Rani ki Vav in Patan, Gujarat, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rani ki Vav in Patan, Gujarat, UNESCO World Heritage Site
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Rani ki Vav, or Rani-ki-vav (Queen’s step well) is located in Patan district in Gujarat, India. It was declared UNESCO World heritage in 2014.

Rani ki Vav

 

Rani Ki Vav was built in the last decades of the eleventh century by Queen Udayamati as a memorial to her husband Bhimadeva-1 of the Chalukya dynasty. It is generally assumed that it was built in the memory of Bhimdev I (AD 1022 to 1063), the son of Mularaja, the founder of the Solanki dynasty of AnahilwadaPattan about 1050 AD by his widowed queen Udayamati and probably completed by Udayamati and Karandev I after his death. A reference to the Udayamati building the monument is in the ‘PrabandhaChintamani’ composed by MerungaSuri in 1304 AD.

The stepwell was later flooded by the nearby Saraswati River and silted over until the late 1980s. When it was excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India, the carvings were found in pristine condition.

Rani ki Vav - Sculpture

Sculpture

The length of Rani ki Vav is more than 64m long, 20m wide & 27m deep and there are more than 500 sculptures of god. Most of the sculptures are in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of Dus-Avatars Kalki, Rama, Mahisasurmardini, Narsinh, Vaman, Varahi and others representing their return to the world. Nagkanya, Yogini beautiful women – Apsara showcasing 16 different styles of make-up to look more attractive called Solah-shringar.

The Rani kiVavs (Stepwells) of Gujarat hold great spiritual significance. Originally, the Rani ki Vavs of Gujarat was constructed quite simply, but became more intricate over the years, perhaps to make explicit the ancient concept of the sanctity of water with the addition of carved stone deities

 

Rani ki Vav

Rani ki Vav

Among its ruins one pillar still stands, which is the proof not only of the elegance of its design, but also excellent example of this period. A part only of the west well is extant from which it appears that the wall had been built of brick and faced with stone. From this wall project vertical bracket in pairs, this supported the different galleries of the well shaft proper.

There is also a small Gate below the last step of the stepwell Rani ki Vav which has a 30 kilometre tunnel built (Now it has been blocked by stones and mud) which leads to the town of Sidhpur near Patan.It is believed, It was used as an escape gateway for king who built the step well in the times of defeat.

 

RANI KI VAV FESTIVAL

 

Rani ki VavThe Rani Ki Vav festival is proposed to be held in the month of December or January every year.

The festival is intended to celebrate the inclusion of the monument in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites and promote the local culture through tourism.

Following will be some of the highlights of the Rani Ki Vav festival:

  • Special lighting and décor at the site
  • Cultural Programmes of Dance and Music
  • Setting up of a market for street shopping of local products
  • Food festival offering the most exquisite local cuisines
  • Exhibition of local arts and crafts

 

More UNESCO World Heritage Site in India

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