Travelogue – Series 9… Paavagadh Temple, Gujarat

In continuation of my Travelogue Series…

I have discovered “Incredible India” travelling extensively and took the opportunity to share my awesome experiences of the rich Indian Culture through my blogs…..

Visit to Pavagadh Temple… was an awesome divine experience in itself

The Pavagadh MahaKali Maa Mandir is the Renowned Mahakali Shakti Peeth near Halol city near Vadodara in Gujarat. The Mandir is located near Champaner, Ancient capital of Gujarat.  Situated at 762 metres (2,500 ft) above sea level, the temple complex is part of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is set amidst a dense forest cover on a cliff. 

Kālikā Mata Temple (or Kalikamata; meaning “the great black Mother”) is a Hindu goddess temple complex and pilgrim centre at the summit of Pavagadh Hill in Panchmahal district, India, within the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park. It dates from the 10th or 11th centuries.

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The temple has three images of goddesses: the central image is of Kalika Mata, flanked by Kali on the right and Bahucharamata on the left. On Chitra sud 8, a fair is held at the temple which is attended by thousands of devotees. The temple is the site of one of the Great holy Shakti Peethas. One can reach easily to temple by ropeway.  The idol of Kalika Mata in the inner sanctum is only the head, the mukhwato, painted in red. Also present are full idols of Mahakali and the yantras of Bahuchara.

To reach the temple at the summit is about a 5 km walk along a jungle footpath to the top of the hill; otherwise, there is a cable car which will haul you to the summit from about the midway point, which is the last place accessible by road.  The path passes the ruins of Patai Raval’s palace ruins.  Alternatively, there is a ropeway access, which was commissioned in 1986.  The ropeway, 740 metres (2,430 ft) in length, is of mono-cable and can carry 1,200 people per hour; it is said to be the country’s highest. Dating from the 10th-11th centuries, Kalika Mata is the oldest temple in the area

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Hindu pilgrims were coming to visit this temple from long before the development of Champaner as a major city, and they continued for hundreds of years after its decline, right up to the present day.  The temple has large fortifications and an open chowk in front, with two altars for sacrifices, and an array of lights for special occasions.  The temple is open from very early to quite late, to accomodate pilgrims arriving at all hours. The Machi Haveli is a rest house available for pilgrims.

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 Pavagadh is a tribal area populated predominantly by the Bhils. 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. The locations of hilly areas around Halol provide good scenery.

By road Pavagadh can be reached easily :  Champaner is 45 km from Vadodara, accessible by bus or private vehicles.  Cars can be hired in Vadodara to drive to Champaner-Pavagadh, which is the best option if you want to combine the journey with other sites like Jambughoda Wild Life Sanctuary.

 Declared Place of “World Heritage” Remains of Fort and Mosque built by Mohammed Begda in 11th Century. It’s believed that Sage Viswamitra was installed the idol of Goddess Kalika in Pavagadh. Local people believe that the area is filled up with the power and Shakti of Viswamitra Maharshi. In The Pavagadh Mandir, Goddess Kalika is worshipped as Dakshina Kali with tantric methods of Puja.

 

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