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Places Near Vadodara

Some of the interesting places near Vadodra which are good for one or two daylong excursion are mentioned below.

Champaner (45 km) is an old 15th century fortress in the Girnar Hills built by local Rajput chieftains. Inside the old quarter of Champaner are many 15th and 16th century mosques built by Muslim conquerors who wrested control in 1484.

The Jami Masjid built in 1523 is the grandest; its richly ornamented 172 pillars and tall 100 ft high minaret are a classic example of Gujarati style of architecture allied with traditional Islamic styles. The domed granary building of Makai Kota, the Patai Rawal palace and the 11th /12th century Lakulisha temple are all that remain of the Hindu legacy of Champaner.

Pawagadh is a neighbouring fort a mere 4km away. The fortress dominates the region from its vantage point on the 2700-ft hill enclosed by ruined fortifications and topped by Hindu temples. Access to the fortress is past three stages, first comes the ruins of the actual fortifications, then the middle fort before finally ascending to the top with its Hindu and Jain temples.

The Dabhoi Fort 29km southwest of Vadodara is considered by many scholars to be an unsurpassed example of Hindu Gujarati architecture. Part of the Solanki Rajput stronghold in the area, it was built by the King of Patan in the 13th century. Within its four gates lay a reservoir and farms to provide sufficient food and water in withstand a long siege.

Chandod, further south of Dabhoi is the confluence of two important tributaries of the River Narmada. The place is a Hindu pilgrimage site with its picturesque bathing ghats and temples. Most interesting for most visitors is a ride on mechanised boats down the river to see some amazing rock formations past spectacular cliffs and ravines.

Rajpipla and Sankheda lie further away from Vadodara. The former is a base for a trip to the Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary best known for its birds of prey. Sankheda is the home of typically Gujarati furniture made from red and gold or blue and silver lacquered wood.

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