What: Rani-ki-Vav Stepwell
Where: Patan, Gujarat, India
Who: Perfect for those who love ancient history and architecture
If India’s more popular landmark Taj Mahal was commissioned by an emperor for his favorite wife, the Rani-ki-Vav was apparently made by a queen in memory of her husband, hence Rani-ki-Vav’s meaning, Queen’s Stepwell. Here are more fun facts on what makes this place bucketlist-worthy:
1. The test of waters. Rani-ki-Vav hasn’t only withstood the test of time dating back from the 11th century, it has also withstood the test of the waters. The stepwell was flooded by Saraswati River due to geo-tectonic changes but when the Archaeological Survey of India excavated the place after seven centuries, they found the structure’s details still intact, almost in pristine condition.
2. Of depth and meaning. Not only as a stepwell, Rani-ki-Vav holds so much depth and meaning. As per UNESCO, Rani-ki-Vav is “a unique kind of Indian subterranean architectural structure that marks the zenith in the evolution of stepwells in India. It is a particularly large and complex example of a stepwell with seven storeys of ornamented panels and relief representing the height of the Maru-Gurjara style.”
3. Purity meets beauty. Devoted to Vishnu and his ten incarnations, otherwise known as Dasavataras, the sculptures and carved pillars are just too beautiful not to see in this lifetime. The whole place is simply a celebration of the sanctity of water that overflows with religions and secular symbolism.
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Photographs from www.ranikivav.org