Rani ka Vav at Patan Gujarat was the natural next destination for us after Sun Temple Modhera. It is just about 35 Kms from Modhera on the banks of River Saraswati. The stepwell was constructed by Rani Udyamati of the Solanki Kingdom. It was declared as a UNESCO heritage site in on 22 June 2014.
Rani ka Vav is the finest and one of the largest examples of stepwells in India. It is constructed in the shape of an inverted temple signifying the sanctity of water in human life. The stepwell is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptured panels. There are more than 500 principal sculptures and approximately 1000 minor ones representing religious, mythological and secular imagery.
The entrance is located on the east and the well on the western most corner. The entire structure measures 65m X 20m X 28m. The stepped corridor is compartmentalised at regular intervals by a pillared pavilion. There are 212 pillars in the stepwell.
The walls, pillars, columns, brackets and niches on the side walls are ornamented with carvings, scroll works and beautiful figures. The ornamentation depicts the entire universe inhabited by Gods, Goddesses, humans, animals and trees.
The sculptures include the Hindu deities of Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, Ganesha, Kubera, Bhairava, Surya, Indra and numerous Goddesses like Lakshmi, Parvati, Chamunda, Saraswati. The carvings of Vishnu outnumber all others. Apsaras (celestial beings) have also been depicted in various forms.
A large section has been dedicated to portrayal of women in their everyday life. The sculptures reflect variety of expressions/ emotions representing love in sublime and seductive form. There are sculptures of mother and child in various forms representing maternal love too.
Rani ka Vav is a very well maintained and managed monument. As I entered the gates the first look itself made me fall in love with the place. A neatly maintained green garden welcomed us in the monument. Thereafter the people around ceased to exist. As I moved down slowly, step by step, every sculpture seemed to come alive. Every figure communicates with you narrating the history of the era gone by. Every step of the well enriches you with knowledge. The beautiful environment sets in a subtle calmness in the mind and the body. Apparently, a result of the blessings of the Gods and Goddesses residing in the well in the form of sculptures.
I did click number of photographs, but this place is to absorbed more through the eyes and the mind. Do not just spend time taking photographs spend time to just sit and be with yourself and absorb the prevalent goodness and peace. Such opportunities do not come often in life.
Please watch the short slide show and enjoy the beautiful place.