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Vadnagar – One of the Most Ancient Cities across the Globe
The Ancient City of Vadnagar
Vadnagar, an ancient city of Gujrat, is one of the few places across the globe that has been inhabited by humans for more than 4500 years. Archeological excavation in and around the city have proven the existence of an agricultural community in the area as far back as 4,500 years, giving strength to conception of several historians that the city could be a site of ancient Harrapan civilization.  Another fact that supports this concept is that the current city is situated on a mound which is believed to have been formed by the layers of destructed buildings from the ancient times. At such it is not really surprising that the city is of extreme archeological as well as historical significance.
During the different phases of its extended history, Vadnagar became an important manufacturing and trading centre as well as an industrial and commercial centre. The city prospered immensely during such phases. It was also known for nurturing various art forms including, music, sculpture, architecture, dance, and painting etc., which made it a cultural hub in the region. The constant celebration of religious and cultural festivities in the city made it famous by the name of Anandpur or “The city of joy”. It is also believed that when Alexander returned to Greece, many of his soldiers, artisans and entertainers, who had chosen to stay back were drawn to Vadnagar, then known as Aanartapur, as it was the most attractive city in the region. 

Major Tourist Hot Spots in Vadnagar
Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple: Located on the outskirts of Vadnagar city, the Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple is a 17th century Hindu shrine dedicated to the family deity of Nagar Brahmins, Hatkeshwar Mahadev.  The inner sanctum of the temple has a Shivlinga, which is believed to be a swayambhu, meaning that it emerged on its own. The sanctum is covered by a roof on top of which is a massive shikhar which rises high into the sky. This temple with extensive carvings faces towards the east and surrounded by a high wall. This wall has three circular domes, which are scattered with flat areas constructed in the Indo-Saracenic style. The outside of the temple is elegantly decorated with the images of the nine planets, musicians, and beautiful dancing apsaras, regional deities and the prominent gods of Hindu mythology. The wall also depicts various scenes from the famous Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharta, in addition to various shapes of animals and flowers. There is also the ancient Kashivishveshvara Shiva temple and a Swaminarayan temple, plus a couple of Jain temples inside the complex.

Lake Sharmishtha: Lake Sharmishtha is an ancient lake located on outskirts of Vadnagar. The lake gets water from River Kapila flowing down the Aravalli hills. Even though, the lake is believed to be as old as the city itself, the water retention systems constructed around it are of the Solanki era and are still functional. These systems present a great example of the remarkable engineering skills of the architects of that period. It was during the Solanki period that the stepped embankments were constructed around the lake in order to prevent the destruction of its banks due to great volumes of water flowing into the lake during the monsoon season. It was also during this time that the water feeding kund located on the northern end of the lake was constructed. The kund which consists of a lake, pool, lock, and a feeding channel was named Nagdharo and is operational even in the modern times. It is believed that both the Sharmishtha Lake and the Hatkeshwar temple were at one time located in the heart of Vadnagar city.

Vadanagar torans: The town vadanagar is well known for its Torans. There are two columns which are supported by an arc made out of yellow and red sandstone. These columns are almost 40 ft in heights. These torans are few of the architectures of the Solanki period. The walls of the torans are carved with figures related to scenes of hunting and battles. This gives a view that the same was constructed after winning of some battle by then king of Gujrat.

Bhavai Government Museum: This is a big hall dedicated for paying tribute to Nayak community artists known for Bhavai form folk arts of the 12th Century. During This period Bhavai was used as a medium of communication.


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