Culture & Heritage
Pavagadh Fort and Early Temples :
The earliest part of the Champaner compound, the Pavagadh fort was an important fortress of the Solanki kingdom. The walls of the fort are still standing in parts, as are parts of the earliest known Hindu temple, a Lakulisa temple dated to the 10th-11th century. Other Hindu and Jain temples dating to the 13th-15th centuries, are of the Nagara style. Champaner has several large and prominent mosques, a testament to its time of glory as the capital of Gujarat during the Mughal reign. Most date from the late 15th century.
Mosques of Champaner :
Jama Masjid: The most central is the Jami Masjid, with two 30m minarets flanking the main entrance, two floors of open arcades, and detailed carvings and jaali around the pillared courtyard.
Nagina Masjid: The Nagina Masjid, on a high plinth in front of a wide open filed, has three standing domes over the main hall, and a nearby cenotaph with impressively carved columns and niches.
Kevada Masjid: The Kevada Masjid has another cenotaph near its tank for ritual ablutions, and many carved mehrabs.
Sahar ki Masjid: The Sahar ki Masjid, next to the original royal enclosure, is believed to have been the private mosque of the sultans, and has a large dome at each of the three entrances.
Lila Gumbai ki Masjid: The Lila Gumbaj ki Masjid, on a high platform, has a central fluted dome that was once colored, and a central hanging kalash in the prayer hall.
Now known as Akota, this site began as a small settlement among Akola trees, a kilometer west of where would later lie Vadodara. Towards the 5th century AD it was known as a center of Jainism and Jain studies. The 68 bronze statues of tirthankars recovered from the site so far are now housed in the Vadodara Museum and they provide an insight into metallic art at the time.