by a second line of old wall (of 30 feet (9.1 m) height) which extends 220 yards (200 m) and rises to join the first line (known as atak) of fortifications on the hill. The huge wall of free stone is known as Bigada’s wall, and encloses the Jahapanah (the world shelter) and the Bhadar or the citadel of Mahmudabad Champaner; the area enclosed by this fortification is 1 mile (1.6 km) long and 280 yards (260 m) wide. A rectangular building at the approach to the citadel is a guard room of size 150 feet (46 m)x1120 feet (37 m) with double gates, which has windows made of stone that are embellished with intricate carvings. Shikari Kot or Hunters Fort is located to the east of the Citadel. The Bada Talao or the Great Lake is next to the ruins of the palace.
The Path going to the temple is an outcome of the mythological story of temple. Thousands of people climb up and down to get blessings of the goddess. This can be termed as the soul of Champaner. It has been trodden upon since time immemorial. It leads from the foot of the Pavagadh to the Kalikamata Temple at its summit. This route is the most important element of the place. It is to this day being used intensively. Due to its continuous existence and importance it has conservation value. Most people who come to Pavagadh take this route as it is a custom to climb up to the Kalikamata. In recent times with modernisation it is possible to reach Machi by vehicle, and from Machi to Mauliya by cable- car with the introduction of the rope- way. But, even today, the last lap, a half hour trek, has to be walked. Most people go to Pavagadh as pilgrims and have a good perception and knowledge of this route. The path starts near the Gaben Shah Vav where it consists of undressed stone paving. Near Machi, the pathway has dressed stone paving. All along the small kiosks, resting sheds impart interest and life to it. All the historic gateways lie along the pathway only. In fact, the city developed and the city life happened in constant relation to the path only.
The earliest temple on Pavagadh hill in the Mauliya plateau is dated to the 10th–11th century and is dedicated to Lakulisa. However, the temple is in ruins, with only the gudha mandapa (sanctum sanctorum) and Ardha mandapa part of the antarala now present. Lakulisha, Dakshinmurthi, Brahma, Vishnu, Gajendramoksha, various forms of Shiva, Indra, seated Ambika and Surasundaris are the images seen in this temple. The temple was built in the Nagara style of architecture with garbhagriha, mandapa and an entrance porch. It had ornate decorations, mostly consisting of stone carvings. While this oldest temple is in a dilapidated condition and not in use, all the other temples are used as places of worship. They have ornate decorations, mostly stone carvings.
The temples of the Jain religion at Pavagadh are also noteworthy. They are of three different groups: The first consists of the Bhavanaderi temples near Naqqarkhana gate called the Navalakka temples, the second group is in honour of Jain saints Thirthankara Suparsva and Thirthankara Chandraprabha and the third group, situated on the south east of Pavagarh Hill (Mataji's cliff), is near the Parsvanath temple next to the Dudhia tank. These temples are deduced to have been constructed in the 14th–15th centuries on the basis of "[their] stylistic and architectural features". Elaborately carved seated and standing images of the Jaina pantheon are seen on the outer walls of the temples. The Garbabrihas are enshrined with beautiful stone images of Thirthankaras in these temples. All the temples have been renovated over time.
The most visited temple on the hill is the Kalika Mata Temple. It has three images of goddesses: the central image is of Kalika Mata, flanked by Kali on the right and Bahucharamata on the left. The spire of this temple, interestingly, carries a shrine of Sadanandsha Pir, a Muslim ‘pir’ or "saint" held in great reverence in the region. It is the third of the major Shakti Peethas of Gujarat and is known for tantric worship. It is connected by a mono-cable ropeway 740 metres (2,430 ft) in length which can carry 1,200 people per hour and is stated to be the country's highest ropeway. On Chaitra sud 8, during navaratri (nine-day festival), a fair is held at the Kalika Mata temple which is attended by thousands of devotees. The ruins of Patai Raval's palace can be seen on the way to the temple.
Among the five mosques in very good condition, the Jama Masjid (also spelled "Jami Masjid") near the east gate, built by Sultan Begada, is one of the most notable among the 114 monuments listed by the Baroda Heritage Trust. It has a blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture preserving the Islamic ethos and with its elegant interiors is considered one of the finest mosques in Western India. The masjid is built over a high plinth, has a central dome, two minarets each 30 metres (98 ft) high, 172 pillars, seven mihrabs and ornately carved entry gates fitted with stone jalis. The Mughal architecture is said to have drawn from the architecture of the Sultanates, which is a blend of Hindu religious connotations and workmanship with Muslim ethos; the large domes are indicative of such a mix. In the Jami Masjid, the ornamentation of the surface areas of the mosque and tomb consists of symbols of motifs of the Sun, diamonds, pots and vines, and lotus insignia which were used in the earlier temples; the artists of the region who worked on these monuments had imbibed their craftsmanship from their forefathers and they were not sectarian in character, as they worked on assignments given by Hindus, Muslims or Jains. This mosque has three mural plaques, in oblong shape, one at the top of the pulpit and the other two on the sides with engravings of hymns from the Koran. Of the two minarets, one was damaged by an intentional gun firing in 1812 by Patankar, a Scindia Governor considered a “tyrant.”
Other notable mosques in the heritage area are: the Kevada Masjid, the Ek Minarka Masjid (single dome mosque); the Panch Mahuda ka masjid (five domed mosque) in a forested area; the Shehrka Masjid (city mosque), an elegant structure located inside the citadel; and the Nagina Masjid (jewel mosque), about 0.75 miles (1.21 km) to the south of the citadel, built with pure white stone; a stepwell decorated with arches is close to this mosque. Tombs have been built adjacent to mosques, invariably to a square plan with columns and domes erected over them, and also embellished with decorations. The tomb of Sikander Shah seen near Halol is a simple single storied building in Muslim architectural style. The shrine of Khon pir, a saint, a colourful tomb, was a place of worship of the weaver community (Muslims known as Tais) of Champaner.
Apart from the mosques, these are the only other type of structures, which are proof of the quality of architecture that was achieved in the times of Mahmud Begharha. Almost all the tombs are square in plan, absolutely symmetrical opening out on all four sides, covered by a dome in the centre. The maqbaras or tombs of Champaner Pavagadh are usually accompanied by a mosque (Masjid). All such tombs are highly decorative with carvings in geometric motifs running in formal horizontal bands. These tombs are constructed in stone. E.g. Mausoleum near Nagina Masjid, Mausoleum near Kevda Masjid and Babakhan Ki Dargah. There are also individual tomb structures, which do not have any mosque in its vicinity. Such tombs have simpler single walled constructions representing the qibla for prayers. They are mostly constructed in brick and lie outside the Jahanpanah fortifications. The degree of decorations in the design is testimony to the importance being attached to the person who has been buried there. Except for the brick tombs, which are decaying, all tombs are under the purview of ASI and are in good state of preservation.
In the planning of the medieval city, the military was given prominence. Pavagadh hill itself was a good buffer hence that part was safe. The most vulnerable line of defence was on the eastern side, which was the gateway to Gujarat. Hathiakod or the cantonment lay to east of Wada Talao where a very large enclosure was constructed. This area was probably the cantonment for the army especially for the cavalry of the Sultan. It held buildings that were well constructed and probably the Commander- in- Chief also lived here. Fortification walls (Killa) form the most important aspect of the military architecture of Champaner Pavagadh. The walls are reinforced with bastions or burj, which also formed the locations for canons, catapults and other medieval war equipment. The military structure included fortifications guarded by barbicans and series of catapult stands. Catapult stands having trapezoidal construction of parallel walls stand behind the main fortification on the Atak Killa. Several stone balls of various dimensions obtained at the site indicate that these stones and other forms of missiles were hurled at the enemies. The width of the walls permitted movement along the top. The merlons (kanguras) provided vantage points from which attackers could be repulsed. Barracks and other military structures in Champaner Pavagadh were placed at strategic locations, so as to keep a vigil and also to pass on the messages to the king, if the need arises. These military structures were part of all the defence fortifications from the Pavagadh Killa to the Jahanpanah. Most of the barracks are constructed very crudely - the only exception being the Chor Kotardi, Sat Kaman and Khapra Zaveri No Mahal. Other military structures consist of Prison Cells, found within the Royal Enclosure precinct and also on the almost unapproachable plateau behind the Naulakha Kothar. Built in crude rubble masonry they are testimony to strict punishments that were levied on the captives.
The palaces in the heritage site were built by the different rulers over the period of the city's active existence as a capital, and are nearly ruined. Gardens, fortifications and pavilions were integral to the palace environment. The pavilions of Champanar were known as "pleasure pavilions". Other structures seen in the site include a single arch near the West Gate of Champaner; a pond called Kasbi talao in a square shape with descending steps which was built by Sakar Khan, a Pathan, and used by the courtesans; Julan Badan gate and wall starting from the Pavagadh spur extending into a ravine; the palace of a brother-in-law of Patai Ravals on the ridge of a hill; and the custom house or Mandvi located in the centre of the citadel.every invader destroyed the ruling sovereign’s royal residence to symbolise his victory, whose palace in turn was again destroyed by the next invader. Begharha destroyed Patai Raval No Mahal into utter ruins, while his own royal residence is now indiscernible because of Humayun’s destruction of it All the palaces, belonging to various royalties, held the most strategic position within their respective cities. The palaces, made out of local black rhyolite stone and sometimes brick, do not seem to have much military defence mechanisms, within them. They were safeguarded by several layers of fortification, gates and other military structures lying outside the royal residential complex. The palaces had very elaborate water storage systems for the convenience of the royal household. Mahmud Begharha’s palace seems to have a very vast and magnificent garden in its territory, known as the Khorassani Garden. One can still discern several ruins of pavilions and water channels which would have been running within these gardens. A similar garden can also be traced in the Rani No Mahal. At present, there are two Kothars namely, the Makai and the Naulakha Kothar. Readings from the 14th century describe the Naulakha Kothar as the royal residence of the queen of the Chauhans. This was taken over by Begharha and apparently converted into a granary or Kothar, which is how one better knows it today. The same can be applicable to Makai Kothar, although no written evidence testifies the fact, except the construction details. In both the structures one layer of construction is in stone which has been covered by another layer of brick.
The custom house was probably used as a guard room. It is well planned in a square shape with five rows of arches and five equal colonnaded aisles. From this location to the east gate, the view of present-day Champaner consists of shabby houses on a lone street. Kabutarkhana Pavilion is situated on the north bank of Bada Talao near Khajuri Masjid. Another building with columns is also located on the Pavagadh Hill, above the roof of the Mahakali temple.
The baradaris in Champaner- Pavagadh form an essential characteristic feature of the gardens within the royal residence or outside it. Sometimes they were also a part of a larger landscape encompassing surrounding water structures, hill settings etc., like the Kabutarkhana, which lies adjacent to the Wada Talao with a splendid view towards the Pavagadh. The term Baradari here is used to describe a pleasure pavilion, which should not be confused with the Mughal concept of an open structure having twelve doorways, although the function remains the same. Mirat- e- Sikandri mentions Champaner as a place of attraction from far and wide because of its pleasure pavilions and gardens during the Begharha times. Mahmud Begharha had invited a Persian landscapist, Khorassan to his court. Halol was at that time developed solely as royal garden designed by the Persian gardener. Although the supporting garden is now in utter ruins, one can still determine several water channels running through what was once a grand garden. Although Champaner never had a considerable amount of surface water but their efficient system of water management could make the retention of water efficiently possible. Champaner was strewn with pleasure pavilions and serais all along the Jhorvan River and also along the main route going towards Halol.
It includes the structures for storage as well as conveyance of water. Champaner Pavagadh survived on rain water harvesting by creating a landscape of elaborate catchment and conveyance system. When the settlement was abandoned, its hydraulic system deteriorated. Earthen embankments or bandh were constructed at suitable locations to hold rainwater during the monsoons. These dams were able to hold water on the eastern, south eastern and northern sides of the central cliff where the Kalikamata Temple exists. The water problem was traditionally solved by constructing talaos with careful regard to natural landform. They were constructed in natural depressions on plateaus at varying levels. Different types of talao and highly developed techniques of tanks were used. Large macrocatchments basins like Wada Talao, Kasbin Talao and Medhi Talao were created by damming depressions and diverting water from rivulets and runoff. Medhi Talao in Atak Fort was constructed by damming a small valley passing through the centre of the lowest plateau. On Mauliya Plateau two large basins caught rain water which was then directed through an underground channel system to storage tanks known as Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati Kunds. Wada Talao is the largest macrocatchment in this area.
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