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Monday, June 15, 2015


The Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) is located on the banks of the Saraswati river and was initially built as a memorial to a king in the 11th century AD. Queen Udayamati commissioned this stepwell, in 1063 A D in the memory of her husband King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty. The vav was excavated in late 1980s by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), with the carvings found in pristine condition. Rani Ki Vav is amongst the finest stepwells in India, and one of the most famous legacies of the ancient capital city.
Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the 3rd millennium BC. They evolved over time from what was basically a pit in sandy soil towards elaborate multi-storey works of art and architecture.
Rani-ki-Vav was built at the height of craftsmens’ ability in stepwell construction and the Maru-Gurjara architectural style, reflecting mastery of this complex technique and great beauty of detail and proportions.
Designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water, it is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels of high artistic quality; more than 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones combine religious, mythological and secular imagery, often referencing literary works.

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