Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, February 4, 2023

Pavagadh Hill







Pavagadh Hill is situated within a plain in Panchmahal district, Gujarat, western India. The height of the Pavagadh hill is about 800 m from the level of the sea. The hill has geological setting of reddish yellow coloured stone and is considered to be one of the oldest rock formations in India. There are five plateaus namely Kalikamata, Mauliya, Bhadrakali, Machi and Atak.  At its base is the historical city of Champaner, while the hill station of Pavagadh was built upon the volcanic cone itself. The famous temple of Maa Mahakali is situated on the top of this hill. The Dhadhar and Vishvamitri rivers originate on the hill. Talabs (reservoirs) form a chain up the hill. Other features include dense forests, rhyolite boulders and a natural cave below the summit.



A volcanic eruption occurred here approximately 500 million years ago and the etymology of its name is associated with eruption: Pavgadh means or "fire-hill". It also means "one fourth hill" and a legend surrounding its formation is attributed to the sage Vishwamitra, who lived here in bygone days. He had a cow named Kamadhenu which could speak and yielded lots of milk. One day, the cow slipped while grazing and fell into the valley, which resulted in the cow attempting to scramble up the hill. Finally she produced milk, which filled the valley, and swam to higher ground. The Rishi came to know of this mishap, and in order to prevent any such incident in the future, he prayed to the gods to fill the valley. The gods fulfilled his prayers with one fourth of a hill projecting out of the plains, Pavagadh Hill.



The Mahakali temple complex and pilgrim centre at the summit of Pavagadh Hill is a Shakti Peeth. According to a legend, the right foot of Sati fell at Pavagadh making it sacred. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in Gujarat and during the nine days of Navratri, Pilgrims pour into Pavagadh not just from Gujarat but from the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Maharashtra in huge numbers. On Chitra suddha, a fair is held at the temple which is attended by thousands of devotees.








Pavagadh along with Champaner and Machi is a UNESCO world heritage site. This site reflects grand historical confluence, displaying 1,200 years of history and culture. It is believed to bear testimony to the Indian Puranic ages, the Rajput saga, the glory of the reign of the Marathas, the Islamic influences and finally lays proof to the British occupation within its remains.