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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Queen Of Step-wells - Rani Ki Vav At Patan

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Introduction

I'm yet to fathom the association of step-wells with queens - Bundi and Adalaj have one each - but one thing is for sure: these places are stunning! In one way, there do exist common lore dedicated to the beauty of the royal ladies and so the structures that they sought built would logically be beautiful and intricate too. Anyway, let's not digress on account of my fanboy-ism.

The 'Rani Ki Vav' is an immense structure attributed to the queen Udayamati in memory of King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. Patan was the capital of the erstwhile kingdom. A casual inspection of the Solanki era structures shows their flair for artistic detailing and intricacy. In these aspects this step-well is second to none.

This is what I'm talking about
And yes, this is a World Heritage Site since 2014.

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A Good Place To Be

A quick shout-out to Gujarat Tourism for maintaining this site in the way they have. The basic facilities are well taken care off, and active monit…

Rani Huda's Step-Well At Adalaj

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Introduction

Step-wells are an architecture phenomenon unique to the hot, semi-arid regions of west-central India. Originally conceived as a convenient way to fetch water - you could just walk in, as compared to a draw-well - they slowly evolved over time as centres for gatherings owing to the coolness of the moist earth. This led to an artistic evolution with the ornate step-wells being the pride of the land and their builders. Many of the step-wells have been associated with royalty or rich tradesmen.

Raniji ki baori of Bundi
This post covers the beautiful step-well of Adalaj, not far from Ahmedabad.

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Story Time
The step-well was commissioned by queen Ruda of Vikramsinh Vaghela. The local lore of this step-well goes something like this:
The well was to be constructed to provide good water locally
 With nine intricately crafted levels
About 80% of the main structure was completed ... ... And Sultan Mahmud Begada attacked the Vaghela kingdom.
King Vikramsinh Vaghela fell in the war
T…

Pattadakal - The Crown Of Chalukyan Architecture

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Introduction

Pattadakal has a place of immense importance in the Chalukyan heritage. An erstwhile capital from the 6th through the 8th centuries, the place retained its importance for the Chalukyas as a centre for coronation of the new kings. The temples of Pattadakal do deserve this distinction, owing to a no-holds-barred approach of the Chalukyas to provide for the best of architects and sculptures, resulting in some stunning artefacts. The design of the temple-spires borrows elements from the northern 'Nagara' style and the southern 'Dravidian' style, even fusing the two on one occasion.

The temples of Pattadakal in one view
Pattadakal has been recognized as a World Heritage Site since 1987.

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Some Technicalities Seen At Pattadakal

There are a total of nine main temples in the Pattadakal complex. In the order one comes across these temples, these are: Kadasiddheshwara, Jambuling, Galaganatha, Chandrashekhara, Sangameshwara, Kashivishveshwara, Mallikarjuna, Virup…