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Thursday, November 26, 2020



Rani ki vav was constructed during the rule of the Chaulukya dynasty. It is located on the banks of Saraswati river.[1] Prabandha-Chintamani, composed by the Jain monk Merutunga in 1304, mentions: "Udayamati, the daughter of Naravaraha Khengara, built this novel stepwell at Shripattana (Patan) surpassing the glory of the Sahastralinga Tank". According to it, the stepwell was commissioned in 1063 and was completed after 20 years. It is generally assumed that it was built in the memory of Bhima I (r. c. 1022 – 1064) by his queen Udayamati and probably completed by Udayamati and Karna after his death but the view, whether she was a widow when she commissioned it, is disputed. Commissariat puts the date of construction to 1032 based on the architectural similarity to Vimalavasahi temple on Mount Abu built in the same year.
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Rani-ki-Vav 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.
It was in 1958 that ASI undertook the clearance and restoration work for the Vav, which was filled with silt and water. As the process of desilting and debris clearance started, the water also started receding. The silt had to be cleared bit by bit by hand and carefully checked before disposal for antiquities that could be mixed with the mud.

The Rani ki Vav in Patan, about 133 km. from Ahmedabad, is amongst the finest stepwells in India, and one of the most famous legacies of the ancient capital city of Patan. Rani (Queen) Udayamati commissioned this vav or stepwell in 1063 in the memory of her husband King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty. The steps of the vav begin at ground level, leading you down through the cool air through several pillared pavilions to reach the deep well below. There are more than 800 elaborate sculptures among seven galleries. The central theme is the Dasavataras, or ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, including Buddha.  At the water level there is a carving of Sheshashayi-Vishnu, in which Lord Vishnu reclines on the thousand-hooded serpent Shesha.

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