Patan – Rani ki Vav

After covering Adalaj Vav in Ahmedabad & Sun Temple in Modhera, we left for Patan at 2.30 pm. Patan is 35 kms from Modhera. We reached Rani Ki Vav at 3.30 pm. There was a huge garden surrounding the Vav. It is a Heritage site and maintained by ASI.

(Exceptional example of a distinctive form of subterranean water architecture of the Indian subcontinent, the stepwell, which is located on the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan.

Initially, built as a memorial in the 11th century CE, the stepwell was constructed as a religious as well as functional structure and designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water. Rani-ki-Vav is a single-component, water management system divided into seven levels of stairs and sculptural panels of high artistic and aesthetic quality.

It is oriented in an east-west direction and combines all of the principle components of a stepwell, including a stepped corridor beginning at ground level, a series of four pavilions with an increasing amount of storeys towards the west, the tank, and the well in tunnel shaft form.

More than five hundred principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works. impresses not only with its architectural structure and technological achievements in water sourcing and structural stability, but also in particular with its sculptural decoration, of true artistic mastery.

The figurative motifs and sculptures, and the proportion of filled and empty spaces, provide the stepwell’s interior with its unique aesthetic character. The setting enhances these attributes in the way in which the well descends suddenly from a plain plateau, which strengthens the perception of this space. – Sourced from -http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/922).

We hired a guide (Rs. 200/-) to understand the intricacies of the structure. The different layers, purpose and history behind the grand Stepwell. The pillars and walls are beautifully and minutely carved. Some of these were inspirations for Patola saree designs. We spent some time at the bottom of well to get relief from the glaring sun. I wanted to go further to visit Sahastralinga Talav (Lake), which was 1 km ahead from this Vav.

But, girls were too exhausted to move further, dropped the idea and reversed back to Patola House. Here, we saw the history of Patola, old fabrics, manufacturing unit of sarees on ground floor. On first floor, we met an artisan, who showed us delicate beautiful paper carvings. Some were carved by his ancestors and some by him. We left Patola House by 5.30 am.

Reached Ahmedabad late in night by 9.30 am. One of the girl fell ill, hence dropped the idea of going out for dinner. We called dinner in the hotel room, fell asleep. Next day was Lothal Trip.

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