A Land of Excavations

Vadnagar is an ancient city of Gujarat with a history that dates back to 2500 B.C. There have been several excavations at Vadnagar owing to its historical prominence and these have identified it as home to the agricultural community about 4500 years ago. This is evident from the textiles, tools, fragments and pottery unearthed during archaeological excavations. The area that has been an archaeologist’s delight, particularly around the Sharmishtha Lake. It is believed that this lake was one of the several Harappan sites.

Vadnagar also finds a high up mention in the longest epic, Mahabharata. It was a well known trading and manufacturing centre in the bygone era and the earliest capital of Gujarat. Also known as City of Temples, the place has many holy places dedicated to Hindu gods. Two prominent temple complexes at Vadnagar are Hatkeshwar and Amther Mata. Both these complexes display detailed carvings and themes in red and yellow sandstone. There is a Sun temple in Amther Mata.

The communities that settled here left discernible footprints in the city in the form of tools, ornaments, textiles and fragments seen even today. Vadnagar is also home to some prominent tourist sites, which are being heavily promoted by Gujarat tourism.

Vadnagar Sits on a Mound

The base of this city is a mound, which is not natural. The mound is formed of several layers of ancient civilization. Archaeological diggings done exposed several houses that were built in the past, dating back to several thousand years.

Places of Tourist Prominence at Vadnagar

Lake Sharmishtha

When civilization earlier started settling down at this area, it was on the bank of Kapila river that flows from Aravalli hills. Lake Sharmishtha’s water source is Kapila river. The settlement became of a significant size eventually.

Chamatkarpur – The Magical Palace

Vadnagar was called Chamatkarpur 4000 years ago. It got its name from an incident that cured a king of leprosy after he bathed in Shakti Tirth. The king repaid the city by revamping it and added temples and palaces. Chamatkarpur attracted many scholars as it was home to rishi Yagyavalkya, knower of Vedas.


Saptarshi or seven sages is located on the banks of a pond attached to Sharmishtha lake on the eastern side. During erstwhile era, there were several temples around this lake and it was said that Yagyavalkya’s ashram existed here.


Most exceptional historical monuments of Vadnagar are Toranas or victory arches. The western shore of Sharmishtha lake has these arches and are said to be built by Solanki rulers in the tenth century. Red stone was used for making these Toranas that are over four-stories tall.

Other Places of Interest

Vadnagar also houses the Tana Riri memorial. These were temples of Vishnu and Shiva in the seventeenth century. The city also has Nagar Brahmin havelis.

Useful Information

  • Vadnagar lies 111 km from Ahmedabad and 47 km from Mehsana.
  • Vadnagar’s nearest railway station is at Siddhapur, which is 42 km
  • Nearest airport is 111 km at Ahmedabad.

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