Trailing Gujarat: Patan, Modhera and Separation

Rani ki Vav Stepped Well
                                           Rani ki Vav Stepped Well
Patan is primarily known for Rani ki Vav and generally one day trip from Ahmedabad. Frequent state transport busses (Once in hour) ply between Ahmedabad and Patan (Via Mehsana). Patan is a quirky little delight and lively for no particular reason. Patan is blessed with a vibrant market which even has a multiplex. Tourists are something of an oddity here but locals are welcoming and very helpful. While enjoying the cold beverage on a queer counter, I met Mehul Salvi who manages a manufacturing unit of the Patola of Patan. He edified me with the meticulous process of manufacturing a patola and invited me to visit his place. January is also the time for Modhera Dance festival but unfortunately it was over few days before our arrival. Dance festival could have been an evening delight. During the whole trip of Gujarat we had not watched any movie and Patan was our last chance. When I inquired, I was surprised to know that tickets were sold out for movies. Luckily we managed to get tickets for a substandard release which turned to a torture.
Steps to Sabha Mandap Sun Temple Modhera
                                  Steps to Sabha Mandap Sun Temple Modhera

How to reach Patan: Frequent direct busses from Ahmedabad (135 km, 87 INR, 3 hours).

Where to stay: Most of the tourists visit Patan as a one day trip from Ahmedabad hence Patan is not blessed with overwhelming tourist facilities. Budget hotels and lodges are situated opposite to railway station. You can get budget lodging in 300-400 INR.

Restaurants:  Plenty of eating options in the main market. Cold beverages are another delight.

Stepped Well and Miniature shrines at Sun Temple
                                    Stepped Well and Miniature shrines at Sun Temple

 

Following morning we headed to Modhera to visit Sun Temple. Modhera is a small village 35 km from Patan and connected with frequent busses. The Sun Temple-Modhera means a devotional poetry depicted in the stones of time the Sun Temple of Modhera is a resplendent example of decorated stones. If one evaluate temple according to artistic and architectural points of view, it looks to be situated on rising plateau of a hill i.e it stands high on a plinth overlooking a deep stone-stepped tank. Surya kund is in front of the temple and measures 176 feet north to south, by 120 feet east to west. Tank has many steps and terraces leading to the water level. The outer façade of the temple have a string of friezes and above that is the mandovara with excellent carvings of God and Goddesses.  Rayadi Hawa Mahal, Prachin Vav and the temple of Goddess Modheshwari are other architectural delights in the outskirts of Modhera village. Sun temple of Modhera is the key archeological attraction in the north of Gujarat thus promoted hugely by State Tourism Department. The village however does not have accommodation facilities and other tourist services.

Sun Temple Modhera
                                           Sun Temple Modhera

 

Taking the same route in reverse, we were back to Patan and headed to Rani ki Vav which is the prime attraction of the town. Rani ki Vav is situated some 3 km away from the bus stand and can be reached by private autos (30 INR).This magnificent step wells is said to have been constructed by Udayamati, the queen of Bhimdeva-1 (A.D 1022-1063) in the last quarter of 11th century AD. Bhimdeva 1 was son of Mularaja, the founder of the solanki dynasty of Anahilwada patan.
Sculptures of Vishnu in Rani ki Vav
                                       Sculptures of Vishnu in Rani ki Vav

The Vav measuring about 64 meters long, 20 meters wide and 27 meters deep is laid out in the east-west direction with well proper in the west. This well has a pillared multi-storeyed pavilion, a drawn well and a large tank for collecting surplus water. It must have been one of the largest and the most sumptuous structure of its kind.
Rani Ki Vav Step Well Patan
                                         Rani Ki Vav Step Well Patan

The architectural brilliance and elegance of the vav is represented in its pristine glory in the ornamental work. The beautifully proportioned sculptures of gracefully carved mahisasuramardini, parvati and other Saiva sculptures, Vishnu in different forms, Bhairava, Ganesha, Surya, Kubera, Lakshminarayan, Ashtadikpalas and other forms adorn the walls, The female figures has been depicted in various poses of Apsaras, Nagakanyas, Yoginis etc.
Varaha Avatar of Vishnu in Patan
                                         Varaha Avatar of Vishnu in Patan

After independence Rani ki Vav came into the custody of Archaeological Survey of India and was declared as protected monument of national importance.
 

This step well was buried for centuries and suffered damage in the past due to negligence and flood in the river Saraswati. Till 1960's nobody knew that there existed the most ornate and highly sculptured Vav. At this time, the Vav was completely filled up except the Top.
Ornamental Carving on the pillars
                                           Ornamental Carving on the pillars

Archeological Survey of India started excavations here in 1958. The painstaking efforts of archaeological survey of India exposed the hidden treasures of sculptural and architectural wealth in its original dimension and splendor through careful excavation, desalting and removal of debris. The loose sculptures, architectural members and stones fallen in the Vav were lifted and set right in their position.
 

Befitting its name, the Rani ki Vav, is now considered to be the queen among the step wells of India.
Weaving work of the Patola of Patan
                                  Weaving work of the Patola of Patan

At the end of our day in Patan, we visited the manufacturing unit of Patola of patan where I was invited last evening. I admire his welcoming attitude and patience he portrays while explaining every minute detail about Patola. Patola of patan is famous for “double Ikat” weaving work which means equal design on both side, wearable on both side and even weaver cannot identify which side is front and which is back. If there are 3 persons working on a Patola sari then it takes 4 to 6 months to weave one. Patola of Patan lasts up to 100 years and keeps the color approximately 300 years. There are at least 20 small and big processes in the making of Patola of patan. Due to such painstaking job, patola sari varies from 150000 INR to 30000 INR.
Sabha Mandap Sun Temple Modhera
                                     Sabha Mandap Sun Temple Modhera

Finally the moment of separation arrived… we were folding our belongings for the last time… it was an acrid and unnerving feeling for not having unfamiliar destinations on the cards any longer… Uncertainly of the familiar life is more irksome than the uncertainly of the life on the road… uncertainty is good and becomes inspiring if it’s not attached with any desire… while boarding the bus back to Palanpur, my worst fear and desire met again…and not for the first time… my time in Gujarat was on the verge just like few more sentences of this travel blog… On the spur of the moment, I exposed my senses to grasp as much as I can from Gujarat, a state for which I fell in not immediately but after traveling together for a while…Gujarat exhibits its true splendor only to its long term companions….long shadows of evening became night and the train arrived…. leaving… leaving a lot unseen like every other journey which never completes….

 

 

Trailing Gujarat Series: In Chronological Order

Trailing Gujarat: Train to Bhuj

Trailing Gujarat: Bhuj, Capital of Kutch

Trailing Gujarat: Northern Kutch, Dhordo and Kalo Dungar

Trailing Gujarat: Western Kutch, Lakhpat and Narayan Sarovar

Trailing Gujarat: Southern Kutch, Beachline of Mandvi

Trailing Gujarat: Eastern Kutch, Splendor of Rapar and Dholavira

Trailing Gujarat: Dhrangadhra, a lesser known delight of Gujarat

Trailing Gujarat: Little Rann of Kutch, Salt Plains and Heat Mirage

Trailing Gujarat: Jamnagar and Marine National Park, Narara

Trailing Gujarat: Dwarka, Where Pilgrims meet the end of earth (Read: Sea)

Trailing Gujarat: Junagadh, City of archaeological attractions

Trailing Gujarat: Gir National Park, last home of Asiatic Lions

Trailing Gujarat: Diu, Real thirst-quencher

Trailing Gujarat: Alang, Where Ships come to die

Trailing Gujarat: Champaner and Pavagadh

Trailing Gujarat: Ahmedabad and Lothal

Trailing Gujarat: Patan, Modhera and Separation

Too good a blog Vishnu. Loved

Too good a blog Vishnu. Loved all the details and your passion for writing, travelling and places being visited.

You convinved me to visit these spots soon. BTW can u also share exact location of where u saw patola making in process.

Too good a blog Vishnu. Loved

Too good a blog Vishnu. Loved all the details and your passion for writing, travelling and places being visited.

You convinved me to visit these spots soon. BTW can u also share exact location of where u saw patola making in process.

we plan roadtrip to suntemple

we plan roadtrip to suntemple moder and rani ki vav

.so i want know about local transport buses  frequencyy modhera suntemple to patan rani ki vav

 

 

I think it is all included in

I think it is all included in the blogpost. Please re-read it

Hi,  Me along with my friends

Hi, 

Me along with my friends are planning a trip to Gujrat, willing to cover Patan and rani ki vav. please suggest the best way to reach there from ahemdabad.

 

There are frequent buses to

There are frequent buses to Patan from Ahemdabad. take these buses and you can visit it as a day tour from Ahemdabad.

Planning Gujarat February,

Planning Gujarat February, very well compiled write up. My group will reach Ahmedabad around 9 is it possible to cover vav and then go to Ambani. Thank you and awaiting guidance from you

Patan is not very close to

Patan is not very close to Ahemdabad. if you are planning to visit using public transport then it will be whole day trip. with private vehicle it will be longer.

Very informative write up &

Very informative write up & enjoyable photos. I am planning ony day trip to Patan,Modhera & Rani  ka vav. Can I do it by bus & auto ?

Thanks for your

Thanks for your comment.

 

From Patan,, you can hire an auto till Rani ki Vav. For Modhera, there are buses from Patan. I hope it answers the queries.

+- Vishnu

One of the best travolugues

One of the best travolugues that I have read. Hats off to you for recording even minutes details.

I have planned a complete tour of Gujarat during Jan 2015. And I happened to came across your article.

Your beautiful write up has helped me in a lot. Keep up the good work.

Thanks for your comment Bhat.

Thanks for your comment Bhat. Glad to hear that you found this website helpful.

Cheers
Vishnu Kumar

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