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Patan –The Once Glorious and Prosperous City at a Glance
The Ancient City of Patan
Patan is a fortified town in the district of the same name, located in the northern region of Gujrat. The city of Patan is believed to have been established by King Vanraj Chadva in 746 AD, after which it remained the capital of Gujrat for nearly 600 years. The city flourished especially under the reign of the Solanki dynasty, who contributed significantly in making the city a great centre of learning. The city was also a major business hub, till it was invaded and robbed in 1024 AD by Mahmud Ghazni. Even though the town once boasted of beautifully constructed religious and historical places, there are hardly and traces of those architectural marvels left today, primarily because the town was often invaded and looted by various Muslim invaders. In the recent times, the proposed construction of a Solar energy park in the district, which if approved would be the largest such project in Asia, has once again made this ancient town popular. 

As A Tourist Destination
Even though Patan is not a major tourist destination, it is nevertheless a place worth visiting. The town features more than 100 Jain temples, in addition to some other historical monuments, which attract quite a few tourists. The details of the major tourist attraction of Patan are given below. 

Rani Ki Vav: This step well, constructed by Rani Udayamati of the Solanki dynasty, is a great example of the subterranean architecture of the era. It is believed that the Rani built this well in the memory of deceased husband, King Bhimdeva I. The Vav is a connection between a typical step well and a kund and is considered to be the one of the most excellent examples of Indian sculpture and architecture. The well not only has straight staircase, but also lateral staircases along with extremely broad, stepped corridors. Although the Vav has an east facing entrance, the actual well is situated in the western direction. The well is magnificently decorated with the carvings of Hindu deities, religious symbols and geometrical patterns, on every wall, pillar, step and platform. 

Sahastralinga Talav: This artificial tank, built by Chalukyan King Siddhhraj Jaisingh, is located in the north western region of Patan. This talav was shaped like apentagon, which is indicated by the various mounds located on its periphery. The tank was constructed, keeping in mind the Hindu concept of water management and water scarcity and is a perfect example of the architectural skills of the people that era. The water to the tank came from a canal of the Saraswati River. At one time there were nearly 1000 temples of Lord Shiva bordering the tank. However, today visitors are able to witness the remains of only a handful of them. The remains are an indication of the magnificence of this huge water tank which was spread over an area of nearly 5 kms and had masonry embankments. The Talav is no more filled with water, which according to local legend is due to the curse of Jasma Oden, a beautiful woman belonging to the tank diggers’ community. It is said that Jasma Oden committed Sati after she refused to marry King Siddharaj Singh leaving a course on the talav and making its water dry up.

Panchasara Parshvanath Jain Derasar Temple: There are more tha 100 Jain temples located in patan and one of most important and largest  among these temples is Panchasara Parshvanath Jain Derasar Temple. This Temple belongs from the Solanki period. Exclusive stone cutting work on the wall of the temple remembers us of the architecture of the Jain period.

Hemachandracharya Jain Gyan Temple: This is basically a temple of knowledge which acts as a library having a huge collection of Jain manuscripts on palm-leaf from ancient period. This Mandir is named after Hemachandracharya on of the renowned Jain poet and scholar.

Famous Things to Buy In Patan
Patan is famous for the exquisite and beautiful Patola silk Sarees. These Sarees made with the unique weaving process known as Ikat technique, where in the threads use for making the Sarees are tied and died before they are woven into a saree with a specific pattern. Tourists visiting Patan are sure to buy these great looking Sarees created through traditional craftsmanship.


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