Rani Ki Vav, Patan:- Rani ka Vav or “Queen’s Stepwell” is a grandest and unique step well located in the small town of Gujarat called Patan. Located on the banks of River Saraswati, it is not only a distinctive form of water resource and storage system but also represents a unique craftsmanship.
Rani ka Vav was constructed during 1063 to 1068 AD by the widowed Queen Udaymati. The UNESCO listed Rani ka Vav as a World heritage Site on 22nd June 2014. This subterranean step well outlines the peak of Maru-Gujarat architectural style.
The well, apart from working as the water storage system, is also known for its intricately carved sculptures that numbers around five hundred surpassing all other such architecture. Its size is so vast that a visitor appears to be a mere dot on the structure from far off. It is a good example of man-made marvels of ancient India attracting visitors from all around the world collecting applauds.
Open Time: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
History Of Rani Ka Vav
It is believed that this grand structure was commissioned by the widowed queen Udaymati in the fond memory of her husband Bhimdev I (AD 1022 to 1063), son of Mularaja, the founder of the Solanki dynasty of Anahilwada Pattan. The construction started around 1050 AD and was probably completed by Udayamati and Karandev I after the death of her husband. One can find the reference of Udayamati building the monument in the ‘Prabandha Chintamani’ composed by Merunga Suri in 1304 AD.
Later, the river Saraswati located nearby flooded the vav and clogged over until the 1980s. It was then that Archaeological Survey of India excavated it along with its carvings in pristine condition. Among the finest step wells in the legacies of the ancient capital city of Patan, Rani ka Vav is considered as a man-made marvel today.
Significance Of Rani ka Vav
Apart from being the site of collecting water and socializing, the vavs of Gujarat, are also of great spiritual importance. The design of these wells became more complex over the years to enhance the concept of the sanctity of water by crafting it out in stone deities. Rani Ki Vav is one such example that gives a feel of a subterranean temple on entering.
Architecture Of Rani Ka Vav
One of the salient pieces of architecture, Rani ka Vav depicts the typical Maru-Gurjara architectural style. It exhibits intricate technique and admiring the beauty of details and proportion achieved. Originally built as a memorial in the 11th century, this step well apart from having sound water sourcing and structural stability, is also a piece of true artistic mastery.
The well is separated into seven level of stairs adorned with sculptural panels of high artistic quality along with more than five hundred principal sculptures and over a thousand other religious and mythological figures, often referencing literary works. The well also holds religious significance and thus is designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water.
Facts About Rani Ka Vav
It is understood that some fifty to sixty years ago, there used to be Ayurvedic plants nearby the Rani ka Vav that gave the waters of this ancient step well some medicinal properties.
Best Time To Visit Rani Ka Vav
If you are planning to visit this architectural wonder of Gujarat, plan your trip between October and March when the weather is quite pleasant.
How To Reach Rani ki Vav
The best way to reach the Rani ka Vav is through taxi which is quite convenient. The other mode of transport is also by public buses.
During the month of December or January, a Rani ka Vav festival is held where one can enjoy the cultural program along with exquisite local cuisine and street shopping.
Other Top Places To Visit In Patan
Dedicated to various gods including a number of Jain temples, there are as many as 100 and more temples in Patan. The most famous of these is Mahavir Swami Derasar in Dhnadherwad.
This temple is known for its beautifully engraved wooden dome. Among the other temples, the famous ones are Kalika Mata, Sidhwai Mata, Brahmakund. Hemachandra Gyan mandir stores many ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit and Prakrit, Hemachandra was a great scholar and is said to be the key man in formulating grammar for Gujarati.
B) Sahastralinga Talav
This is an artificial water storage tank, situated in the north west of Patan, The Chalukyan king Sidharaj Jai Singh in the late eleventh century, constructed the Talav.
The tank gets water supply by a channel from river Saraswati. The architectural design of the tank is praised for being the perfect amalgamation of design for water conservation and also reflection of the Hindu spirituality. It is said that due a curse by a beautiful woman from the tank diggers community, the king died without a heir and the tank remains devoid of water ever since. It is said that there existed a lot of shrines dedicated to various gods and goddesses by the side of the tank, today however, there are just remains.
When you visit the place, make sure you read the tourism boards and listen to the version of the locals to know about the stories which do the round about this place.
C) Patola Saree Making Unit
The beautiful hand-woven Patola Sarees are famous worldwide and Patan is said to be the home of Patola artists. It is one of the most sought after possession for women.
It takes a lot of time from starting to finish a patola saree. Lot of time, intricate work, hand-woven, all of this together contribute to raising the price of a Patola which mostly starts from 20,000 and goes up to several lakhs depending on the work done and thread used. It would be an interesting experience to visit the unit and see how wok is done, may be have a word with the artists and buy a couple of sarees.
D) Shopping In Patan
Patan is famous for its Patola sarees. These are beautiful sarees with extensive thread work and natural colors. Their price range start from INR 20,000 and can touch 25,00,000, depending on the intricacy of the work and the use of thread.