Rani Ki Vav

Rani Ki Vav is a prominent step well located at Patan town in Gujarat, India. This place, Patan was earlier referred as Anhilpur Patan when their King Siddharja Jaysingh was ruling this place as Gujarat’s capital. Patan was founded by Mr. Vanraja. This step well was known to be Ran-ki-Vav or Rani Ki Vav (means Queen’s step well) which was built during the time of Chalukyas or Solanki. This is one among the rich sculptured monuments in India.

There is a belief that this step well was constructed in loving memory of Bhimdev I (who’s period was known to be between AD 1022 and 1063), the son of great Maharaja who found the great Solanki dynasty belonging to Anahilwada Patan in the year 1050 AD by his lovable widowed queen Udayamati. This step well might have finalized by Udayamati and the king Karandev I after his existence. There is a reference in ‘Prabandha Chintamani’ saying that this monument was constructed by Udayamati which was written by Merunga Suri in 1304 AD.

The magnificent Rani-ki-Vav step well has been constructed facing eastern direction and measures about 27 m depth, 20 m width and 64 m length. A unique characteristic feature of this step well is its stepped corridor partitioned at regular intervals with the help of pillar supported multi-storeyed pavilions. This step well is one among the most sumptuous and largest structures and monuments of this type. This has been silted up and majority of its parts are invisible, currently apart from the limited rows of sculptured panels located at the circular fashion of the well. Among the debris of this step well, there is a single pillar which stands as a living proof for the elegance of its structure and design but also excellent illustration for this era. The surviving part of the west well shows the proof that this wall has been constructed using stone and brick. There is a pair of brackets projecting vertical from these walls that support the different galleries of proper well shaft. These bracketing is arranged in the form of tires and is luxuriously carved. The exquisite and minute carving of this Rani-ki-Vav is one among the finest illustration of this type. As a proof to its name, Rani-ki-Vav is now known to be queen to all step wells in our country.

There is a small gate under the final step of the step well which opens to a 30 km tunnel (presently blocked by mud and stones) leads to Sidhpur town near Patan. This tunnel was known to serve as an escape route at times of defeat for the king, who constructed this step well.

Ornate Side Walls

Most sculptures inside this step well has been constructed towards the devotion to lord Vishnu in various forms of his avatars like Varahi, Vaman, Narsinh, Mahisasurmardini, Rama, Kalki while other sculptures depict their return to this world. There is also Nagkanya, Apsara and Yogini depicting their 16 different make-up styles and are referred as Solah-Shringar.

Thus, Rani Ki Vav is definitely a place worth watching.

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Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav

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