Rani-Ki Vav, a historical stepwell in Patan, Gujarat and the scenic Great Himalayan National Park in Himachal Pradesh are both poised to find a place in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, an official announcement to this affect is scheduled to be made at the 38th World Heritage Session at Qatar on Friday.
“Rani-Ki-Vav, a step well built in the 11th an unique category of Indian subterranean structure which marks the zenith in the evolution of step wells in India. It is particularly large and complex example of a step well, with seven storeys of ornamented panels of sculptures in relief representing the height of the Maru-Gurjara style,” Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), sources said.
Following the flooding and disappearance of the Saraswati River due to geometric changes, the property was buried under layers of silt for almost seven centuries. The step well is digitally documented through collaboration between ASI, Historic Scotland and CyArk under the project, Scottish Ten.
The Great Himalayan National Park is located in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. Initially constituted in 1984, it was declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of around 754 sq kms. In 1994, two major changes were made in land use around the park. A buffer zone of 5 km from the Park’s western boundary was delineated as an ecozone. The forest is a treasure trove of biodiversity and replete with medicinal herbs.