Before visiting Rani Ki Vav, I use to believe that stepwells were made to store rainwater. But after visiting this site, now I know that stepwells were also built to make other kingdoms jealous from one’s might and power.
I have seen stepwells from New Delhi to Hampi, but I have not seen such a beautiful one like Rani Ki Vav. This Vav was built by Queen Udayamati to honour his dead husband Bhima I, who is a beloved king from Chaulukya Solanki dynasty of Gujarat.
My day 2 in Gujarat
After visiting Adalaj Vav and Modhera Sun temple in Mehsana, I traveled 35 km north for Patan. It’s a big city in Gujarat and on its northern boundaries, I saw the biggest stepwell site I have ever seen since Chand Baori.
There is a small entry fee of Rs 30 and free parking outside the stepwell complex. The local authorities have done a remarkable job to develop a lovely garden around the Vav.
So from entry gate, I walked like 50 odd steps, and this is my first view of Rani Ki Vav.
Rani Ki Vav is huge. The Vav has more than 800 sculptures, 27 meters deep, 64 meters long and 20 meters wide. From the third floor, there are like 100’s of sculptures on both side walls, and at the last level, the Vav has more sculptures than any other museum in India.
The Broken Pillars of Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav is 27 meters deep, and on the first three floors, there are many broken pillars.
The first three levels which I climbed down are not as glamorous as the later ones, but the presence of these decorated columns here are also impressive. I assume that earlier these floors must be covered, and locals people use to come here for religious ceremonies or even for some chit chat…
Here are some pictures of the top floors of Rani Ki Vav.
The mind blowing Architecture of Rani Ki Vav
I had done some research before visiting Rani Ki Vav. There are like 800 statues of Hindu mythology like the Dashavatar (The ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu), Shiva, Brahma, Mata Durga, Mata Kali, King Ram and other Vedic gods like Agni Dev (God of Fire), Indra Dev (God of Rain) and many Apsaras (angels).
By just looking at them I was so surprised that what amazing craftsmanship was available in the 11th century who build these marvellous statues. Just have a look at few pictures of these mind blowing sculptures on the lower floors/ levels of Rani Ki Vav.
A heaven for any art lover.
The Final Floor of Rani Ki Vav
The foundation floor of the Vav is the best place to be but it’s not allowed for regular tourists Though, I got a clear view of this part of the Vav.
The reason that no one is allowed here because in 2001 Gujarat earthquake, this section of the Vav was damaged, though it survived. There are more than 300 sculptures and a 30 km tunnel which leads to Sidhpur City. Here are some pictures which I look from this part of Rani Ki Vav.
Awards won by Rani Ki Vav
Rani Ki Vav is a UNESCO World Heritage site (announced on 22-June-14) & also has the honour of being the cleanest Iconic Place in India by Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) 2016. PM Modi himself gave this award, and even I will say that Rani Ki Vav is one of the cleanest stepwell sites I have visited in the last two years.
Well, there are many written facts which suggest that Rani Ki Va is around 1000 year old, but I was surprised to hear that this Vav was founded in 1980 while digging the archaeological sites near Saraswati River.
How to reach Rani Ki Vav
I started my tour from Ahmedabad which is the biggest city near Patan. Never the less one can also catch a direct train to Patan as its a big city. But if you are planning to travel by air, then you need to land at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad.
From here you can hire a cab for a day which will cost between Rs. 2250 to Rs. 3000, along with a driver. One can also catch an intercity bus, but I would suggest to hire a cab and visit Adalaj vav in Gandhinagar, Modhera Sun temple in Mehsana and then Rani Ki Vav at Patan.
Timing and Ticket cost of Rani Ki Vav
The cost of a ticket is Rs 30 per person and timings of Rani Ki Vav is from 8 AM to 7 PM, and it’s open all days, except Maha Shivaratri.