Rani ni Vav or the Queen's Step Well has just become a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site - and most deservedly so.
This is easily doable as a day trip from Ahmedabad, combined with Modhera and Adalaj. We did all three very comfortably on our way from Bajana (LRK) to Ahmedabad.
I had read articles about this site and always wanted to see it. I am so glad we did.
Nothing can prepare you for the sheer number of ornate sculptures of idols and figurines in this step well. From the entrance on top it looks just like another excavated ruin. As we descended the broad flight of steps, the carvings gradually came into view. From the second landing which is about as far as the general public may go, the entire carved interior wall comes into view. It is indeed mind boggling.
The structure has been excavated and is still in the process of being restored so presumably some parts of it are not structurally sound enough to take the huge load of hordes of visitors and this is perhaps why the public is not permitted to go beyond a certain point. There are many more carvings beyond but for that you need special permission from the ASI.
Serious photographers would do well to carry a tripod and go at the appropriate time for the best light.
We spent a few hours here, if the entire structure were open then a whole day may not be enough! I was imagining how the craftsmen created their masterpieces in this structure. So muchreligious art in a well, as though to honour water as divine.
Other attractions in Patan a sleepy little small town are the Sahastra Linga site very nearby and the Patola saree weaving workshops.
I rate this as a not to be missed experience whether you are interested in historical ruins or not. This is indeed the pride of Gujarat monuments. I am glad it has been recognised as a world heritage site.
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