This Stepwell is almost 1000 Years Old and Ancient Stepwell in Patan, Gujarat. The Walls of the Stepwell are completely filled with Carvings of Dasavatar’s of Lord Vishnu, The Hindu God, Also other carvings like Erotic Sculptures in Ajantha and also Geometric Patterns like Lattice, Square is also carved for ventilation purpose. This Stepwell is known as Rani ki Vav.
The Construction began during the Era of the Chalukya Dynasty. This Stepwell is called ” Rani ki Vav”, In English known as The Queen’s Stepwell. The Stepwell is constructed on the banks of Saraswathi River, The Water in the Stepwell is flooded with water from the Saraswathi River. The Construction of Stepwell started in 1063 and almost took 20 years to complete. This Stepwell is dedicated to Bhima I, By his Princess Udayamathi. “Udayamati, the daughter of Naravaraha Khengara, built this novel stepwell at Shripattana (Patan) surpassing the glory of the Sahastralinga Tank“.
In 1890 Henry Cousens and James Burgess visited this place, When the entire stepwell is completely flooded by the Saraswathi River and only a few Idols were visible from Top. They Called this a Huge pit of 87 meters. Later it was discovered in 1940 and Completely renovated and opened by the Archeological Survey of India in 1980.
Rani ki vav is considered the finest and one of the largest examples of stepwell architecture in Gujarat. It was built at the height of craftsmens’ ability in stepwell construction and the Maru-Gurjara architecture style, reflecting mastery of this complex technique and beauty of detail and proportions. The architecture and sculptures are similar to the Vimalavasahi temple on Mount Abu and Sun temple at Modhera.
It is classified as a Nanda-type stepwell. It measures approximately 65 metres (213 ft) long, 20 metres (66 ft) wide and 28 metres (92 ft) deep. The fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9.5 metres (31 ft) by 9.4 metres (31 ft), at a depth of 23 metres (75 ft). The entrance is located in the east while the well is located at the westernmost end and consists of a shaft 10 metres (33 ft) in diameter and 30 metres (98 ft) deep. The stepwell is divided into seven levels of stairs which lead down to a deep circular well. A stepped corridor is compartmentalized at regular intervals with pillared multistory pavilions. The walls, pillars, columns, brackets and beams are ornamented with carvings and scrollwork. The niches in the side walls are ornamented with beautiful and delicate figures and sculptures. There are 212 pillars in the stepwell.
- Queen’s Stepwell is the Oldest Step Well in Gujarath.
- Preserved by Archeological Survey Of India.
- The Steps lead down to multiple levels and these are divided into 7 levels.
- There are almost 800 Sculptures in the stepwell all in the features of Vishnu Avatars.
- The Stepwell Resembles the Form of an Inverted Temple.
- The Stepwell is built in the style of Maru-Gurjara Architecture and has similarities to the Vimalavasahi temple in Mount Abu.
- Around the 13th Century, the Saraswathi River received huge floods and as Rani ki Vav is on the Banks of this river, It flooded this place and deposited large volumes of sand, and totally covered this place.
- This Place was not discovered until 1980 when a group of Archeologists discovered this Site and was shocked to see that this site was well preserved with very little damage.
- This is Declared as a National Monument and preserved by ASI.
- This Stepwell was initiated by the Queen of the Solanki Dynasty in the 11th Century.
- The Stepwell is Visited by Millions of Tourists every year, And queen “Udayamathi” is saluted by Tourists for initiating this stepwell.
- The Artform of Sculptures depicts about Culture and Heritage of the 11th Century.
- The Well is as deep as 30 Metres.
- The Technology involved in the Construction of this Stepwell still remains a Mystery and remains undecided.
- Below the Last Step of the well, There is a gate that leads to the 30km long tunnels and Opens up at Patan.
- This was Built as an Escape route by Soldiers to escape from Invasion.
- The Construction used for Building this Tunnel is mostly Stone and Mud.
- The Stepwell was built much before around 3 BC, But later It was Modified and Constructed as commissioned by Rani Udayamati in 1050 AD under the Regime of the Solanki Dynasty.
This Property is Declared as National Monument by Government of India, This was Excavated in the year 1980 and From Then Completely operated and Maintained carefully by Archeological Survey of India. This Place is a rare Monument and Oldest Stepwell of Gujarat, So The Government of Gujarat also Takes Special Care in Preserving this site and also Funds ASI in various Aspects.
It is Protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites Act of 1958, Again Revised in 2010 under the Archeological Survey of India Act. The Site is Protected by a Compound wall and it is declared as a Buffered zone within the area of 100m on all sides.
This Site is Located in an Earthquake Prone Area. All Engineers related to Disaster Management Department and other Fields will be available all time when needed. All Food Courts are designed in a proper way and also Visitor Management is also maintained in a good format to protect Monuments from any Interference of Visitor.
Unesco WHS Status
Based on the Cultural and Heritage Preservation of this Site, In 2014 it was Granted World Heritage Status by UNESCO.
Best Season to Visit
After Monsoon. In the Months of November to February, You can Visit any time because water will be filled in the stepwell.
10 rs For Indian Citizen
100 Rs for Foreigners, Maintained by Archeological Survey of India
Book Tickets here : PAYUMONEY
Gandhi Nagar is the Closest City to Rani ki Vav, You can reach Gandhi Nagar by Train or Bus. From There Cabs are available to the Stepwell and also Tourism Buses are also available.
Covid 19 Restrictions
This Place is Temporarily Closed as Lock Down is Going now as of May 2021.