Champaner lies just 50km east of Baroda, so can be combined in a day trip from Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
The former city was founded in the 8th century by King Vanraj Chavda of the Chavda Kingdom. Some attribute the name “Champaner” to his desire to name the city after his friend and minister Champa, while others say it comes from the igneous rocks of Pavagadh (a nearby hill), whose light yellow colour tinged with red gives the appearance of the champaka, or “flame of the forest” flower.
The site covers many square miles, but all the most well known monuments are within a short drive of each other. On the road from Baroda, one of the first ruins is Ek Minar Ki Masjid, or “One Minaret Mosque”, built in 1530.
It’s literally a 10 minute stop there, as is the next monument, a Helical step-well (sorry, no photos!).
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