How many of you know about this historical place in the new 100 rupees note.
The new 100 rupees note released by the RBI has a new image imprinted on it.The image that will now replace Mt. Kanchenjunga, which was previously imprinted on it. The new currency will come in lavender colour and will have the image of ‘Rani ki Vav’ on its reverse side.
So what is ‘Rani ki Vav’, what it means and what is it’s important?
This not so known architectural heritage of India is located on the banks of River Saraswati in Patan district of Gujarat.
The literal translation of ‘Ravi ki vav’ is the ‘Queen’s Stepwell’. It is designed as an inverted temple that pays homage to water. It is a marvellous piece of architecture from the Solanki Dynasty.
Did you know that it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 and was also awarded the cleanest heritage site in the country in 2016.
‘Rani ki Vav’ or (Rani-ki-Vav) has been built by a queen in memory of her husband; opposite to other structures that have been built by emperors for their queens.
Rani Udayamati queen of the Solanki dynasty had this structure made on the bank of river Saraswati as a memorial to her deceased husband Bhimdev I in the 11th century.
The course of Saraswati river changed over the years and naturally the massive structure was flooded and got buried. It was excavated by the Archaeological Survey of India in the late 1980s.
This masterpiece was recongnised by UNESCO as an brilliant example of technological development in utilising ground water resources and water management system.
There are seven levels of stairs in the well that are beautifully carved with over 1500 mythological and religious sculptures.
The quality of work done during those years and the brilliance of the worksmanship involved can be in the stepwell. This monument has withstood many natural calamities and wars.
And as found in many such monuments there has to be a secret escape way which can be very usedfu during the battles. There seems to be a tunnel below the stepwell that leads to Sidhpur, a close by town.