Rani Ki Vav

Rani Ki Vav or Ran-ki vav or Queen's step well is an elaborate stepwell in the Maru-Gurjara complex architectural style with an upside-down temple and a seven-story staircase containing over 500 main statues built to commemorate the 11th-century King Bhimdev I in the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan, Patan District, Gujarat, India.

Rani Ki Vav is a typical form of stepwells as an underground water resource and storage system in the Indian subcontinent and has been commonly built since 2000s BC. This monument was built by the Queen Udayamati during the reign of the Chaulukya Dynasty and is generally assumed during Bhima I (r.1022-1064). The stepwell was then flooded by the nearby Saraswati River until the late 1980s.

Xvlor Rani Ki Vav

Xvlor.com Rani Ki Vav

The elaborate structure and beautiful art faces east with a length of 64 meters, a width of 20 meters and a depth of 27 meters. A gradual corridor at regular intervals consisting of a storied pavilion as a unique and luxurious feature. Archaeological Survey of India conducted excavations in the 1980s had cleared the submerged structure of mud.

Several rows of sculptured panels encircle the well as an excellent example of this design period. The well wall is constructed of brick and stone, the structure is not completely vertical to support different galleries of the right shaft and is deeply etched. Rani-Ki-Vav is a masterpiece among Indian wells.

The wells in Gujarat are not just sites for collecting water and socializing, but also holding great spiritual significance. Vavs of Gujarat is built quite simply, but becomes more complicated over the years, perhaps for the concept of water sanctity with the addition of carved stone gods.

The small gate below the last step is a 30 kilometer long cave leading to the town of Sidhpur near Patan, but is currently blocked by rocks and mud. This tunnel is used as an exit for the king to escape when faced defeat.

Most of the statues are dedicated to Vishnu in the form of Dus-Avatars Kalki, Rama, Krishna, Narsinh, Vaman, Varahi and others that represent their comeback to the world. Its Nagka is a beautiful Yogini woman where Apsara displays in 16 different styles to look more interesting called Solah-shringar.

Visitors enter Rani Ki Vav as if the temple is upside down where one step down the various water levels. The steps begin at the ground level, guiding through the cool air through several pillared pavilions to reach the deep well below. More than 800 intricate statues among seven galleries.

The central theme is the Dasavataras or the ten incarnations of Vishnu including the Buddha. The avatars are accompanied by sadhu, Brahman, and angels as heavenly dancers who paint their lips and adorn themselves. Sheshashayi-Vishnu carvings at the water level where it rests on the thousand-hooded serpent Shesha.

www.xvlor.com Rani Ki Vav

Xvlor Rani Ki Vav

Location: Patan, Patan District, Gujarat, India.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad City, then use the intercity bus to Patan for 3.5 hours.

Advice: Rani Ki Vav is open every 8 am to 6 pm where the ticket for foreign visitors is US$2.

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