Champaner

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Champaner (ચાંપાનેર), formarly known as Muhammadpur, is a historical city in the state of Gujarat, in western India. It is located in Panchmahal district, 47 kilometres from the city of Vadodara. The city was briefly the capital of the Sultanate of Gujarat.

It was founded by Vanraj Chavda, the most prominent king of the Chavda Dynasty, in the 8th century. He named it after the name of his friend and general Champa, also known later as Champaraj. By the later 15th century, the Khichi Chauhan Rajputs held Pavagadh fort above the town of Champaner. The young Sultan of Gujarat, Mahmud Begada, deciding to attack Champaner, started towards it with his army on 4 December 1482. After defeating the Champaner army, Mahmud captured the town and besieged Pavagadh, the well-known hill-fortress, above Champaner, where king Jayasimha had taken refuge. He captured the Pavagadh fort on 21 November 1484, after a siege of 20 months.[1] He then spent 23 years rebuilding and embellishing Champaner, which he renamed Muhammadabad,[2] after which he moved the capital there from Ahmedabad. In 1535, after chasing away Bahadur Shah, Humayun led 300 Mughals to scale the fort on spikes driven into rock and stonework in a remote and unguarded part of the citadel built over a precipitous hillside on Pavagadh Hill. Large heaps of gold, silver and jewels were the war bounty even though Bahadur Shah had managed to escape with a lot to Diu [3] Champaner is today the site of the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, which UNESCO designated a World Heritage Site in 2004.

Sultan Begada also built a magnificent Jama Masjid in Champaner, which ranks amongst the finest architectural edifices in Gujarat. It is an imposing structure on a high plinth, with a central dome, two minarets 30 meters in height, 172 pillars, seven mihrabs, and carved entrance gates with fine latticed windows called "jalis".

Quotes[edit]

  • Mahmud Begrha who became the Sultan of Gujarat in 1458 AD was the worst fanatic of this dynasty. One of his vassals was the Mandalika of Junagadh who had never withheld the regular tribute. Yet in 1469 AD Mahmud invaded Junagadh. In reply to the Mandalika’s protests, Mahmud said that he was not interested in money as much as in the spread of Islam. The Mandalika was forcibly converted to Islam and Junagadh was renamed Mustafabad. In 1472 AD Mahmud attacked Dwarka, destroyed the local temples, and plundered the city. Raja Jayasingh, the ruler of Champaner, and his minister were murdered by Mahmud in cold blood for refusing to embrace Islam after they had been defeated and their country pillaged and plundered. Champaner was renamed Mahmudabad.
    • Quoted in Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231
  • “Sultãn Ahmad… encamped near Chãmpãner on 7 Rabî-us-Sãni, AH 822 (AD 3 May, 1419). He destroyed temples wherever he found them and returned to Ahmadãbãd.”
    • Sultãn Ahmad Shãh I of Gujarat (AD 1411-1443) Champaner (Gujarat)
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad.

External links[edit]

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