Rani-ki-vav or the Queen's Stepwell, is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites that the state of Gujarat is home to. Situated on the banks of Saraswati river, this stunning architectural marvel was constructed by Rani Udayamati in the memory of her husband, king Bhima I, of the Chaulukya or Solanki dynasty (950-1300 CE).

A fine specimen of the Maru-Gurjara style of architecture, UNESCO describes the stepwell as one which displays "height of craftsmen's ability in stepwell construction". It has been designed as an inverted temple and is divided into seven levels interconnected with stairs that boast sculpted panels of unmatched artistic excellence. Out of the seven, the fourth panel is the deepest and leads into a rectangular tank, measuring 9.5 m by 9.4 m, with a depth of 23 m.

The structure houses a total of 500 principle sculptures and over a thousand minor ones, depicting religious, mythological and secular imagery. Most of the sculptures are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, in various forms like Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Narsimha, Lord Vaman etc.

The stepwell is believed to have been buried underground owing to a severe flood in the Saraswati river that flowed nearby. It was resurrected after decades of painstaking restoration by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), starting from late 1980s.

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