Patan, an ancient fortified city, was founded in 745 AD by Vanraj Chavda, the most prominent king of the Chavda Kingdom. He named the city "Anhilpur Patan" or "Anhilwad Patan" after his close friend and Prime Minister Anhil Gadariya, it is a historical place located on the bank of Saraswati River. Patan was established by the Chapotkata ruler Vanaraja in 8th century as "Anahilapataka". During 10th-13th century, the city served as the capital of the Chaulukyas, who supplanted the Chapotkatas. Historian Tertius Chandler estimates that Anhilwara was the tenth-largest city in the world in the year 1000, with a population of 100,000. Muhammed's general and Sultan of Delhi Qutb-ud-din Aybak sacked the city between 1200 and 1210, it was destroyed by the Allauddin Khilji in 1298; the modern town of Patan sprung up near the ruins of Anhilwara. During 1304 to 1411, first Patan was the Suba headquarter of Delhi Sultanate and capital city of the Gujarat Sultanate after the collapse of the Delhi Sultanate at the end of the 14th century.
A new fort was built by these Subas, a large portion of, still intact. The old fort of the Hindu kingdom is nearly vanquished and only a wall can be seen on the way from Kalka to Rani ki vav. In 1411, Sultan Ahmed Shah moved the capital to Ahmedabad. Patan was part of the Baroda state from the mid-18th century until India's independence in 1947, when Baroda became part of Bombay state, which in 1960 was separated into Gujarat and Maharashtra. If you see the braveness of the Vanaraja Sinh and his empire in 700-800 AD. No hill tops, no huge fortifying, it was said that during northen India has no similar power axis. During the period of the Chaulukya dynasty or Solanki's of Patan, the stepwell called the Rani ki vav or Ran-ki vav was constructed, it is a richly sculptured monument, built by Udaymati in memory of her husband, Bhima I. It was completed by Udaymati and Karna after his death. A reference to Udaymati building the monument is in the'Prabandha-Chintamani' composed by Merutunga Suri in 1304 AD.
It was one of the most sumptuous structures of its type. It became silted up and much of it is not visible, except for some rows of sculptured panels in the circular part of the well. Among its ruins one pillar still stands, proof of the elegance of its design and an excellent example of this period. A part of the west well is extant from which it appears that the wall had been built of brick and faced with stone. From this wall project vertical bracket in pairs, this supported the galleries of the well shaft proper; this bracketing is richly carved. There is a small gate below the last step of the step well which has a 30 km tunnel which leads to the town of Sidhpur near Patan, it was used as an escape gateway for king. This stepwell is the deepest among the 120 other stepwell in Gujarat; the sculpture of Rani ki vav depicting Lord Vishnu's avatars, Hindu Goddesses, Jain idols and their ancestors. Most of the sculpture is in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of his avatars, representing their return to the world.
Around 50–60 years back there used to be ayurvedic plants around this areas which causes the water accumulated in Rani ni vav to be helpful for viral disease, fever. It was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on 22 June 2014. Patan is home to the Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University named after the famous polymath Acharya Hemachandra, it was known as North Gujarat University. There are many colleges in Patan. Sheth B. D. High School, P. P. G experimental Junior College is the oldest. Other famous schools are P. P. G. Experimental High School, Adarsha Vidhyalaya, Bhagwati International Public School, Sheth M. N. High School, Sheth B. M. High School, Prerna Mandir High School, Pioneer School of Science, Lord Krishna School of Science and Eklavya School of Science. There are K. D. Polytechnic Patan for diploma in engineering, Government Engineering College and Sheth M. N. Science College. Patan is the education hub in North Gujarat. Patan is a prominent medical centre in North Gujarat with 200 practicing medical professionals.
It has a medical college name GMERS Medical Hospital at Dharpur on Unjha Highway. Major multi-speciality hospitals include General Hospital, Janta Hospital, Docter House and other Clinics in Patan. City Point Multiplex and Time Cinema provides Entertainment facilities. Siddhhem Water Park & Resort is developing on Sariyad Highway near Rani Ki Vav. Patan has the small and medium size industries, and new GIDC in charup,ta sarawati distrit patan Auction of agricultural product done here between farmers and buyers through commission agent is called APMC Patan has a Vegetable Market on Chanasma Highway. The patola sari is one of the finest hand-woven sarees produced today; this is a specialty of Patan. It is famous for delicate patterns woven with great precision and clarity. A patola sari takes 4 to 6 months to make, depending on how complicated the designs is and if the length is 5 or 6 metres; this saris are colored with vegetable colors. Costs start from Rs. 20,000 which may go up to Rs. 20,00,000 depending on the difficulty of work as many times gold threads are included during its weaving process.
There are only two families making patola saris. They don't teach this art to other family members. Only their sons are eligible to learn. Salvivad, a place where patolas are woven along with p
Shiva known as Mahadeva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. He is the supreme being within one of the major traditions within contemporary Hinduism. Shiva is known as "The Destroyer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Shaivism tradition, Shiva is the supreme being who creates and transforms the universe. In the tradition of Hinduism called Shaktism, the Goddess, or Devi, is described as supreme, yet Shiva is revered along with Vishnu and Brahma. A goddess is stated to be the energy and creative power of each, with Parvati the equal complementary partner of Shiva, he is one of the five equivalent deities in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta tradition of Hinduism. According to the Shaivism sect, the highest form of Shiva is formless, limitless and unchanging absolute Brahman, the primal Atman of the universe. There are many both fearsome depictions of Shiva. In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children and Kartikeya.
In his fierce aspects, he is depicted slaying demons. Shiva is known as Adiyogi Shiva, regarded as the patron god of yoga and arts; the iconographical attributes of Shiva are the serpent around his neck, the adorning crescent moon, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the third eye on his forehead, the trishula or trident, as his weapon, the damaru drum. He is worshipped in the aniconic form of Lingam. Shiva is a pan-Hindu deity, revered by Hindus, in India and Sri Lanka. Shiva is called as Bhramhan which can be said as Parabhramhan. Shiva means nothingness; the word shivoham means the consciousness of one individual, lord says that he is omnipotent, omnipresent, as he is present in the form of one's consciousness. In Tamil, he was called by different names other than Sivan. Nataraaja Rudra and Dhakshinamoorthy. Nataraja is the only form of Shiva worshipped in a human figure format. Elsewhere he is worshipped in Lingam figure. Pancha bootha temples are located in south India. Pancha Bhoota Stalam.
Tamil literature is enriched by Shiva devotees called 63 Nayanmars The Sanskrit word "Śiva" means, states Monier Monier-Williams, "auspicious, gracious, kind, friendly". The roots of Śiva in folk etymology are śī which means "in whom all things lie, pervasiveness" and va which means "embodiment of grace"; the word Shiva is used as an adjective in the Rig Veda, as an epithet for several Rigvedic deities, including Rudra. The term Shiva connotes "liberation, final emancipation" and "the auspicious one", this adjective sense of usage is addressed to many deities in Vedic layers of literature; the term evolved from the Vedic Rudra-Shiva to the noun Shiva in the Epics and the Puranas, as an auspicious deity, the "creator and dissolver". Sharva, sharabha presents another etymology with the Sanskrit root śarv-, which means "to injure" or "to kill", interprets the name to connote "one who can kill the forces of darkness"; the Sanskrit word śaiva means "relating to the god Shiva", this term is the Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism and for a member of that sect.
It is used as an adjective to characterize certain practices, such as Shaivism. Some authors associate the name with the Tamil word śivappu meaning "red", noting that Shiva is linked to the Sun and that Rudra is called Babhru in the Rigveda; the Vishnu sahasranama interprets Shiva to have multiple meanings: "The Pure One", "the One, not affected by three Guṇas of Prakṛti". Shiva is known by many names such as Viswanatha, Mahandeo, Mahesha, Shankara, Rudra, Trilochana, Neelakanta, Subhankara and Ghrneshwar; the highest reverence for Shiva in Shaivism is reflected in his epithets Mahādeva, Maheśvara, Parameśvara. Sahasranama are medieval Indian texts that list a thousand names derived from aspects and epithets of a deity. There are at least eight different versions of the Shiva Sahasranama, devotional hymns listing many names of Shiva; the version appearing in Book 13 of the Mahabharata provides one such list. Shiva has Dasha-Sahasranamas that are found in the Mahanyasa; the Shri Rudram Chamakam known as the Śatarudriya, is a devotional hymn to Shiva hailing him by many names.
The Shiva-related tradition is a major part of Hinduism, found all over India, Sri Lanka, Bali. Scholars have interpreted early prehistoric paintings at the Bhimbetka rock shelters, carbon dated to be from pre-10,000 BCE period, as Shiva dancing, Shiva's trident, his mount Nandi. Rock paintings from Bhimbetka, depicting a figure with a trishul, have been described as Nataraja by Erwin Neumayer, who dates them to the mesolithic. Of several Indus valley seals that show animals, one seal that has attracted attention shows a large central figure, either horned or wearing a horned headdress and ithyphallic, seated in a posture reminiscent of the Lotus position, surrounded by animals; this figure was named by early excavators of Mohenjo-daro as Pashupati (Lord of Animals, Sansk
Vishnu is one of the principal deities of Hinduism, the Supreme Being or absolute truth in its Vaishnavism tradition. Vishnu is the "preserver" in the Hindu triad that includes Shiva. In Vaishnavism, Vishnu is identical to the formless metaphysical concept called Brahman, the supreme, the Svayam Bhagavan, who takes various avatars as "the preserver, protector" whenever the world is threatened with evil and destructive forces, his avatars most notably include Rama in the Krishna in the Mahabharata. He is known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Hari, he is one of the five equivalent deities worshipped in Panchayatana puja of the Smarta Tradition of Hinduism. In Hindu iconography, Vishnu is depicted as having a pale or dark blue complexion and having four arms, he holds a padma in his lower left hand, Kaumodaki gada in his lower right hand, Panchajanya shankha in his upper left hand and the Sudarshana Chakra in his upper right hand. A traditional depiction is Vishnu reclining on the coils of the serpent Shesha, accompanied by his consort Lakshmi, as he "dreams the universe into reality".
Yaska, the mid 1st-millennium BCE Vedanga scholar, in his Nirukta, defines Vishnu as viṣṇur viṣvater vā vyaśnoter vā, "one who enters everywhere". He writes, atha yad viṣito bhavati tad viṣnurbhavati, "that, free from fetters and bondages is Vishnu"; the medieval Indian scholar Medhātithi suggested that the word Vishnu has etymological roots in viś, meaning to pervade, thereby connoting that Vishnu is "one, everything and inside everything". Vishnu means "all pervasive". Vishnu is a Vedic deity, but not a prominent one when compared to Indra and others. Just 5 out of 1028 hymns of the Rigveda, a 2nd millennium BCE Hindu text, are dedicated to Vishnu, he finds minor mention in the other hymns. Vishnu is mentioned in the Brahmana layer of text in the Vedas, thereafter his profile rises and over the history of Indian mythology, states Jan Gonda, Vishnu becomes a divinity of the highest rank, one equivalent to the Supreme Being. Though a minor mention and with overlapping attributes in the Vedas, he has important characteristics in various hymns of Rig Veda, such as 1.154.5, 1.56.3 and 10.15.3.
In these hymns, the Vedic mythology asserts that Vishnu resides in that highest home where departed Atman reside, an assertion that may have been the reason for his increasing emphasis and popularity in Hindu soteriology. He is described in the Vedic literature as the one who supports heaven and earth. In the Vedic hymns, Vishnu is invoked alongside other deities Indra, whom he helps in killing the symbol of evil named Vritra, his distinguishing characteristic in Vedas is his association with light. Two Rigvedic hymns in Mandala 7 refer to Vishnu. In section 7.99 of the Rgveda, Vishnu is addressed as the god who separates heaven and earth, a characteristic he shares with Indra. In the Vedic texts, the deity or god referred to as Vishnu is Surya or Savitr, who bears the name Suryanarayana. Again, this link to Surya is a characteristic Vishnu shares with fellow Vedic deities named Mitra and Agni, where in different hymns, they too "bring men together" and cause all living beings to rise up and impel them to go about their daily activities.
In hymn 7.99 of Rigveda, Indra-Vishnu are equivalent and produce the sun, with the verses asserting that this sun is the source of all energy and light for all. In other hymns of the Rigveda, Vishnu is a close friend of Indra. Elsewhere in Rigveda and Upanishadic texts, Vishnu is equivalent to Prajapati, both are described as the protector and preparer of the womb, according to Klaus Klostermaier, this may be the root behind post-Vedic fusion of all the attributes of the Vedic Prajapati unto the avatars of Vishnu. In the Yajurveda, Taittiriya Aranyaka, Narayana sukta, Narayana is mentioned as the supreme being; the first verse of Narayana Suktam mentions the words paramam padam, which mean highest post and may be understood as the supreme abode for all souls. This is known as Param Dhama, Paramapadam or Vaikuntha. Rig Veda 1.22.20 mentions the same paramam padam. In the Atharvaveda, the mythology of a boar who raises goddess earth from the depths of cosmic ocean appears, but without the word Vishnu or his alternate avatar names.
In post-Vedic mythology, this legend becomes one of the basis of many cosmogonic myth called the Varaha legend, with Varaha as an avatar of Vishnu. Several hymns of the Rigveda repeat the mighty deed of Vishnu called the Trivikrama, one of the lasting mythologies in Hinduism since the Vedic times, it is an inspiration for ancient artwork in numerous Hindu temples such as at the Ellora Caves, which depict the Trivikrama legend through the Vamana avatar of Vishnu. Trivikrama refers to "three strides" of Vishnu. Starting as a small insignificant looking being, Vishnu undertakes a herculean task of establishing his reach and form with his first step covers the earth, with second the ether, the third entire heaven; the Vishnu Sukta 1.154 of Rigveda says that the first and second of Vishnu's strides are visible to the mortals and the third is the realm of the immortals. The Trivikrama describing hymns integrate salvific themes, stating Vishnu to symbolize that, freedom and life; the Shatapatha Brahmana elaborates this theme of Vishnu, as his herculean effort and sacrifice to create and gain powers that help others, one who realizes and defeats the evil symbolized by the Asuras after they had usurped the three worlds, thus Vishnu is the savior of the mortals and
Gujarat is a state on the western coast of India with a coastline of 1,600 km – most of which lies on the Kathiawar peninsula – and a population in excess of 60 million. It is the ninth largest state by population. Gujarat is bordered by Rajasthan to the northeast and Diu to the south and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra to the southeast, Madhya Pradesh to the east, the Arabian Sea and the Pakistani province of Sindh to the west, its capital city is Gandhinagar. The Gujarati-speaking people of India are indigenous to the state; the economy of Gujarat is the fifth-largest state economy in India with ₹14.96 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹157,000. The state encompasses some sites of the ancient Indus Valley Civilisation, such as Lothal and Gola Dhoro. Lothal is believed to be one of the world's first seaports. Gujarat's coastal cities, chiefly Bharuch and Khambhat, served as ports and trading centers in the Maurya and Gupta empires, during the succession of royal Saka dynasties from the Western Satraps era.
Along with Bihar and Nagaland, Gujarat is one of the three Indian states to prohibit the sale of alcohol. Present-day Gujarat is derived from Sanskrit term Gurjaradesa, meaning the land of the Gurjaras who ruled Gujarat in the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Parts of modern Rajasthan and Gujarat have been known as Gurjaratra or Gurjarabhumi for centuries before the Mughal period. Gujarat was one of the main central areas of the Indus Valley Civilisation, it contains ancient metropolitan cities from the Indus Valley such as Lothal and Gola Dhoro. The ancient city of Lothal was; the ancient city of Dholavira is one of the largest and most prominent archaeological sites in India, belonging to the Indus Valley Civilisation. The most recent discovery was Gola Dhoro. Altogether, about 50 Indus Valley settlement ruins have been discovered in Gujarat; the ancient history of Gujarat was enriched by the commercial activities of its inhabitants. There is clear historical evidence of trade and commerce ties with Egypt and Sumer in the Persian Gulf during the time period of 1000 to 750 BC.
There was a succession of Hindu and Buddhist states such as the Mauryan Dynasty, Western Satraps, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Chalukya dynasty, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire and Gurjara-Pratihara Empire, as well as local dynasties such as the Maitrakas and the Chaulukyas. The early history of Gujarat reflects the imperial grandeur of Chandragupta Maurya who conquered a number of earlier states in what is now Gujarat. Pushyagupta, a Vaishya, was appointed the governor of Saurashtra by the Mauryan regime, he built a dam on the Sudarshan lake. Emperor Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta Maurya, not only ordered engraving of his edicts on the rock at Junagadh but asked Governor Tusherpha to cut canals from the lake where an earlier Mauryan governor had built a dam. Between the decline of Mauryan power and Saurashtra coming under the sway of the Samprati Mauryas of Ujjain, there was an Indo-Greek defeat in Gujarat of Demetrius. In 16th century manuscripts, there is an apocryphal story of a merchant of King Gondaphares landing in Gujarat with Apostle Thomas.
The incident of the cup-bearer torn apart by a lion might indicate that the port city described is in Gujarat. For nearly 300 years from the start of the 1st century AD, Saka rulers played a prominent part in Gujarat's history; the weather-beaten rock at Junagadh gives a glimpse of the ruler Rudradaman I of the Saka satraps known as Western Satraps, or Kshatraps. Mahakshatrap Rudradaman I founded the Kardamaka dynasty which ruled from Anupa on the banks of the Narmada up to the Aparanta region which bordered Punjab. In Gujarat, several battles were fought between the south Indian Satavahana dynasty and the Western Satraps; the greatest and the mightiest ruler of the Satavahana Dynasty was Gautamiputra Satakarni who defeated the Western Satraps and conquered some parts of Gujarat in the 2nd century AD. The Kshatrapa dynasty was replaced by the Gupta Empire with the conquest of Gujarat by Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Vikramaditya's successor Skandagupta left an inscription on a rock at Junagadh which gives details of the governor's repairs to the embankment surrounding Sudarshan lake after it was damaged by floods.
The Anarta and Saurashtra regions were both parts of the Gupta empire. Towards the middle of the 5th century, the Gupta empire went into decline. Senapati Bhatarka, the Maitraka general of the Guptas, took advantage of the situation and in 470 he set up what came to be known as the Maitraka state, he shifted his capital from Giringer near Bhavnagar, on Saurashtra's east coast. The Maitrakas of Vallabhi became powerful with their rule prevailing over large parts of Gujarat and adjoining Malwa. A university was set up by the Maitrakas, which came to be known far and wide for its scholastic pursuits and was compared with the noted Nalanda University, it was during the rule of Dhruvasena Maitrak that Chinese philosopher-traveler Xuanzang/ I Tsing visited in 640 along the Silk Road. Gujarat was known to the ancient Greeks and was familiar with other Western centers of civilization through the end of the European Middle Ages; the oldest written record of Gujarat's 2,000-year maritime history is documented in a Greek book titled The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century.
In the early 8th century, the Arabs of the Umayyad Caliphate established an empire in the name of the rising religion of Islam, which stretched
Brahma is a creator god in Hinduism. He is known as Svayambhu or the creative aspect of Vishnu, Vāgīśa, the creator of the four Vedas, one from each of his mouths. Brahma is consort of Saraswati and he is the father of Four Kumaras, Daksha and many more. Brahma is sometimes identified with the Vedic god Prajapati, he is known as Vedanatha, Chaturmukha Svayambhu, etc, as well as linked to Kama and Hiranyagarbha, he is more prominently mentioned in the mythologies in the Puranas. In the epics, he is conflated with Purusha. Although, Brahma is part of the Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva Trimurti, ancient Hindu scriptures mention multiple other trinities of gods or goddesses which do not include Brahma. Several Puranas describe him as emerging from a lotus, connected to the navel of Lord Vishnu. Other Puranas suggest that he is born from Shiva or his aspects, or he is a supreme god in diverse versions of Hindu mythology. Brahma, along with other deities, is sometimes viewed as a form of the otherwise formless Brahman, the ultimate metaphysical reality in Vedantic Hinduism.
In an alternate version, some Puranas state him to be the father of Prajapatis. According to some, Brahma does not enjoy popular worship in present-age Hinduism and has lesser importance than the other members of the Trimurti and Shiva. Brahma is revered in ancient texts, yet worshiped as a primary deity in India. Few temples dedicated to him exist in India. Brahma temples are found outside India, such as at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok; the origins of Brahma are uncertain, in part because several related words such as one for Ultimate Reality, priest are found in the Vedic literature. The existence of a distinct deity named. A distinction between spiritual concept of Brahman, deity Brahma, is that the former is a genderless abstract metaphysical concept in Hinduism, while the latter is one of the many masculine gods in Hindu tradition; the spiritual concept of Brahman is far older, some scholars suggest deity Brahma may have emerged as a personal conception and visible icon of the impersonal universal principle called Brahman.
In Sanskrit grammar, the noun stem. Contrasted to the neuter noun is the masculine noun brahmán, whose nominative singular form is Brahma; this singular form is used as the proper name of Brahma. One of the earliest mentions of Brahma with Vishnu and Shiva is in the fifth Prapathaka of the Maitrayaniya Upanishad composed in late 1st millennium BCE. Brahma is first discussed in verse 5,1 called the Kutsayana Hymn, expounded in verse 5,2. In the pantheistic Kutsayana Hymn, the Upanishad asserts that one's Soul is Brahman, this Ultimate Reality, Cosmic Universal or God is within each living being, it equates the Atman within to be Brahma and various alternate manifestations of Brahman, as follows, "Thou art Brahma, thou art Vishnu, thou art Rudra, thou art Agni, Vayu, thou art All."In the verse, Brahma and Shiva are mapped into the theory of Guṇa, qualities and innate tendencies the text describes can be found in all living beings. This chapter of the Maitri Upanishad asserts that the universe emerged from darkness, first as passion characterized by action qua action, which refined and differentiated into purity and goodness.
Of these three qualities, Rajas is mapped to Brahma, as follows: While the Maitri Upanishad maps Brahma with one of the elements of Guṇa theory of Hinduism, the text does not depict him as one of the trifunctional elements of the Hindu Trimurti idea found in Puranic literature. The post-Vedic texts of Hinduism offer multiple theories of cosmogony; these include Sarga and Visarga, ideas related to the Indian thought that there are two levels of reality, one primary, unchanging and other secondary, always changing, that all observed reality of the latter is in an endless repeating cycle of existence, that cosmos and life we experience is continually created, dissolved and re-created. The primary creator is extensively discussed in Vedic cosmogonies with Brahman or Purusha or Devi among the terms used for the primary creator, while the Vedic and post-Vedic texts name different gods and goddesses as secondary creators, in some cases a different god or goddess is the secondary creator at the start of each cosmic cycle.
Brahma is a "secondary creator" as described in the Mahabharata and Puranas, among the most studied and described. Born from a lotus emerging from the navel of Vishnu after emerging on order of Shiva, Brahma creates all the forms in the universe, but not the primordial universe itself. In contrast, the Shiva-focussed Puranas describe Brahma and Vishnu to have been created by Ardhanarishvara, half Shiva and half Parvati, thus in most Puranic texts, Brahma's creative activity depends on the presence and power of a higher god. In the Bhagavata Purana, Brahma is portrayed several times as the one who rises from the "Ocean of Causes
Baroda State was a state in present-day Gujarat, ruled by the Gaekwad dynasty of the Maratha Confederacy from its formation in 1721 until 1949 when it acceded to the newly formed Union of India. With the city of Baroda as its capital, during the British Raj its relations with the British were managed by the Baroda Residency. At the time of Indian independence, only five rulers—the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Maharaja of Mysore, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, the Maharaja Shrimant Gaekwar of Baroda and the Maharaja Scindia of Gwalior—were entitled to a 21-gun salute. Baroda formally acceded to the Union of India, on 1 May 1949, prior to which an interim government was formed in the state. Baroda derives its native name Vadodara from the Sanskrit word vatodara, meaning'in the heart of Banyan tree, it has another name, Virakshetra or Virawati, mentioned alongside Vadodara by 17th century Gujarati poet Premanand Bhatt, native to the city. Its name has been mentioned as Brodera by early English travellers and merchants, from which its name Baroda was derived.
Geographically it comprised several disjoint tracts of land, measuring over 1000 square miles, spread across the present Gujarat state. The Marathas first attacked Gujarat in 1705. By 1712, a Maratha leader Khande Rao Dabhade grew powerful in the region and when he returned to Satara in 1716, he was made the senapati. Thereafter during the "Battle of Balapur" in 1721, one of his officers, Damaji Gaekwad was awarded the title Shamsher Bahadur or Distinguished Swordsman. Damaji was succeeded by his nephew Pilajirao, thus the Baroda State was founded in 1721, when the Maratha general Pilaji Gaekwad conquered Songadh from the Mughals. Prior to this Pilajirao was appointed as general to collect revenues from Gujarat by the Peshwa, the effective ruler of the Maratha Empire, who had taken over the region north and south of Surat from the Mughals to established the Sarkar of Surat. Songadh remained the headquarters of the "House of Gaekwad" until 1866. After the Second Anglo-Maratha War, the East India Company wrested control of much of Gujarat from the Marathas.
However the Gaekwads of Baroda, made a separate peace with the British, entering into a subsidiary alliance which acknowledged British suzerainty and control of the state's external affairs in return for retaining internal autonomy. Following the death of Sir Khanderao Gaekwad, the popular Maharaja of Baroda, in 1870, it was expected that his brother, would succeed him. However, Malharrao had proven himself to be of the vilest character and had been imprisoned earlier for conspiring to assassinate Khanderao; as Khanderao's widow, Maharani Jamnabai was pregnant with a posthumous child, the succession was delayed until the gender of the child could be proven. The child proved to be a daughter, so upon her birth on 5 July 1871, Malharrao ascended the throne. Malharrao spent money liberally, nearly emptying the Baroda coffers and soon reports reached the Resident of Malharrao's gross tyranny and cruelty. Malharrao further attempted to cover up his deeds by poisoning the Resident, Colonel R. Phayre C.
B. with a compound of arsenic. By order of the Secretary of State for India, Lord Salisbury, Malharrao was deposed on 10 April 1875 and exiled to Madras, where he died in obscurity in 1882. With the throne of Baroda now vacant, Maharani Jamnabai called on the heads of the extended branches of the dynasty to come to Baroda and present themselves and their sons in order to decide upon a successor. Kashirao and his three sons, Anandrao and Sampatrao walked to Baroda from Kavlana-a distance of some 600 kilometers-to present themselves to Jamnabai. Gopalrao was selected by the British Government as successor and was accordingly adopted by Maharani Jamnabai, on 27 May 1875, he was given a new name, Sayajirao. He ascended the gaddi at Baroda, 16 June 1875 but being a minor reigned under a Council of Regency until he came of age and was invested with full ruling powers on 28 December 1881; the Maharajah of Baroda, Sir Sayajirao Gaekwad III, became one of the most important rulers of the state, founding numerous institutions, including the Bank of Baroda on 20 July 1908.
The bank, along with 13 other major commercial banks of India, was nationalised on 19 July 1969, by the Government of India. By the beginning of the 20th century, the relations of the British with the four largest princely states—Hyderabad, Mysore and Kashmir, Baroda were managed by a British Resident under the direct authority the Governor-General of India. In 1911, Baroda State spanned 3,239 km2, the population was 2,032,798 persons as per the 1911 census of India; the state was wealthy. The Pittsburgh Press reported in 1927 that the diamond necklace, which contained the Star of the South diamond, was a part of a royal collection worth $10,000,000 at the time, housed in the Nazarbaug Palace in Baroda city. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar writes about his experience with untouchability in Baroda in the second chapter of his autobiographical book, Waiting for a Visa. In 1937 the princely states of the Baroda Residency were merged with those of the agencies adjacent to the northern part of the Bombay Presiden
Originating from the Indian subcontinent, Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps to the water level. They may be multi-storied with a bullock turning a water wheel to raise the well water to the first or second floor, they are most common in western India and are found in the other more arid regions of the Indian subcontinent, extending into Pakistan. The construction of stepwells is utilitarian, though they may include embellishments of architectural significance, be temple tanks. Stepwells are examples of the many types of storage and irrigation tanks that were developed in India to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. A basic difference between stepwells on the one hand, tanks and wells on the other, is to make it easier for people to reach the groundwater and to maintain and manage the well; the builders dug deep trenches into the earth for year-round groundwater. They lined the walls of these trenches with blocks of stone, without mortar, created stairs leading down to the water.
The majority of surviving stepwells served a leisure purpose as well as providing water. This was because the base of the well provided relief from daytime heat, this was increased if the well was covered. Stepwells served as a place for social gatherings and religious ceremonies. Women were more associated with these wells because they were the ones who collected the water, it was they who prayed and offered gifts to the goddess of the well for her blessings. This led to the building of some significant ornamental and architectural features associated with dwellings and in urban areas, it ensured their survival as monuments. Stepwells consist of two parts: a vertical shaft from which water is drawn and the surrounding inclined subterranean passageways and steps which provide access to the well; the galleries and chambers surrounding these wells were carved profusely with elaborate detail and became cool, quiet retreats during the hot summers. A number of distinct names, sometimes local, exist for stepwells.
In Hindi-speaking regions, they include names based on baudi. In Gujarati and Marwari language, they are called vav or vaav. Other names include kalyani or pushkarani and barav; the stepwell may have originated to ensure water during periods of drought. Steps to reach the water level in artificially constructed reservoirs can be found in the sites of Indus Valley Civilization such as Dholavira and Mohenjo-daro. Mohenjo-daro has cylindrical brick lined wells; the first rock-cut stepwells in India date from 200-400 AD. The earliest example of a bath-like pond reached by steps is found at Uperkot caves in Junagadh; these caves are dated to the 4th century. Navghan Kuvo, a well with circular staircase in the vicinity, is another example, it was built in Western Satrap or Maitraka period, though some place it as late as the 11th century. The nearby Adi Kadi ni Vav was constructed either in the second half of the 10th century or the 15th century; the stepwells at Dhank in Rajkot district are dated to 550-625 AD.
The stepped ponds at Bhinmal are followed by it. The stepwells were constructed in the south western region of Gujarat around 600 AD. Used as an art form by Hindus, the construction of these stepwells hit its peak during Muslim rule from the 11th to 16th century. One of the earliest existing example of stepwells was built in the 11th century in Gujarat, the Mata Bhavani's Stepwell. A long flight of steps leads to the water below a sequence of multi-story open pavilions positioned along the east/west axis; the elaborate ornamentation of the columns and beams are a prime example of how stepwells were used as a form of art. The Mughal rulers did not disrupt the culture, practiced in these stepwells and encouraged the building of stepwells; the authorities during the British Raj found the hygiene of the stepwells less than desirable and installed pipe and pump systems to replace their purpose. The stepwell ensures the availability of water during periods of drought; the stepwells had social and religious significance.
These stepwells were proven to be well-built sturdy structures, after withstanding earthquakes. Many stepwells have details as elaborate as those of Hindu temples. Proportions in relationship to the human body were used in their design, as they were in many other structures in Indian architecture. A number of surviving stepwells can be found across India, including in North Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra. In 2016 a collaborative mapping project, Stepwell Atlas, started to map GPS coordinates and collate information on stepwells. Over 2000 stepwells have so far been mapped. Significant stepwells include: Agrasen ki Baoli, New Delhi Rajon ki baoli, New Delhi Chand Baori in Abhaneri near Jaipur, Rajasthan Rani ki vav at Patan, Gujarat Adalaj ni Vav at Adalaj, Gujarat Dada Harir Stepwell, Ahmedbad Toor Ji Ki Baori, Jodhpur Birkha Bawari, Jodhpur Shahi Baoli, Lucknow Raniji ki Baori in Bundi, Rajasthan. Panna Meena Ka Kund, Jaipur Udoji ki Baori, Rajasthan Stepwells from Mughal periods still exist in Pakistan.
Some are in preserved conditions. Rohtas Fort, near Jhelum Wan Bhachran, near Mianwali Losar Baoli, near Islamabad Losar Baoli, Sher Shah Park Wah Cantt Makli Baoli, near Thatta Stepped ponds are very