Patan

Patan, an ancient fortified town, was founded in 745 AD by Vanraj Chavda, the most prominent king of the Chavda Kingdom. He named the city Anhilpur Patan or “Anhilwad Patan” after his close friend and Prime Minister Anhil shepherd.

These Chalukya rajputs, with Paramaras of Malwa, the Chauhans of Sakambhari and Chandellas of Kalanjar and Mahoba, were serious contestants for supremacy in northern India.

Later Mulraj, the adopted son of last Chavda king, established Solanki dynasty. He successfully expanded kingdom to west. His successor Siddhraj Jaisinh added Malwa.

Kumarpal was a major ruler who patroned Jainism. Solanki rule covered Saurashtra and Kutch in the west, Lata in the south, Malwa in the east and southern Rajasthan in the north at its greatest period. Historian Tertius Chandler estimates that Anhilwara (Patan is built on this ancient city) was the tenth-largest city in the world in the year 1000, with a population of approximately 100,000.

Muhammed’s general and later Sultan of Delhi Qutb-ud-din Aybak sacked the city between 1200 and 1210, and it was destroyed by the Alladin Khilji in 1298.

The modern town of Patan later sprung up near the ruins of Anhilwara. During 1304 to 1411, first Patan was the Suba headquarter of Delhi Sultanate and capital city of the Gujarat Sultanate after the collapse of the Delhi Sultanate at the end of the 14th century. A new fort was built by these Subas, a large portion of which (along with a few of the gates) is still intact. The old fort of the Hindu kingdom is nearly vanquished and only a wall can be seen on the way from Kalka to Rani ki vav. In 1411, Sultan Ahmed Shah moved the capital to Ahmedabad.These Chalukya rajputs, with Paramaras of Malwa, the Chauhans of Sakambhari and Chandellas of Kalanjar and Mahoba, were serious contestants for supremacy in northern India.

Later Mulraj, the adopted son of last Chavda king, established Solanki dynasty. He successfully expanded kingdom to west. His successor Siddhraj Jaisinh added Malwa.

Kumarpal was a major ruler who patroned Jainism. Solanki rule covered Saurashtra and Kutch in the west, Lata in the south, Malwa in the east and southern Rajasthan in the north at its greatest period. Historian Tertius Chandler estimates that Anhilwara (Patan is built on this ancient city) was the tenth-largest city in the world in the year 1000, with a population of approximately 100,000.

Muhammed’s general and later Sultan of Delhi Qutb-ud-din Aybak sacked the city between 1200 and 1210, and it was destroyed by the Alladin Khilji in 1298.

The modern town of Patan later sprung up near the ruins of Anhilwara. During 1304 to 1411, first Patan was the Suba headquarter of Delhi Sultanate and capital city of the Gujarat Sultanate after the collapse of the Delhi Sultanate at the end of the 14th century. A new fort was built by these Subas, a large portion of which (along with a few of the gates) is still intact. The old fort of the Hindu kingdom is nearly vanquished and only a wall can be seen on the way from Kalka to Rani ki vav. In 1411, Sultan Ahmed Shah moved the capital to Ahmedabad.

During the period of the Solanki dynasty, the stepwell called the Rani ki vav or Ran-ki vav (Queen’s step well) was constructed. It is a richly-sculptured monument, built by Udaymati in memory of her husband, Bhimdev I (1022-1063).

It was probably completed by Udayamati and Karandev I after his death. A reference to Udaymati building the monument is in the ‘Prabandha Chintamani’ composed by Merutunga Suri in 1304 AD.

It was one of the largest and the most sumptuous structures of its type. It became silted up and much of it is not visible, except for some rows of sculptured panels in the circular part of the well. Among its ruins one pillar still stands which is proof of the elegance of its design and an excellent example of this period. A part of the west well is extant from which it appears that the wall had been built of brick and faced with stone. From this wall project vertical bracket in pairs, this supported the galleries of the well shaft proper. This bracketing is arranged in tiers and is richly carved.

There is a small gate below the last step of the step well which has a 30 km tunnel (now it has been blocked by stones and mud) which leads to the town of Sidhpur near Patan. It was used as an escape gateway for king who built the step well in the times of defeat.

Most of the sculpture is in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of his avatars (Krishna, Rama and others), representing their return to the world.

There are many tourist attractions including forts, vavs (step wells), talavs (lakes) and places of worship. The main tourist attractions are the Ran ki vav (World Heritage Site) and patola saris.

The remains of Old City of Patan are a very small portion of Old Fort near Kalka on the outskirts of the New City is of historical and archeological importance. So is the case with the remains of the walls of new fort and the Darwajas (gates) of the new fort which are fast disappearing. Unfortunately, administration and a majority of local people show little interest in preserving these heritage places which are shrinking at a rapid pace. Fortunately, the inner fort of Bhadra with its Darwajas is preserved well. However, with the transfer of government and administrative machinery from Bhadra how long it will be preserved is unclear.

Step wells include Rani ki vav and Trikam Barot ni Vav. Lakes include historically and archeologically important Sahastralinga Tank, Anand Sarovar (Gungadi Talav) and Khan Sarovar. There are many places of significance on religious, historical or architerctural grounds. These include Old Kalka Mandir, Panchmukhi Hanuman, Jasma Odan ni Deri, Old Mahalaxmi Mandir, Sindhavai Mata nu Mandir, Hingaraj Mandir, Panchasar Derasar and Sheikh Farid no Rojo.

Bagwada, Chhidiya, Mira, Aghara, Kothakooe, Phatipaal (Fatipal), Ghoonghdi, Kanasda (also known as Kalika), Khansarovar, Motishah, Bhathi, Lal, 12th is door and 1 window (in middle of city unknown name).