On 22 June 2014 people of Gujarat were celebrating a new day in History when “Rani ki Vav” was added in UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in Cultural criteria (i)(iv), after 10 years of inclusion of Champaner- Pavagadh Archeological park in 2004.
“Rani Ki Vav” is in the name of Rani Udaymati, widowed queen of Raja Bhimdev I of Solanki dynasty. Gujarat had a glorious time in the reign of Mulraj Solanki, the founder of Solanki Dynasty who had promoted art, architectures, languages, and script at most.
Patan was the capital of ancient Gurjar Pradesh. (Gujarat). It was situated near the holy river “Saraswati”. It was a very prosperous state in the time of Solanki Kingdom. Mulraj Solanki, Karandev Solanki, Bhimdev Solanki, Siddhraj Jaysinh were a famous ruler of Solankies. Among them, Siddhraj Jaysinh was a very successful ruler who was also the “Chakravarti” king. Many structures and monuments were constructed by Solanki Kings. The famous Somnath temple was reconstructed by Solanki King. Modhera Sun temple was also a gift of this reign. You can judge their aesthetics by “Ran ki vav”.
This 64-meter long step well was constructed around 1050 AD in “Ahilanpur” now known as Patan. This step well was flooded by “Saraswati” river and silted over until the late 1980’s. The archeological survey of India had excavated the structure in Minor digging but later on, ASI found that many sculptures were under the soil. After a few months of work, they got a new amazing picture of Gujarat’s heritage. It was one of the most beautiful and largest step wells of its time and even today it is marvel of Gujarat’s rich culture.
The whole structure of step well is based on pillars. Step well has attractive carved pillars and walls.
Pillars are beautifully carved with different symbols of Hindu mythology.
Most of the carvings had been done in devotion to the Lord Vishnu’s Incarnation.
The sculpture of Lord Vishnu’s “Shayan” (sleeping or resting) is beautiful. Other eye-catching sculptures are “Mahisasur Mardini”(Goddess Durga killing the demon named Mahish) and “Varah Avtar”( Incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu).
South and North walls are beautifully carved with the different moods of “Apsaras”( Beautiful women). These moods are called “Mudras” in the Sanskrit Language. Apsaras pose like they are getting dressed up. Some are of Mother with a kid.
Patan city is famous for its craft of “Patola Sarees”(Indian wear), apart from “Rani Ki Vav”. Patola Sarees are usually made from silk and very expensive. It was a sign of royal status wear in times of Solanki Dynasty. It takes almost 6 months to make one Saree.
Patan city is 126 km from Ahmedabad. Best time to visit “Rani Ki Vav” is in the morning. In the below route you can also visit the “Modhera Sun Temple”. It was built by Solanki King Bhimdev- I in the eleventh century.
The beautiful “Modhera Sun Temple” has unique architecture. There are Surya Kund, Sabha Mandap, and Guda Mandap. Best time to Visit “Modhera Sun Temple” is during Modhera Dance Festival of Classical dance. It is celebrated every year in the month of January.
MODHERA SUN TEMPLE PHOTOS