UNESCO has recognized Rani ki Vav as a World Heritage Site in India. Situated in Patan district of Gujarat, this 11th century structure was included in the World Heritage list in the recent UNESCO meeting held in Doha on Sunday. This ancient structure which epitomizes the excellence of Indian architecture was nominated by ASI last year in February. It is also to be noted that this year India had two nominations: Rani ki Vav and Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh vying for the coveted recognition.
Indian architecture that blends in itself a large variety of architecture styles that strongly reflects creativity has so much to offer. Rani ki Vav being a superlative example of the ancient architecture style that has apparently succeeded in winning the global recognition has an interesting story to tell. Promoted largely as a part of Heritage Tourism in Gujarat, Rani Ki Vav has quickly established itself as a major tourist attraction in Gujarat. Let us delve deep and go layer by layer of this structure that has made India proud:
Constructed on the orders of Queen Udyamati the widow wife of King Bhimadeva I between 1022 and 1063 AD, Rani Ki Vav has become one of the most popular places to visit in Gujarat. King Bhimadeva belonged to the Solanki Dynasty of the Anahilwada Pattan. Unfortunately, Queen Udyamati died before the completion of the structure. However, her initiative is appreciated greatly in the world of architecture in India.
Queen stepwell or Rani Ki Vav is a seven-storied structure in which each step is 64m long, 20m wide & 27m deep. A magnificent example of Solanki architecture, at Rani Ki Vav each sculpture, passage, pillar and pavilion has enchanting carvings. The well-ornate side walls with around 800 sculptures of mostly Vishnu in his 10 different incarnations gets lot of attention Kalki, Rama, Mahisasurmardini, Narsinh, Vaman and Varahi are amongst the most attractive ones. The sculpted Apsaras (Celestial Dancers) with 16 different make-up styles also add grace to this distinct structure. The stepwell also focuses largely on the sanctity of water and its great importance.
Rani Ki Vav is certainly a historic site that one must visit in India. The spiritual feel and the exotic ambiance around the place take you on a journey through the golden era of India. If you are planning a holiday in Gujarat then you must walk through the regal alley of this newly crowned UNESCO World Heritage Site in India.