We do not really come to Vadodara in Gujarat for its charms and other splendours, even if this Indian city is nothing unpleasant indeed. Also known as Baroda , it has the distinction of being relatively calm and orderly, despite its 1.6 million inhabitants. An Indian city that would not have been won by the hustle and bustle of traffic Dantesque is certainly a curiosity in itself.
In fact, if you come here, it is certainly to visit Champaner and Pavagadh , sites classified by UNESCO, excuse of the little. So will come or not come?
Vadodara would not be interesting? This city is quite strange in fact, and especially since I live in a fairly bourgeois neighborhood. Everything is calm and clean. If I had been teleported to this place without any hint as to my destination, I would probably be hard-pressed to guess that I am in India. No, really, there is something wrong here.
It’s almost boring this calm. No doubt if I lived there, I would appreciate this quietude. Because yes, the big cities in India, everyday, it’s as fascinating as exhausting. But here, on a trip, I like this crazy side of India. It’s even a little part of the specifications.
But if Vadodara does not necessarily move the crowds, let it be the case, let’s continue. After being rocked aboard a bus to the driving can not be more Indian, here I am in Champaner. The bus driver almost even came to blows with a taxi who, according to him, was driving even worse than him. What do you want, there are abilities in India that do not seem to be bounded, no limit .
The mosques of Champaner
Today, Champaner is no more than a small, peaceful village in Gujarat. But in the sixteenth century, it was during almost fifty years the capital of the Sultanate of Gujarat before it returns to Ahmedabad . Judging by the archaeological legacy, this period, although relatively brief, must have had a rather incredible splendor.
Thus, at the bend of a peaceful street or even a field, it is not unusual to find a splendid mosque . More modest buildings remain only a few sections of walls in the middle of wild grasses. The contrast between the houses of the inhabitants of the village and these mosques is quite incongruous. It is even to say one of the charms of Champaner.
Capturing this view of Jama Masjid from Champaner was not as easy as expected. Western tourists are here quite rare, which means that Indian tourists, always eager to be shot with a whitecap, had eyes only for me!
In India, the mixing of genres between Islam and Hinduism is a bit of the DNA of the country. Also, at the top of Pavagadh hill, overlooking all these mosques, there is a Hindu temple.
Honestly, both sites need to be visited, except that my inability to take off from bed that morning a little organizational quibble prevented me from climbing the hill of Pavagadh. Unless it’s just a kind of missed act. An excuse provider to come back someday. But do we really need an excuse to return to India?
Only in India
All these old stones are very pretty, but India is also Indians, many Indians even. And so at the corner of a minaret, I came across three young people who immediately seemed very talented for the scene. Also, that day, I decided to get into Indian music production with a boy band like no other , the One Chai Pistols.
Go to Vadodara
The city is very well served with buses every hour from Ahmedabad (2 hours). It is also possible to take one of the many trains, but given the proximity, the bus that does not require a reservation is probably easier.
For my part, coming from Palitana , I first had to take a bus to Bhavnagar before changing to this station for a bus to Vadodara (5 hour bus ride every hour).
From Mumbai , Vadodara is 9 hours by bus. It is therefore better to prefer the train some of which take just over 5 hours.
From Vadodara to Champaner : Buses depart every half hour from Vadodara bus station. Count 1 hour 30 minutes.