11th century stepwell in Gujarat gets World Heritage site tag

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Rani-ki-Vav is designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water

Rani-ki-Vav, a 11th century stepwell in Gujarat’s Patan area. —File Photo: AFP

Rani-ki-Vav, a 11th century stepwell in Gujarat’s Patan area. —File Photo: AFP
Rani-ki-Vav, a 11th century stepwell in the Patan area of Gujarat, was approved for inscription on the World Heritage list by UNESCO at the meeting of its World Heritage Committee in Doha on Sunday.
As per the UNESCO’s announcement, “the Queen’s Stepwell” was designed as an inverted temple highlighting the sanctity of water.
Located on the banks of the Saraswati and built as a memorial to King Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty, Rani-ki-Vav is divided into seven levels of stairs with sculptural panels.
These panels — more than 500 principle sculptures and over a 1,000 minor ones — “combine religious, mythological and secular imagery.”
Soon after the inscription of Rani-ki-Vav was announced in Doha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that it was “a matter of great pride for us” and urged his followers on Twitter to visit the stepwell during their next visit to Gujarat. Describing it as an “excellent symbol of our great art and culture,” he also tweeted the link to the monument available on the Gujarat Tourism website.
Three other sites that were inscribed are: Namhansaneong in South Korea, the Grand Canal running from Beijing to Zhejiang province in Southern China, and the Silk Roads network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor.
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