Love is a great feeling. Every being experiences it but no one figured it out yet completely. If it’s painful or beautiful? It binds all human feelings together and also is the most powerful one out of all. Make us do crazy things. And when you got huge resources, you can even create a world heritage to express your love.
We have heard in our ancient histories, the stories of great kings building incredible monuments in the memory of their beloved queens. But this lot has a twist. Because instead of a king, a queen got a magnificent monument created in the memory of his beloved king. The enchanting Rani ki Vav.
About Rani ki Vav
Rani ki Vav (The Queen’s Stairwell) situated in Patan, Gujarat. It was built on the banks of the disappeared river Saraswati. Rani Udayamati, queen of the 11th-century AD Chaulukya dynasty decided to construct an architectural wonder as a memorial for her spouse, King Bhima I. The stairwell is built-in an upside-down manner, like an inverted temple. That is to say, that the dome is the base and the pillars are up above that. There are a total of seven storeys and the fourth level is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank 9.5 m by 9.4 m, at a depth of 23 m. The well is located at the westernmost end of the property and consists of a shaft 10 m in diameter and 30 m deep.
The 7 storied well is carved with around 500+ big sculptures and 1000+ small sculptures. Most of them represent Lord Vishnu’s 24 forms as well as Dashavtaras. Also, there are sculptures and hand stoned works of apsaras like Yogini. And also depicts numerous Hindu deities. Includes Brahma, Shiva, goddesses(Devi), Ganesha, Kubera, Lakulisha, Bhairava, Surya, Indra, and Hayagriva.
These artworks look so astonishing and stunning as if they were made in recent times. It is one of the largest stepwell, built-in Maru-Gurjara architecture style. The similar styles can be seen in the Vimalavasahi temple on Mount Abu and Sun temple at Modhera.
It is said there were 292 pillars full of artwork but now they are 226 left. Due to the geotectonic changes, there is no water in well now…The West part has a well. This well is 10 m wide and 30 m deep. Fifty years ago, there was water in the well and it had some impressive medicinal properties. Because of the ayurvedic plants gown around the well and this helped to cure diseases.
For almost 700 years, this monument remained buried. River Saraswati flooded the monument, but later the river disappeared around the 13th century due to geographical changes.
In the 1940s, the excavations carried out under the Baroda State which revealed the stepwell. In the 1890s, Henry Cousens and James Burgess visited it when it was completely buried under the earth and only well shaft and few pillars were visible. They called it a huge pit measuring 87 meters (285 ft). In Travels in Western India, James Tod mentioned that the material from the stepwell was reused in the other stepwell built-in modern Patan, probably Trikam Barot ni Vav (Bahadur Singh stepwell). And in 1986, the Archaeological Survey of India took over this major excavation and restoration. Also, they got an image recovered which was of Rani Udayamati.
ASI declared Rani ki vav as the Monument of National Importance and protected it. On 22 June 2014, the monument made it to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It was named India’s “Cleanest Iconic Place” at the 2016 Indian Sanitation Conference.
A Perfect Epitome
It soo wonderfully represents the love of Udayamti for his spouse that it’s just amazing. How she made a structure this extravagant and kind. This architecture is not only a beautiful monument. But also an intelligently crafted and functional water management system. Impresses not only archaeologists but surprises the technical experts in water sourcing and structural stability. Rani ki Vav represents absolute authenticity. Such an exceptional state of conservation that it looks as if it’s out of this world.
Checkout Rani ki Vav virtually –
Sources: Wikipedia, UNESCO, and Gujarat Tourism.
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