Saturday, July 5, 2008

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is located in India. It was inscribed in 2004. There is a concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric (chalcolithic) sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th century capital of the state of Gujarat. The site also includes, among other vestiges, fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts,agricultural structures and water installations, from the 8th to the 14th centuries. The Kalikamata Temple on top of the Pavagadh Hill is considered to be an important shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year. The site is the only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city. The city has been given a lot of attention by architect Karan Grover, who spent much time and effort in both trying to bring to restore and improve the condition of the city, but also help in the restoration of Indian heritage.The site was declared a world heritage site in 2004. Champaner Pavagadh Archeological Park is known for housing a number of archaeological and historic sites that are yet to be excavated along with living cultural heritage structures. The sites include a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital from the 16th century in the state of Gujarat complete with palaces, temples, residential precincts, agricultural structures and water installations. These structures belong to the period ranging from 8th to 14th centuries. Thousands of pilgrims flock throughout the year to the Kalikamata Temple atop the Pavagadh Hill to pay their homage to the Goddess. The site is quite important to study the pre-Mughal Islamic history, as it is the only complete city from that time that hasn't been altered later. 

One can see ancient Hindu palace and temple architectural styles, the special water retaining installations of that time that were used to fight off the scarcity of water and the religious, military and agricultural structures that befit the 16th century capital of the region built by Mehmud Begda. These structures help to fill the gaps in Indian history and present a harmonious blend of Hindu-Muslim architecture. The Great Mosque or the Jami Masjid is believed to have served as the model for the mosques built later in India and is representative of regional sultanates that existed before Mughals came into power. The capital was not used for long. It is place of worship for Hindus and presents pregnant historical mysteries to the archeologists.

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