Guj: ચાંપાનેર  c(h)āmpānēra

‘Champa’s City’ – [Muhammadabad] – Ancient City and Archaeological Site, Gujarat

From Champa and Skt: ayanaana, ‘place’, ‘abode’ or nagara, ‘town’, ‘settlement.

Champaner was founded by King Vanraj of the Chavda Dynasty in the 8thC who established the city below the hill-fort at Pavagadh. He named it after his General, Champa or Champara.

Mahmud Begada conquered it in 1484 and it was renamed Muhammadabad. His name, some say, came from his acquisition of two forts [Guj: be, ‘two’; and gadh, ‘fort’]: one here and the other at Junagadh. He built citadels, gateways, walls, mosques, palaces and tombs.

Champaner was the capital of Gujarat until 1535 when it came under Moghul control and went through a long period of decline. Champaner is now a deserted city and at the foot of Pavagadh hill, and Champaner & Pavagadh Archaeological Park  is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Champaner was the setting for the 2001 Oscar-nominated film Lagaan.

For related place names see Indian Place names and Gujarat place names.


Champaner Fort      Imsourabh1996