Pavagadh is a Hill Station, and a Municipality in Panchmahal District about 46 kilometres (29 mi) away from Vadodara in Gujarat state in western India. It is known for a famous Mahakali temple which draws thousands of pilgrims everyday. It is a tribal area populated predominantly by the Rathwas. The area of this locality Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park was inscripted by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2004.
It is said that the Rajput king Vanraj Chavda established Champaner at the foot of Pavagadh in fond memory of his wise minister Champa. Later, the Patai Raval family ruled it and took care of the boundary. The folk tales say that Mahakali assumed the form of a woman and danced in a Garba during Navaratri. The last Patai, Jaisinh watched her with dirty looks. The deity became angry at Jaisinh and cursed him. As a result, the Muslim emperor of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada assaulted Pavagadh and won the hill on the boundary.
Patai was defeated and killed. Mahmud Begada shifted his capital from Ahmedabad to Champaner for some time for reasons of diplomacy. He developed the town by constructing buildings such as the fort of Champaner, Uohra mosque, Mandavi, Kirtistambh, the temple of Shalkh, Jama Masjid, Nagina Mosque and Kevda Mosque. The remains of the Palace of Begada are still found near Vad Talav (Banyan Pond) two kilometers (1.25 miles) away from Champaner.
The government has granted many concessions and offered subsidies to the new industries coming up in this area. As a result of it, Halol and Kalol towns near Pavagadh have turned into virtual industrial estates. A film studio at Halol has this added advantage.
Pavagadh is the gateway to Panchmahal. The locations of hilly areas around Halol provide good scenery. Pavagadh Hill has total height of 822 meters and you can find many scenic trails to climb including waterfalls during monsoon time. On the hill's eastern side, the Rangpur Ashram run by Mr. Hari Parikh works towards the upliftment of the local tribals. The plateau at an altitude of 490 meters is known as Machi Haveli. The bus service has been extended up to Machi.
Places of interest
The remains of the Raval Palace still exist at Machi. There are rest houses, holiday homes and small hotels at Machi.
Then comes Teliya Talav and Dudhia Talav.
Kalikamata Temple, a famous Hindu and Muslim pilgrim centre, is located at Pavagadh. Situated amid dense forest cover on a cliff, the temple is believed to be one of the 51 Shakti Peeths. Maa Mahakalika Udan Khotala ( A Passenger Ropeway ) is operating since 1986 and takes you quickly and comfortably from Manchi to the hill top near the Maha Kalika Temple in about 6 minutes, whereas, the steep climb on foot takes over one hour. The temple of Kali is at the height of 550 metres (1,523 feet). A rope-way facility has been made available(commissioned in 1986) to the tourists to reach the temple. About 250 steps have to be climbed from there.
A little above the Kali Temple there is Sadanshah Pir Dargah. There are numerous tales, songs and dramas knitting the story of Patai Raval.