A concentration of largely unexcavated archaeological, historic and living cultural heritage properties cradled in an impressive landscape which includes prehistoric (chalcolithic) sites, a hill fortress of an early Hindu capital, and remains of the 16th-century capital of the state of Gujarat. The site also includes, among other vestiges, fortifications, palaces, religious buildings, residential precincts, agricultural structures and water installations, from the 8th to 14th centuries. The Kalikamata Temple on top of Pavagadh Hill is considered to be an important shrine, attracting large numbers of pilgrims throughout the year. The site is the only complete and unchanged Islamic pre-Mughal city.
The name Champaner is derived from Champa, who was either a Vania or a Kanbi. He established this city during the rule of Vanraj Chavda of Anhilwad Patan (from 746 to 806 AD). In the eleventh century, Ram Gaur Tuar ruled, and Champaner was under the Anhilwad until 1297 or so when they were defeated by Alauddin Khalji, who made it their stronghold. During this period, the Chauhan Gurjars had also settled in Champaner. The Pavagadh Hill was where the Solanki kings and Khichi Chauhans built fortresses and ruled from. However, they lost their authority in Champaner in 1484.
The Gurjars ruled on the northeastern side of the foothills of Pavgarh Hill below the fortress of Pavgadh. In 1418 and in about 1450, they managed to fight off their neighbour, Rao of Idar, and the Muslim rulers of Ahmedabad, thanks to the protection provided by the hill. However, in 1483, when Mahmud Begada’s captain, Malik Asad, was raiding through Champaner, he was attacked and killed by Raval Jaisingh. What ensued in the following years was the complete defeat of the Rajputs by Sultan Begada. The hill was surrounded and the fort held under siege for more than a year and was finally captured on 17 November 1484, when Kivamul Mulk and Malik Ayaz Sultani penetrated the walls and broke the main gate, destroyed the army and injured the leaders of the Gurjars.
There are eleven different types of buildings at Champaner-Pavagadh, including mosques, temples, granaries, tombs, wells, walls, and terraces. The monuments are situated at the foot of and around the Pavagadh hill. The Heritage Trust of Baroda lists 114 monuments in the area, of which only 39 monuments are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, due to limited funding. The Forest Department owns 94% of the land here, while the temple trusts and other sectarian establishments provide facilities for boarding and lodging to the pilgrims and tourists. On the southern side near the foot of the hill some dilapidated houses and the foundations of Jain temples can also be seen.
The monuments include: