Rani ki Vav at Patan is a UNSCO World Heritage Site

Rani ki Vav at Patan is a UNSCO World Heritage Site. It is managed by the Archaeological Survey of India. Outside the monument the board says the step well was filled up almost to the top when ASI started digging in 1958! It is difficult to imagine that such a majestic structure could get clogged with debris and pass out of human memory. Patan is a few hours drive from Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. You can take a detour to Patan if you are traveling to Little Rann of Kutch from Ahmedabad.


The UNESCO World Heritage Citation tells us the following about the Rani Ki Vav

“Rani-ki-Vav is an exceptional example of a distinctive form of subterranean water architecture of the Indian subcontinent, the stepwell, which is located on the banks of the Saraswati River in Patan. Initially built as a memorial in the 11th century CE, the stepwell was constructed as a religious as well as functional structure and designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water. Rani-ki-Vav is a single-component, water management system divided into seven levels of stairs and sculptural panels of high artistic and aesthetic quality. It is oriented in an east-west direction and combines all of the principle components of a stepwell, including a stepped corridor beginning at ground level, a series of four pavilions with an increasing amount of storeys towards the west, the tank, and the well in tunnel shaft form. More than five hundred principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works.”


Deities on the Walls of Rani ki Vav, Patan

It is said that the step well was constructed by the Queen Udayamati in the memory of King Bhimdev I of the Solanki Dynasty. It is said to be build in 11 century CE. The place is spectacular to look at in totality and in its finer details!


Rani Ki Vav is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

I visited Rani ki Vav right after visiting the Sun Temple at Modhera. We started the day with a morning safari at Little Rann of Kutch, then visited the sun temple, followed by the Rani Vav. By now I was a little tired. Our group was so keen on exploring that we had a brunch at 11.00 am and decided to skip lunch so that we could see all the sites. It is a pleasure when you get to travel with such a enthusiastic bunch!


Two Cute Kids at Rani ki Vav, Patan

We were quite impressed by the two toddlers at Rani ki Vav. The stairs were almost as high as they were, and yet they walked for most on the part on their own!


The Well is Visible from the Other Side

I asked my teammate Harsh, “where is the well in this step well? He was an intern with Gujarat Tourism. He told me the well was visible from the other side. And sure enough once I walked out of the main structure and went to the west side, I could see the deep well.

After my recent visits to Jodhpur and Gujarat I have been wondering why did history as a subject made so little impression on me all through my school and college days? I had History as a subject in my graduation too and yet hardly anything registered.

If I will be honest, even while traveling history and culture were not that high on my list. Something has changed recently, maybe it is just that I am getting old and I can somehow appreciate history better now. It still leaves me puzzled that why do we Indians take so little pride in the magnificence of our history? Let me know if you have any answers?

PS. I was invited on this trip by Gujarat Tourism

36 thoughts on “Rani ki Vav at Patan is a UNSCO World Heritage Site”

  1. It is such an amazing structure… the first two pictures reminded me of the Colosseum! I hope they do a good job of maintaining the structure!

    • Yes Archana it is well maintained set in a beautiful garden too!

  2. We in India have so much that we take it for granted. I can’t agree with you more – to really learn history you have to go out there and see things in person. My parents were travel buffs and I have visited so many historical places when I was young and I really think that is why I love history and monuments. Maybe at that point I cribbed about seeing yet another temple, but dad’s love for architecture and history definitely rubbed off on me.

    • Good for you Chaitali, I am so very gradually playing catch up!

  3. terrific it is.. I really wonder how these guys managed to work on such complex architectures those days.. and why we can not produce things like these in modern era..

  4. Amazing place. I agree with you that we never really appreciated our history but its changing and for good.

  5. Beautiful architecture. In the olden days our ancestors used to work really hard and take care of each and every details in their work and they were so creative. Where are we heading now, we are just interested in quick and easy work. Those designs and details are not coming to life these days.

    • I agree Sims but then may be 100s of years later people will say we did much better?

  6. The temperature difference between the outside and inside is amazing. No matter whichever season you go, this place is just as cool. Lovely pictures. 🙂

    • Ravish given your interest in history and mythology, I am sure you will love it.

  7. Wonderful photography of a fantastic site! I first saw this Rani ki Vav at a TV show and was awestruck, your clicks have the same impact.

    • Thank you so much Sindhu, do go and see it with your own eyes too 😀

  8. Huge fan of indian architecture and strongly feel that Indians lack pride in what they have. I see so many forts and historic places in such a poorly maintained condition. I was in Patan recently and absolutely loved this marvel. Some great pics you ve got here 🙂

    • I agree both Patan and Modhera were a delight. And I wish we would preserve our heritage better!

  9. Well to answer your question, I guess its : ‘ghar ki murgi dal barabar!’ type situation.
    And unfortunately its true mostly with Indians 🙁

    Moving on, I just can’t get over the last pic. Its stunning!

    • Thank you Arun. I wonder why education does nothing to give us a sense of pride in our history?

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