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Back to my basics, sharing with you the Heritage of India from places lesser known. In fact the residents of modern Champaner-Pavagadh in the state of Gujarat are also probably unaware of the historical importance of their town.

A little over 6 years ago, Champaner-Pavagadh was given the status of World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is surely one of the lesser known World Heritage sites in India. The ruins of Chamapner (the town that gets its name from the Champa –(Frangipani or plumeria) tree), located at the foot of the Pavagadh Hills, encompasses a fairly varied period in history - from the Rajput rulers of the 8th century to the Muslim kings of the 15th century. Consequently its architecture is quite unique and is one of the best examples of non-Mughal Islamic architecture, influenced by the prevalent Hindu style.

Nagina Masjid is famous as the Jewel Mosque of Champaner. It has three standing domes over the main hall & is built in the authentic Mughal style. It dates back to the time when there was Mughal rule at Champaner.

Nagina Masjid is a massive structure which is built on a lofty platform with large open area in front. The entrance to the mosque is bordered by the minarets which are placed on either side of the entrance. These are carved out very skillfully with magnificent flowery designs. Being supported by the attractive columns and windows, Nagina Masjid in Champaner has three large domes built over the main hall where prayers are offered.

The north eastern side of the mosque has cenotaphs in all the main directions. There are fantastic geometrical and floral designs that are carved out on the facade and the columns of the cenotaphs. The architectural brilliance and the intricate work on the cenotaphs are simply unsurpassed. This is the picture of one of the cenotaphs & I was lucky to get the local shepherd, taking a bit of rest here. Each and every nook and corner of this cenotaph is a feast to the eyes with impressively carved columns and niches.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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