Literally translating to Queen’s Step-well’, Rani Ki Vav is a step-well situated on the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan, Gujarat. It was recently awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO at the World Heritage Committee Session held in Qatar in June, 2014. Described as “an exceptional example of technological development in utilising ground water resources” by UNESCO officials, the step well is a proof of foresightedness of our predecessors.
Queen Udayamati of the Solanki Dynasty had built this structure in the loving memory of her husband, Bhimdev I in around11th century AD. It is approximately 27-30 meters deep and has 7 levels out of which 5 have been preserved by the ASI. The structure was discovered in the 1980s by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). A top view of the step well gives it an appearance of an artistic inverted temple, which is an amazing feat achieved by artists of those times without the help of technology and tools of the modern age.
The detailed carvings, amazing architecture and well-preserved monuments of the ten incarnations of Vishnu will startle you. The fact that such a heritage site was hidden away for centuries and yet, after excavation it has managed to stand strong is something amazing.
Rani Ki Vav is the 31st World Heritage site situated in India, which is a matter of great pride. Endorsed even by our honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, consider stopping by this stunning step-well if you are in Gujarat.