During my trips to Adalaj and the step wells in Ahmedabad, I’d become fascinated with these marvelous creations. A few short hours from Ahmedabad, in the city of Patan, lies the Queen of them all. Called Rani ki Vav, this is possibly the most famous, and certainly the most beautiful of all the step wells that I’ve seen. Wikipedia has this to say about this magnificent structure: “Rani ki vav was built as a memorial to an 11th century AD king…Rani ki vav was built in the complex Maru-Gurjara architectural style with an inverted temple and seven levels of stairs and holds more than 500 principle (sic) sculptures.”
Beautifully preserved, thanks to the Archaeological Survey of India, the intricate figures and sculptures are really a visual feast.
My untutored eye could detect five of the ten avatars of Vishnu. To an knowledgeable lover of such works of art, a visit to Rani ki Vav is as much of an absolute must as a trip to Ajanta and Ellora.
Patan is famous for one more thing – the Patola saree. Since these wonderful creations are way beyond my means, I shall not think about them, except to add that a trip to the Patola Saree Museum is a good idea.
Incidentally, the slight haze in the picture is due to my unsuccessful experiments with some newly acquired filters, so blame it on me, and not on the atmosphere.