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Old 3rd April 2009, 20:46   #16
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You are making us wait so long...
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Old 3rd April 2009, 21:28   #17
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Amazing snaps. Was unaware such great sightseeing places exist in Patan. Have been to a village called Kotavad near Patan many times, most recently last month, but never went to see such structures. Perhaps next time.
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Old 3rd April 2009, 23:07   #18
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O wow. What your friend s doing is really marvellous. Some hectic days of work and i feel like doing the same.
Brilliant pics. Great to see some Khilji miss out here
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Old 4th April 2009, 13:12   #19
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Thumbs up Rani Ki Vav...


I remember seeing a Gujarati movie called 'Bhavni Bhavai' which features Naseeruddin Shah as a king who sacrifices / tries to sacrifice his son in a step-well to end a drought in his kingdom. [The movie has two endings]

I think the movie was shot in the Rani ka vav ?

Great pics sir... following your log all the way.
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Old 7th April 2009, 15:29   #20
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Apoliogies for taking so LOOOOOOOOOng to do this part, I was in a village in Kerala, was not able to log thro., at long last back in Ahmedabad and JAI HO to the broadband.

The rest of the story goes like this......


We leave the VAV and head out towards the Patan Patola, the Silk Works. Ask anybody, they’d direct you towards it. We negotiate some twisting, winding roads thro the city and reach a junction. Someone points to a narrow entrance with slush, we are left wondering if this is the right place. Hesitantly we hop-skip-jump over the slush, inside a gully, someone points us too the Salvi Family loom house and we enter into the Holy Grail of Silk Works.

Patan Patola – Queen of Silks:

El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-27-patola.jpg

Patola sarees are one of the best hand-woven silks in the world today, artisans weave exquisite patterns with laser like precision. These weaving Salvi community was brought in from Maharashtra (many patterns here resemble those at Ajanta) and Karnataka around the 12th century by the Solanki dynasty. Subsequently, many Gujrati families supported them, the sarees were a status symbol of rich families, even today, the super rich of India are the main buyers.

The Salvi family Patola we visited have received hoards of awards in India and abroad, the walls were decorated with certificates, shields, pictures and what have you, all living testimony to the crafty work they churn out. At first sight, its just another hand-loom, I have seen plenty of these in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Oh…. no, these are light years ahead in skill.

El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-28-patola.jpg
Let me try to explain… the threads are imported from China, raw silk heft, they are twisted and made into silk threads, the complications start here. The threads are bunched up, as per some calculations, some portions are knotted and blocked off, the exposed portions are coloured, covered again with threads and others portions coloured again to get the patterns they want. It’s impossible to describe it; even photographs and video cannot fully capture the complicity and dexterity involved in this process. Vegetable colours are used, home-brew after generations of trial and error.

El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-29-patola.jpg
Historical records show that King Janak presented a Patola to Sita, Lord Krishna’s period this was used and the Chalukys supported this throughout their reign.
To get a size of the process and difficulties, imagine:
(You may not actually come to Patan, at lease you must read this account fully ? )

• Only 3-4 families do this work now, the Salvis about 5-6 core members.
• This is 800 year old skill, handed down the family, not a single process has changed or improved for all these years!!!!!
• It takes about 5-6 MONTHS for 2 people to complete one Saree
• Each THREAD is inspected, set into the design and pulled THREAD BY THREAD by the weaver, we saw some of this….. really mind-blowing work.
• It costs about 3-5 LACS for one.
• A master piece they showed us took about 1 year plus to make, costs 7 lacks and was show cased around the world.
• The Salvis have attended all kinds of silk exhibitions all over the world (our Silk board helps them a lot, mostly lip-service)
• The natural dyes used are of haldi, madar roots, manjistha, mendhi, pomegranate skins, madar roots, they last for eons, 800 years of kitchen research.
• The Smithsonians, Discovery Channel, many Japanese channels have showcased the Salvi family work.
• Only industrialists and the very rich in India order / buy these.
• The older generation Salvis do agricultural work as the main source of income, the weaving is not enough to make ends meet.
• The younger generation are educated, one is a Physiotherapist, but works at the loom to keep it alive.
• The Government has recognised them, given awards and do it in whimsical bouts, no consistent support.
• They got concessions in electricity, but for the last 5-6 months are paying COMMERCIAL rates; all pleas has fallen on deaf ears.

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Old 7th April 2009, 17:34   #21
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Sidhpur on the banks of Saraswati River !!!

That's a surprise!!! The only Saraswati River I have seen is the one at Badarinath near the BHIM PHOOL, where it disappears in about 500 meters.

The Puranas say, Vyashya the Great Sage donated his bones to God Indra at this place, this was called Sri-Sthal or pious place in Rig Veda. The rivers Ganga and Saraswati was here and the Pandavas visited this during the exile. The city was most famous in the 10th Century under the Solanki rulers, the name probably came from Solanki Siddharaja. This was also know regarded as the most sacred spots in Gujarat, Bhagvata Punana says Kardama Rishi had a hermitage here, Kapila Muni was born here and pilgrims converged here in hoards.

This was a great education for me, I dug up lots of information from a friends library 2 days back and decided to write about this, I owe AG that for opening my eyes to this place right under my nose. My research has thrown open other places in and around Ahmedabad, have decided to now use week-ends to have a look see on what they have to offer.

Siddharaj built a palace and a great temple dedicated to Shiva; this was one of the best in the region with a tower about 250 ft + tall. Reportedly it had 1600 pillars with 12 huge arching doors, it was a towering sight from milesl away. The temple was ravaged by Ulugh Khan and subsequently by Ahmad Shah.

He invited about 1000 Auditchya Brahmins were experts in Vedas and donated 100 villages around here to make them comfortable. Fate had something else planned for Siddhapur. Our friend Muhammed Ghori on his way to Somnath pulverized the palace and town and killed around 30,000 people, torching everything related to the Raja. During the 15th century the Sultanate rule and Mughal rule by Akbar helped re-built the town into what it is today. Years later the Gurjara community from Iran settled down here.

We reached the Rudramahalaya; what was lef of it is heart-breaking. This is a protected site now, there’s a police picket and nobody allowed inside. All that’s left of the glory are some stones, a couple of pillars of what was once a 7 story stone marvel. The Great Ghori blasted his cannons continuously at this temple, still could not erase it off. It took him 24 hours of continuous firing to bring down one floor, they took about one week to bring it down. Now a mosque stands in this place, nobody wants to expose this place and raise a hornets nest of communal discord.

This picture is of Ashish Gupta's, borrowed from him...
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I searched thro. my old collections, could find only one..

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The route to the temple is thro VoreWaad, house where Vohra community flourished, they came down from Persia. This street is unique, most houses have a Victorian air to it, the pillars and designs all from WOOD. Yes, from wood, beautifully done up with Persian/ Belgian glass pane inlays. This must have been a very rich community at one time to have mansions like this, now most of them locked up and empty.

We called it a day and turned home-ward around 3, reached A’bad around 6. AG was keen to continue on his journey with Ashish and headed out to test the food joints, he wanted to write about him.

Thus came the end of a great discovery….. a Sunday well spent. Probably one of these week-ends I’d take my family now.

Thank you for reading this far and being patient.


Last edited by ramkya1 : 7th April 2009 at 17:46.
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Old 21st January 2010, 16:07   #22
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Arrow Revisit to Modhera and Patan

Revisit to Modhera and Patan- 17th January, 2010.
Bumping my own thread for a repeat visit. This time to show the place to my friend Herberta and his Daughter Alex from Australia, I love the place too, so quiet, tranquil and beautiful.

El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00068.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00071.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00074.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00077.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00079.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00082.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00086.jpg
El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00092.jpg

Last time I went with my friend Ashish Gupta the place was hot and very tiring, this time around it was cold below 10 and very enjoyable. We could actually sit and enjoy the quiet of the place and listen to nature sounds.

My friends who live on the bush in Australis, loved it, they loved the birds on the way and Alex was very glad to see so many monkeys on the way, could identify each bird and loved to play with the squrrels. They untimately eate out of her hand, guess people who live close to nature have a way of communicating with animals and plants. It was magical for me, for the life of me I could not understand how the squrrels became so friendsly with Alex and were all over her in about 15 minuts!!!!

El-do-rado @ Patan – Wowed by the  Booty:-dsc00093.jpg

The roads as usual were very good, the toll roads as well as the country roads, has improved in the last 6/7 months.

The painful part was there were NO proper signates in Patan directing to Rani Ki Vav and from there to the world famous Patan Patolas. You need to ask around with the people there.

Well, some pictrues to capture the moments also adding the logs (Herbert was game to do the logs, he was very intrigied with my log-book and spent lots of time examining it) for the trip.

Attached Files
File Type: xls Abad-Modhera-Patan-Jan-09.xls (21.0 KB, 169 views)

Last edited by ramkya1 : 21st January 2010 at 16:14.
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Old 21st January 2010, 16:35   #23
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Ah...revisiting a place,and rekindiling the spirit of the travelogue, Ramkys sir, i missed out the thread in the first instance and i have now enjoyed every moment of it.
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