Champaner-Pavagadh, designated a World Heritage Site in 2004, is an example of the multivalent nature of the spirit of the place. Its hyphenated name denotes the split identity between Pavagadh Hill as the abode of a Hindu goddess, and at its foot Champaner with the remains of a historic Islamic city.While the tangible heritage of historic architecturalmonuments receives institutional protection, the sites of pilgrimage - temples and shrines, some nearly a thousand years old and others recently built - are kept alive through popular participation and the support of sectarian establishments. The current emphasis on architectural preservation overlooks the dialectics between these tangible and intangible forms of heritage. As important as it is to preserve significant material remains from the past, the knowledge base and skills that produced them should be preserved as well in order to support a living heritage tradition. It is the human efforts, guided by cultural knowledge and traditional technologies, that produce the material world. A broader and more comprehensive framework for conservation would focus on this inhabited cultural landscape, which is a dynamic entity rather than a fixed object, to integrate the architectural monuments, sacred places and associations, and multiple forms of heritage of Pavagadh and Champaner. These efforts would be based on an understanding of the cultural habits of perception and ritual patterns of movement, of traditional design vocabularies that reified natural forms into architecture, and of the intimate knowledge of the terrain and site hydrology that sustained the historic settlements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIntangible Heritage Embodied
EditorsD. Fairchild Ruggles, H Silverman
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781441900715
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Preserving the cultural landscape heritage of Champaner-Pavagadh, Gujarat, India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this