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Rani ki Vav – The water temple of Gujarat

It is another exquisite architectural wonder which features prominently in the Gujarat Tourism’s ‘Khushboo Gujarat ki’ campaign. The monument was constructed in the memory of King Bhimdev I of Solanki Dynasty by his widowed queen Udaymati.

Top view of the Rani Ki vav heritage site in Gujarat

Rani Ki Vav is a Nanda type of Step Well, about 64 meters long, 20 meters wide and 27 meters deep with 800 highly structured and sophisticated sculptures adorning several galleries. The structure was covered with mud and silt of river Saraswati until recently before being excavated by ASI which worked hard to restore the pristine beauty of the architecture.

Rani Ki vav heritage site in Gujarat which is also regarded as a water temple

The Vav has four distinct elements, the entrance steps, the walls flanking the step corridors, several stories of subterranean pillared pavilions, and the well shaft. Each of the walls, columns, pavilions and the well are beautifully decorated with sculptures with central theme of Dashavatars. Thus, structure was not just an efficient water collecting body but had a deeper social and religious connotation attached, as if to elaborate the sanctity of water. Hence, the structure was perhaps treated as a water temple.

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