Situated on the banks of the Saraswati river in the town of Patan, Gujarat is the 900-year-old Rani ki Vav. The recently introduced lavender one hundred rupee note features this stepwell that has suddenly brought attention to this once unknown site. Also known as the queen’s stepwell, Rani ki Vav is the only stepwell to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was also awarded the cleanest iconic place in India at the 2016 Indian Sanitation Conference.
- The Rani ki Vav was built as a memorial by Rani Udayamati for her husband, the 11th-century king, Bhima I of the Solanki Dynasty. This explains why the stepwell is known as the queen’s stepwell as it epitomizes the love of a queen.
- This seven-storey structure measures 64 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 28 metres in depth. It is known to be one of the finest and prestige examples of fine craftsmanship and architecture. The architectural style showcased by the craftsmen is known as Maru-Gurjara.
- The Rani ki Vav or the stepwell has been designed as an inverted temple. The tour down the prestigious stepwell will make you witness the sanctity and holiness of this place that consists of over 1500 sculptures.
- Stepwells have always known to be a unique form of the water storage system in India. Water wells in which the water is stored by descending a series of steps. It is popularly said that the water in the vav is considered to be magical, as it cures people, due to the herbs that are found.
- Many years ago the Rani ki Vav was flooded by the Sabarmati river. It remained submerged in water and it was only around 1980 that it was evacuated by the Archaeological Survey of India.