The Queen's Stepwell - Rani ki Vav

One of the finest and largest of its kind, Rani ki Vav in Patan is UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on the bank of Sarasvati river it was built in 11the century. At that time Kings used to build monuments for Queens after their death for memories but Rani ki Vav is opposite.

The stepwell is known as Rani ki Vav as it was built by Queen Udayamati in during Chalukya period in 11the century. 

There were two reasons to built stepwell, one was the lack of water in the area and in the memory of her late husband.

I was in Ahmedabad and one fine day I planned to explore Rani ki Vav in Patan and then Sun Temple in Modhera. Rani ki Vav in Patan is 102 km from Ahmedabad and after 2 hours of road journey I reached there. It was weekday and place was not crowded.

After parking our car, we headed to ticket counter. For India citizen entry fee was 40 rs. It was good to see the way entire complex was painted. Neat and clean.

After walking for 100 meters, we reached at the stepwell and awe stuck with its amazing architecture. While we were taking some pictures, one guide approached us and offered his service. We happily agreed as we wanted to know more about the amazing place. 

We were not disappointed and guided tour was so informative and an eye opener. Few facts 

  • Stepwell is designed as underground shrine or inverted temple. 
  • It is Nanda -type stepwell. The entrance is located in the east while the well is located at the westernmost.
  • It measures approximately 65 metres (213 ft) long, 20 metres (66 ft) wide and 28 metres (92 ft) deep.
  • The stepwell is divided into seven levels of stairs which lead down to deep circular well.
  • The entire structure is made of sandstone. Stepped corridors lead around pillared pavilions or terraces, down to the reservoir (or tank). The well is beyond that.
  • There are 212 pillars. Walls, pillars, columns, brackets all are ornamented with carvings, beautiful and delicate figures and sculptures. 

The ASI has done great job over there. The well maintained current state we see is far from earlier state in 1980 era. in 1986 major excavation and restoration work was carried out by ASI.  Our guide showed us those photos what it was before excavation and we were surprised. Hats off to ASI.

I will post another blog to show you some pictures before excavation, restoration and current pics. I am sure you all will be amazed.

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