Vadodara is my hometown and I used to visit Pavagadh frequently with family as it is hardly 45 km from the city. We take our car and move to the destination visiting Jambughoda on the way. Pavagadh is the pilgrimage center in Gujarat famous for Kalika Mata temple.
According to Hindu mythology, Pavagadh is known for Kalika Mata Temple situated at the top of the hill, 762 m above sea level. The Rajput King Vanraj Chawda established the Champaner in which Pavagadh is located. According to folk tales, once Mahakali Mata assumed the human form and performed Garba during Navratri. The goddess cursed the last Patai ruler for his ill-intentions and Mahmud Begada killed him in the 15th century.
Mahmud Begada shifted the capital from Ahmedabad to Champaner for a period and developed the area. At present, Halol and Kalol towns located near Champaner are developed industrially.
Kalika Mata Temple
Kalika Mata Temple is situated at the peak of the hill within the Champaner-Pavagadh archaeological park. Millions of devotees every year visit the Hindu pilgrim center. We are the residents of Vadodara, Gujarat and as such we often plan to go for religious zeal. It is around 45 to 46 km away from our residence.
The dense forests surround the Pavagadh Mahakali Temple. You can reach there through trolleys or ropeway. Alternately, you can take a walking route if you have the stamina. You can reach the temple after climbing stairs as it is located at the summit of the hill.
We opted for ropeway and reached the small market under the hill. You can buy the dainty from the passage to offer to the deity.
We move up the stairs to the temple that has three images of red color-Kalika Maata in the center, Mahakali to the right and Bahuchara Mata on the left. The complex has both Hindu and Muslim shrines.
Pavagardh in Gujarat is famous for Jain temples, Vada talav, Virasat van, Dudhiya Talav besides Kalika Mata temple. The Jain shrines have three groups- Navlakka temples, Tirthankaras temples, and Pavagadh Digamber Dharamshala temples. Digamber temple is 5000 years old and is worth visiting.
Machi Haveli is a part of Champaner tourism and is accessible through local transport. It is situated 490m above on a plateau. You will find rest houses, homes and hotels to relax and unwind at this place. The remains of the Raval Palace exist here.
Champaner-Pavagarh archaeological park is the Hindu pilgrimage site while the architecture is a mix of Hindu and Muslim styles. The place exhibit previous cultures dating back to Mehmud Begda. The site is vulnerable, and it contains the remains of ancient structures comprising temples, palaces, water installations, and fortresses. UNESCO has included the site in world heritage list.
The other tourist attractions are Lila Gumbaj ki Masjid, Sahar ki Masjid, Sadanshah Pir dargah and Jama Masjid.
Pavagadh has many resorts and hotels to reside in. The pilgrims, Hindu and Muslims, both visit the place to worship from different places.
Best time to visit Champaner-Pavagadh
We are living close to the site, so we often find time to visit the place time and again. The most suitable time to view the spot is from February to June. Avoid going in the rainy season due to slippery stairs and hills. You can plan a trip to Pavagadh in all other seasons.
Pavagadh in Champaner is a unique place combining both Hindu and Muslim pilgrimage sites due to previous rulers of different creeds. It combines religion for devoted persons and scenic beauty pleasing the aesthetic senses at one location. The temples are situated amidst greenery among beautiful hills giving one more reason to visit the site.