Footloose at the feet of Pavagadh

Pavagadh, the abode of Goddess Kali

Pavagadh, the abode of Goddess Kali

I had fancied early morning expeditions all too often, but my nerve of steel does not always get tinkled at the prospect. Sometimes I prefer that sweet Brahm Muhurt morning sleep over almost any other worldly thing I possess. But, when Pavagadh calls, who can stop? I decided to climb the 2000 steps – curious about how it felt to be at the feet of the Goddess who sits at the top of the mountain, partly also wanting to test my feet. Suggestion was to start at 5:00 AM. I could not find anything readily eatable in the fridge of our host at that hour, so stopped at a road-side shop for a quick cup of chai with Parle-G  and – was good to go! Photography at the temple is not allowed, but at quarter to seven, it was a beautiful view of the mountain top, the cool and strong wind and the ardent devotion of the people around that is so dense one can almost touch them with fingers. On my way back, I captured…

A Jain Temple at one of the two lakes en route to top of Pavagadh

A Jain Temple at one of the two lakes en route to top of Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

The temples of the Jain faith abound on way up to Pavagadh  top, and so do some ancient Shivalays. Many seemed  abandoned, some locked and some waiting for their restoration to be over. In the mean while I could see carved stones strewn all over the places, some stones were used ass cobble stones and steps leading up and down the temples. I wish more students took up the study of archaeology and restorative architecture… and then I lost my breath for a while…

An abandoned Shiv temple on way to top of Pavagadh

An abandoned Shiv temple on way to top of Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

Who built this wonderful circular seat for the temple? Who carved the stone panels? Why was it abandoned? I have no information on it.. just the silent beauty of the work of this compact but impressive temple of Lord Shiv:

An abandoned Shiv temple on way to  the top of Pavagadh

An abandoned Shiv temple on way to the top of Pavagadh

An abandoned shiv temple on way to  the top of Pavagadh

An abandoned shiv temple on way to the top of Pavagadh

An abandoned shiv temple on way to  the top of Pavagadh

An abandoned shiv temple on way to the top of Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

One of the Stone Arches on way to top of Pavagadh

One of the Stone Arches on way to top of Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

Wouldn't someone want to restore these wall sections at Pavagadh?

Wouldn’t someone want to restore these wall sections at Pavagadh? (c) margie parikh

The sections of the old Pavagadh fort which was captured by Mahmood Begdo can be seen all across the steps to the top, and one frequently passes from under the arches of black stone. The wall seems like more than a meter thick with inner brick and outer layers of stone. It is said to be held last by a Raval king before Mohammad Begdo captured it. Before Begdo attacked Champaner and Pavagadh, he had captured Junagadh and had forcibly converted its King Ra’Mandlik. What I heard is Begdo also wanted to move North and capture Shetrunjay, but he could not.

Although broken, today the inner parts of the arches look alive with people moving..

Wouldn't someone want to restore these wall sections at Pavagadh?

Wouldn’t someone want to restore these wall sections at Pavagadh? (c) margie parikh

Of which God would this have been an abode once

Of which God would this have been an abode once (c) margie parikh

Several temples had their main sanctums locked - on way to Pavagadh

Several temples had their main sanctums locked – on way to Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

Lovely carvings scattered everywhere on Pavagadh

Lovely carvings scattered everywhere on Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

.. and there are temples in various stages of their life cycle – all strewn along the path to top. There is such a diversity of faith: the Goddess (Photography is not allowed), the Jain and Shaiv temples, some of them under repair:

A Jain temple being restored at Pavagadh

A Jain temple being restored at Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

.. and even Begdo seems to have constructed something at the foothill:

This seems to be built by Begdo - it is so different from all other temples up their on Pavagadh

This seems to be built by Begdo – it is so different from all other temples up their on Pavagadh (c) margie parikh

.. and then, in the end, the last look, with the promise to return…

Pavagadh ..

Pavagadh… (c) margie parikh

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4 thoughts on “Footloose at the feet of Pavagadh

  1. Mohanish says:

    Hello Margi.
    Its really good to know that someone really cared to narrate about pavagadh so beautifully and in depth. Your blog is absolutely flawless. Its 4 in the morning and I’m leaving for pavagadh right now.

    Like

    • Oh! Hi Mohanish, nothing makes me happier than reading your comment the first thing in the morning! The whole journey came back to me before eyes. Perhaps you are at the top of the mountain, enjoying the early morning post sunrise. Enjoy!!

      Like

  2. Harry Mangat says:

    Hiiiiii
    Your pics are very nice
    I need a set of pics of Jain Temples for a Project. Could you please contact me on harindar@yahoo.com to discuss how to go about it. thanks a ton

    Like

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