Top choice in Gujarat & Diu

This scenic hilltop may have been fortified as early as the 8th century. Today, throngs of pilgrims ascend Pavagadh to worship at the important Kalikamata Temple, dedicated to the evil-destroying goddess Kali, who sits atop the summit. You can walk up the pilgrim trail (two to three hours), or take a shuttle (₹20) halfway up the hill from along the Champaner citadel's south wall, from where a cable car glides you to within a 700m walk of the temple.

Pavagadh became the capital of the Chauhan Rajputs around 1300 but in 1484 was taken by the Gujarat sultan Mahmud Begada after a 20-month siege; the Rajputs committed jauhar (ritual mass suicide) in the face of defeat.

Near the top of the hill are Pavagadh’s oldest surviving monument, the 10th- to 11th-century Hindu Lakulisha Temple, and several Jain temples. The views are fantastic and so, if you’re lucky, are the cooling breezes. At weekends the usual flow of pilgrims can become a flood and it can take half a day to reach the Lakulisha Temple. But if you think that's chaotic, just try coming over the nine days of Navratri or during the Mahakali festival.

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