Patan ki vav | Modhera sun temple

The morning started briskly. Mananbhai came to pick us up and take us to Ellisbridge Gymkhana, my old stomping grounds when I was a kid. I used to go there pretty much every evening when I was in my teens to play billiards, badminton, table tennis and swim. They gym has changed but brought back some fond memories.

I ran for 45 minutes on the bouncy treadmill and then attempted to swim laps in the crowded 23.5-meter pool (don’t ask why the pool size is so strange). Swimming laps was an adventure and I lasted about 6 minutes!

After lunch at Anangbhai-Nayanaben’s place where we were served a plethora of dishes including two types of hand-churned ice-cream, we took off for Patan. Manish was driving us for the 2-hour journey to see a step well built a thousand years ago by the Solankis. This was during the golden age of Gujarat when the Solanki family ruled.

The step well itself was a piece of art discovered accidentally during an earthquake and is still being excavated. It has intricate carvings and goes more than 100 steps deep with geometric shapes, wind tunnels and water (which has dried up).

Will and Kristi in a restricted part of Patan ki Vav

Kristi was quite the celebrity as all the locals wanted their picture taken with her. She was mobbed and Will decided to play as her manager attempting to charge 50 rupees per picture. It was a chaotic yet funny scene. Even the security guard got into the action and let Will and Kristi enter a restricted portion of the step well as onlookers looked on!

Kristi is mobbed as Will tries to play manager

About 25 kilometers away is the Modhera Sun Temple, also built by the Solankis exactly on the Tropic of Cancer. How they figured this out is still a mystery. Apparently, there was a diamond and a crown that would be illuminated by the morning sun only once a year (Summer Equinox). This illumination would cause the entire inside of the temple and its carvings to glow. Unfortunately, the glory of the diamond was lost during the mugal invasion a few hundred years ago. You can still see the Hindu epic carvings from the Mahabharata and the Kama Sutra (including oral sex, menage a trois, etc.). In the dark portions of the temple are dozens and dozens of large bats. This is a bit freaky as you walk inches from them as they roost in the temple in plain sight.

Kristi is scared of bats at the Modhera Sun Temple

By the time we returned from Modhera, it was around 9PM. Anisha joined us for dinner at The Little Italy Ristorante. The food was so-so (think Italian food with some Indian spices).

Tomorrow is somewhat of a relaxed day, and we will visit The Visamo Foundation.

One Reply to “Patan ki vav | Modhera sun temple”

  1. Loving your daily updates! Classic Kristi, making friends wherever she goes. 🙂

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