Rani ki Vav is a large and ancient stepwell, situated in the town of Patan in the Gujarat state of India. It is located on the banks of Saraswati river nearby, and its construction is attributed to a queen of the Solanki dynasty that ruled the area during the 11th century.
Rani ki Vav literally translates to the queen’s stepwell – as is also often referred to by this name.
Rani ki Vav was constructed on the orders of princess Udayamati, daughter of Khengara of Saurashtra, queen of the Solanki Dynasty – hence it was named so. According to some Jain tales, the stepwell was commissioned in 1063 and was completed after 20 years.
Unfortunately, it was silted over in a few years after it was built; but it was rediscovered in 1940s and gradually restored, along with most of its sculptures in 1980s by the Archaeological Survey of India.
In 2014, Rani ki Vav was officially added to the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites since 2014.
The Queen’s stepwell is designed like an underground shrine, or inverted temple, having divine sculptures and a religious significance to them.
The sculptures inside it depict numerous prominent Hindu deities like - Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga, Saraswati and various others; Ganesha, Kubera (God of wealth), Surya (the Sun God), Indra (the God of rains), Hayagriva (god of Education) and so on. The sculptures associated with Lord Vishnu outnumbers all the others.
Rani Ki Vav is located in the Patan area of the west Indian state of Gujarat. It takes about 24 hours (a 1-day trip) from the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat by road; and since it is a popular trip that most tourists make, many buses and other public modes of transport are easily available to get to Patan.
To reach Ahmedabad, buses (or car), train or flights can be taken. The mai train terminal in the city - Ahmedabad railway station (also known as Kalupur Station), connects the city to all other major cities of India like Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Goa, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna etc. And Ahmedabad’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport connects the city to various cities across India as well as the other parts of the world.
The entry for Rani ki Vav costs about 35 INR for Indian nationals, BIMSTEC and SAARC Nationals; and about 550 INR for Foreign Nationals. The fee do not apply to children below the age of 15 years.
Situated on the banks of River Saraswati in Gujarat, Rani ki Vav is one of the ancientest and well-preserved step-wells in India. The design of the stepwell is an inverted temple with over 800 beautiful sculptures mainly in Vishnu avatar theme which reflects the impressive craftsmanship of ancient India. Built in 1063 by Rani Udayamati to dedicate to her husband, the stepwell is a must-visit place in Gujarat.