Queens Stepwell Rani Ki Vav in Patan Gujarat
Rani Ki Vav in Patan Gujarat
Rani ki Vav Queens Stepwell at Patan Gujarat
History of this Stepwell:
The construction of this Stepwell got initially started in the 1050 AD by King Bhimdev
as a symbol of love for his Queen Udaymati. Unfortunately he died just before it could be completed; so finally the Widowed Queen along with his son Karna
got completed and dedicated it in memory of the King. There is also reference in Prabandha Chintamani
, about Udayamati building this monument which was composed by the Jain monk Merunga Suri in 1304 AD. The 100 feet deep well is at the far end and is intricately carved unto the depth. In 1998 this monument got recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage.
Rani ki Vav Patan Gujarat
Hence, this stepwell was built by Rani Udaymati
in memory of her husband, Bhimdeva I
of the Chalukya Dynasty
in 11th century. As it was flooded by the nearby Saraswati River
, it got silted over until the late 1980s. The search and excavation started in 1958 for this Vav, but this monument escaped massive destruction in 2001 Gujarat earthquake. The Archaeological Survey of India
, started excavating this region they were surprised to find such a rich Cultural Heritage & History in an extremely well preserved manner, and the carvings in their pristine condition.
Sculptures Adding Richness to the Vav
Beautiful Carvings on the Pillars Inside Rani ki Vav
Architechture of this Stepwell:
The Indian Subcontinent have been constructing these Stepwells since 3rd millennium BC, which are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems.
These got evolved with the time as a pit in sandy soil towards elaborate multi-storey works of art and architecture. The Maru-Gurjara Architectural Style, was used in the construction of Rani-ki-Vav Stepwell which was built at the height of craftsmen's ability, which reflected mastery of this complex technique and great beauty of detail and proportions. It was designed like an inverted temple which was highlighted with the sanctity of water, further divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; having more than 500 principle sculptures and over a 1000 minor ones combining religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank of 9.5 by 9.4 metres, at a depth of 23 metres. This well is located at the westernmost end of the property and consists of a shaft, 10 metres in diameter and 30 metres deep.
Architecture of Rani ki Vav Patan Gujarat
Salient Features of This Stepwell:
There are around 800 stone sculptures and relief's used to deocorate the Vav. It includes various impressive images of Gods of the Hindu pantheon
in their various incarnations with their consorts. It would surprise one that there would be no other step-well in India, as profusely adorned as this.
Rani ki Vav Inverted Temple with Various Impressive Images of Gods
All the Five lateral, staggered staircases are attached to the side walls which connect them with various storeys. Each level and sides of the well are covered with carved sculptures of deities in recessed and projecting niches. Hence, these sculptures add immense richness to the Vav.
View of Rani ki Vav from Top
The lower most level consists of 37 niches with rudimentary images of Ganesha in the center. On the upper levels, the images of Sheshashayi Vishnu
in the central niches, are more elaborate. The upper level, also depicts impressive images of Lakshmi-Narayana, Uma-Mahesh, Brahma-Brahmi, Kubera and Ganesha, with their respective consorts. The lower level, consists of images of Vishnu's
incarnations and his 24 forms Dasavatars
, Varahi, Buddha
who represent their return to this world. The side walls are also ornated with Nagkanya, a beautiful Yogini women – Apsara
who showcases her 16 different styles of make-up to look more attractive which is known as Solah-shringar
. It is said that there were many Ayurvedic plants
present around this area, around 50–60 years back due to which the water accumulated in Rani ki Vav was considered to be helpful for viral disease, fever etc.
Beautiful Sculpture of Vishnu in Rani ki Vav
Other Attractions Near Rani-Ki-Vav:
One can also visit Modhera Sun Temple and Sahasraling Tank just 500m away.
One can also find the ruins of an ancient temple in Sidhpur, around 19km from Patan. Mehsana is a popular base for the tourists visiting Patan, around 34km away from Patan.
One can also visit Modhera Sun Temple built by King Bhimdev I in the 11th century AD, which is beautiful and partially ruined. Every year the Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation, organises an annual dance and music festival which gathers a number of tourists in this Sun Temple.
Best Time to Visit:
The entry fee to visit Rani-ki-Vav is Rs.5 for Indians and Rs.100 for Foreigners. It is open from 9:00AM-5:00PM.
Contact Details: 02766 291 492
How To Reach:
By Road: There are various public transports available in the city to reach this Vav.
By Train: There are three railway stations to reach Rani-ki-Vav. Mahesena Railway Station around 41.1Km, Unjha Railway Station around 30.9km and Bhildi Railway Station around 38.1km.
By Air: The nearest airport to Rani-ki-Vav is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad around 102km away.
Image Courtesy: whc.unesco.org, www.ixigo.com, en.wikipedia.org, www.amusingplanet.com