Patan located around 130 Kms from Ahmedabad, is rich in architectural marvels like the 11th century Rani-ki-wav step well and numerous temples, and textiles like the Patola silk sarees and Mushroo weaving, originating from the time of royalty. Patan was an ancient Hindu capital before Mahmud of Ghazni sacked it in 1024. Now a pale shadow of its former self, it still has more than 100 jain temples. There is also the renovated Rani-ki-vav, a baoli that boasts some of Gujarat's finest carvings. The baoli is the oldest in Gujarat and is remarkably well preserved - a product of the restoration work completed in the 1980s to redress centuries of silting. The waters in the baoli once provided a natural air-cooling system in its chambers for members of the royal family who sought refuge here from the summer heat. It's very impressive and certainly warrants a visit. Originally known as Anhil-Vad-Pattan, it flourished during the Solanki dynasty and has some interesting monuments. The streets of its older quarters present an interesting look with a melange of carved balconies, lintels of Muslim havelis, marble domes and the canopies of the over 100 Jain temples. Patan's most famous personality is Kalikal Sarvagna Hemchandracharya, the man responsible for giving Gujarati language its first grammar. Patan is celebrated world over for its exquisite Patola silk saree woven here.
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