This Unesco World Heritage site in India had been on my travel list for a long time. So when friends living in Ahmedabad invited me to join them for a trip to the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, it could not have been more serendipitous.
The park includes the sacred 762m volcanic hill, Pavagadh, and the heritage settlement of Champaner at its base, with a fortress, mosques, temples and stepwells.
It took us just a few hours to cover the 146km distance from Ahmedabad to Machi, a small town that serves as a base for Pavagadh. From there, you have to choose between a hiking trail to the top or an udan khatola—a cable car, in modern parlance. The climb seemed steep, so we decided to take the cable car.