Rani-ki-Vav (literally translated as Queen’s step-well) is a UNESCO world heritage site located in Patan which is about 140 kilometers from Ahmadabad City. Rani-ki-Vav is an example of magnificence in architecture with equal importance given to intricate details. Today, Rani-ki-Vav attracts a major footfall of tourists from India and aboard.
Rani-ki-Vav holds a great amount of historical and architectural significance which can be understood through these points:
Step-well Culture − Due to the scarcity of water and irregular rainfall patterns, there was a need to construct to wells that could help people fetch water in greater depths. Hence, the step-well culture developed prominently in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Eventually, over a period of time, these step wells become elaborate and decorative.
Architecture − Rani-ki-Vav is a classic example of Gurjar-Parmara style of Architecture which a prominent regional style of architecture seen at the other sites like the Modhera Sun Temple.
Sculptures of Rani-ki-Vav − The sculpture panels of Rani-ki-Vav are a delight for any tourists. There are more than 108 forms of Vishnu depicted on both sides of step-well along with panels of Dashavataras, Seshashayi Vishnu, etc.
The contribution of Queen Udayamati − It was Queen Udayamati who built this architectural wonder to commemorate the death of her husband, Bhimadeva I of Solanki dynasty. Hence, it is also considered as a monument of women power for public welfare.
A public structure − Construction of step-well was considered as a meritorious work and a structure like Rani-ki-Vav also served a place for the summer retreat to the people. Thus, it served dual benefits.