(Last Updated on : 29/04/2011)
Patan is one of the oldest cities of Gujarat
. Founded in 745 AD by Vanjraj Chavda- a prominent ruler of Chavda kingdom, this was originally known as Anhipur Patan or Anhilwad Patan. Surrounded with a number of temples and decorative dargahs this place is also known for carrying the replica of an age old city of Anhilpur which is also known as Anahilpatak, Anahipatan, Anahilpur, Anahilvad Patan, Patan etc.
Patan was one of the most prominent cities of ancient India. This place was one of the richest cities of the west coast. It reached its zenith of imperial greatness when it extended the territory in all directions. Anhilpur or Patan was extended to cover the Saurashtra and Kutch in the west, Lata in the south, Malwa in the east and eastern and southern Rajasthan
in the north. This for the first time gave a complete structure of present day Gujarat which is tenth largest city of India.
Patan played a major role during the invasion of Muhammad Ghori
. Muhammad Ghori had to face severe defeat in the hands of a little boy who challenges the Central Asian invader under the instructions and guidance of his mother Naikidevi. Both inflicted a crushing and conclusive defeat on Muhammad Ghori after which Muhammad Ghori did not dare to cross the boundaries of Gujarat in all his life time. The battle was fought in Kayadra near Mount Abu
. The city of Patan stood gloriously till 1200 when Muhhamad's general and later on Sultan of Delhi Qutub -ud- din Aybak sacked the city in 1200 -1210.The city was finally thrashed by Ala-ud-din Khilji
, in 1298.
After the severe ruin the modern city of Patan developed near the ruins of Anhilwara. It continued to remain a major city during the medieval period. It was developed as the Suba Head quarters of Delhi sultanate
which was later on developed as the capital city of Gujarat under the Delhi Sultanate. In order to secure one of the richest subas of Delhi Sultanate the sultanate developed a number of attractive forts which massive gates. These forts stand intact till the present. The old fort of Hindu kingdom is almost vanquished and only a part of the old city exists between wall that can be seen while going towards Kalka and Rani ki Vav. In 1411 Sultan Ahmed shah shifted the capital to Ahmedabad
. Patan continued to remain a major part of the Maratha state till it was annexed to the Indian subcontinent after Independence.
Patan has been a popular city of ancient India which is known for a number of historical sights. The place is mainly known for Rani Ki Vav which is further surrounded with a number of historical sights. During the period of Solankis or the Chalukyas the famous Rani ki Vav was constructed. It is mainly known for the rich sculptures. Though not much detail is available yet it is believed that this Vav was constructed in the memory of Bhimdev I in AD 1022 to 1063 who was the son of Mularaja the founder of the Solanki Dynasty. Rani ki Vav is mainly known for some of the well built sculptures and fine carvings. This is a living example of superior architecture which attracts the tourist every time. Though the major part of the Vav has turned into ruin the remaining part is glorious enough to define the cultural heritage of the place. Built with some exceptionally carved pannels and carved pillars this is one of the most decorative sites of Patan. Along with Rani Ki Vav the ancient city is surrounded with some more historical monuments and religious places. It includes some of the age old shrines of Lord Shiva
and a number of mosques which are mainly known its beautiful architecture and decorative sculpture that depicts the heritage of Saurashtra.
Thus known as an ancient city of Gujarat this place attracts a number of visitors who get enchanted with the marvellous forts, Vavs or stepped wells that is the speciality of Gujarat architecture, talavs and the places of worship. All these depict an eminent part of architectural skill and superior craftsmanship which attract the visitors.