The Incredible Subterranean Temple of Rani Ki Vav, India

A structure this beautiful would presumably be a temple dedicated to an all-powerful god of the ancient world, or a palace for an ancient king and queen.

It’s around 1,000 years old, was commissioned in 1063 AD, taking 20 years to complete, so you can imagine my surprise when I learned that what this actually is, is a step well.

It is situated on the banks of the Saraswati river, in the town of Paran in the Gutarat state of India, and is attributed to Udayamati, the daughter of Khengara of Saurashtra, queen of the 11th-century Chaulukya dynasty and spouse of Bhima I.

Before it’s discovery it had completely silted over, buried from hundreds of years of river deposits, and was only rediscovered in the 1940s. In 2014 it was listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites and, I can see why.

Watch this video to find out more about this incredible ancient structure, ornately carved out of the bedrock by a queen in memory of a king, to honour the sanctity of water for many years to come.

All images are taken from Google Images for educational purposes only.

Matt Sibson
Ancient Architects
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