Vadnagar In Gujarat – A Lesser Known Place To Visit

If you want to explore offbeat Gujarat while having the smell of the raw soil of Gujarat, Vadnagar should be on your list. Vadnagar located in the north part of Ahmedabad is now a famous place to visit as this is the birthplace of our current Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi. Though I was not able to visit his actual house, as it is already sold to someone else, was fortunate enough to visit the tea stall where he used to help his father to sell tea. This is not only one reason to visit Vadnagar but also there are so many other historical places located in VadNagar you can’t skip that. Enriched with Hindu and Buddhist history,  Vadnagar in Gujarat is a lesser-known place to visit for sure.

History of Vadnagar

There are many ancient inscriptions mentioned about Anarthapura or Anandapura, now known as Vadnagar, which is situated in Mehsana District. In Mahabharata and Skanda Purana, there is mention of  Anarthapura several times. It was also called chamatkarpura or a magical town in ancient history. It was a prominent Buddhist location dating to 640 CE visited by Xuanzang. Archaeological unearthings have established that the settlement of mostly farming local areas existed on the spot over 4,500 years back. Pottery, textile fragments, ornaments, et, were found during these excavations from various sites around the banks of the Kapila river and the surrounding lake Sharmishtha. Some archaeologists suggested that it was one of the many Harappan sites.


You can visualize the hints of the twelfth century, wedged between the interlocking stones of the progression dikes around the lake or carved in the Torans left behind by the Solanki dynasty.

Vadnagar also witnessed a lot of Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. The presence of Buddhists has surfaced with a sandstone-broken head of Buddha. This ought to have a place in the second century AD. The Buddhist Monastery which surfaced inside the sustained space of Vadnagar had two votive stupas and an open focal yard around which at first nine cells were built.

So, whenever you travel to Gujarat, do not forget to add Vadnagar to your list. Why?

Let’s give you a glimpse of it…

Kirti Toran – Icons of Vadnagar

Vadnagar is no doubt famous for its torans of Victory arches. These magnificent pair of 12th century40 feet tall historical monuments supporting an arch, built-in red and yellow sandstone stand majestically on the western bank of Sharmistha lake and are believed to have been erected by the Solanki rulers in the 10th century. 

Kirti Toran
Kirti Toran

These Torans are really mysterious to see, as some historians believe, that the Toranas are remnants of a large temple or palace. There is no solid logic as to why they were erected side by side in such an irregular way. Also, there are no other ruins visible nearby the torans. But, these Torans are really beautiful and a must-visit spot for sure.

Lord Shiva is the main deity on the Toran arches. Apart from, other gods, goddesses, animals, dancing apsara, planets, Ramayana, and Mahabharata, sculptures are beautifully constructed on the wall of the Torans.


Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple – A Temple Before Mahabharata

Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple is an ancient temple in Vadnagar which is believed to be the most ancient temple constructed before Mahabharata (13th Century). Some say it was constructed in the 17th century. The temple’s inner shrine is a Shiva linga said to have self-emerged (swayambhu).  The garbha griha is several feet below ground level and only the top portion of the lingam is visible these days.

Hatkeshwar Temple

Few unknown facts about Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple :

  • One of the oldest temples was built by the Naga King in the 17th Century (few say it was constructed before Mahabharata)
  • Mentioned in Skanda Purana & Mahabharata
  • One of the famous temples where erotic sculptures are carved to provide sex education is in the form of Kamasutra.
  • Carved have explained nine planets, dancing apsaras, and regent deities.

The premises also have another ancient temple called Kashi Vishveshwara Shiva temple, a Swaminarayan temple, and two Jain temples to worship.


Sharmishtha Lake – Example Of Ancient Engineering Process

Sharmishtha Lake is the best illustration of a water harvesting framework worked during the standard of the Solanki time frame and to date being used. This lake was filled by the waters of the river Kapila moving from the slopes of Aravalli. The lake surrounding places are improved for resting purposes and also one can take a stroll to enjoy the lake view.


Vadnagar Railway Station

Vadnagar railway station is another place to visit as it is said that Narendra Modi helped his father to sell tea here in his childhood. The tea stall is still there. Also, there are prominent ancient Banyan trees standing still to justify the name of Vadnagar (vad = banyan) 

I travelled with Gujarat Tourism and explored Vadnagar as a part of the Itinerary. We had very limited time in hand so I didn’t have the time to roam Vadnagar on foot and explore every corner of the city. I had to be content with seeing whatever places I could with the group. With narrow alleys, colourful houses, and amazing carved doors; Vadnagar blends mythology and history, traditional colonial architecture, and modern contemporary styles and amazed me within a short span of time. I would like to visit the city again to discover more of its history and stories in length and breadth. 


How To Reach Vadnagar

  • By Road- The nearest city is Mehsana (47 km). Ahmedabad (111 km).  – Local Transport: Auto rickshaws.
  • By Train- Siddhapur is a railway station in Ahmedabad
  • By Air- Nearest airport is Ahmedabad (111 km).

Watch Vadnagar Virtually

You may read about my experience: Modhera Sun Temple In Gujarat

This post is in collaboration with @Gujarat Tourism  


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23 thoughts on “Vadnagar In Gujarat – A Lesser Known Place To Visit

  1. Very good post about Vadnagar in Gujarat. Highly informative for travellers who want to visit these places within Vagnagar. Well written and keep up the good work.

  2. Vadnagar definitely seems to be an interesting place to visit with its heritage histories and also being the birthplace of our now prime minister. Love the pictures as they do complete justice to the description you have given.

  3. I had never heard of Vadnagar before. It is such a beautiful place and yes it is surely a lesser known place. I would love to go back to Gujarat and see these beautiful places.

    1. The Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple looks stunning, especially the architecture and the intricate detailings. Loved to read this again and will bookmark it.

  4. I have never been to Gujarat, and your article made me to just like book my tickets and fly straight to Gujarat. Amazing set of pictures describing each part of Gujarat.

  5. I loved reading about the history of this place as it is somewhere I don’t know about. The temples are astounding – I love the intricate design on them and that they are so old. This looks like a fascinating place that deserves a place on most travellers wish lists.

  6. I know nothing about this part of the world and Vadnagar sounds as if it has so much history. Love the Kirti Toran, is so unique when compared to what I am used to seeing in Europe and the detail on the Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple is incredible

  7. It is always interesting to get recommendations for new offbeat places we might not find on our own. Interesting to visit the tea stall in Vadnagar where the Prime Minister used to sell tea. A reminder of the past we all bring to our lives. I would more likely be drawn to gaze at the Kirti Toran and the Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple and marvel at the carvings.

  8. Such an interesting history. It would be fascinating to see the ancient inscriptions. I also love the meaning behind the name. It indeed seems like a magical town.

  9. The torans are beautiful! I really like the sculptures on it, as well as on the Hatkeshwar Mahavadev Temple. It’s wonderful that you could see the tea stall where the Prime Minister used to work with his father.

  10. Thank you for pointing to this hidden gem! I love the architecture especially the Kirti Toran and Hatkeshwar Mahadev Temple. I have not been to Gujarat yet. I am adding this to my bucket list. 🙂

  11. Vadnagar is a lesser know destination of Gujarat that is now on the tourist map. Apart from its fame as being the home of our Prime Minister, its history is really fascinating. The Hatkeshwar Mahadev temple is of course the jewel of Vadnagar with its exquisite design and carvings; Sandy N Vyjay

  12. Reading this made me feel like I am walking into the beautiful history of our country. I have never heard or read anything about this place before and it’s was interesting to know so much about the ancient times.

  13. Woah! This is amazing. The structures are so detailed and it’s fascinating. Would love to visit someday and see this personally. Thank you for sharing your experience in Vadnagar. Enjoyed reading it.

  14. I guess this is the only blog about Vadnagar… You cleared all my doubts and I am definitely going to take a halt here for 1 day. Thanks for sharing this!

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