Patan was one of the largest cities in the medieval times. Located at the banks of River Saraswati, it was a fortified city founded by King Vanraj Chavda of the Chavda kingdom in 745 AD. It remained his capital till 1411 A D. Patan was ruled by three major Rajput clans - the Chavdas (746-942AD), the Solankis (942-1244 AD) and the Vaghelas (1244-1304AD).
Patan was earlier called Anhil - Vad - Pattan. It was believed to be named after the shepherd Anhil. In Sanskrit, Patan is also referred to as Anahilpatak, Anahipattan, Anhilpur, Anahilvad Pattan, Pattan etc.
Muhammed Ghori was brutally defeated by the boy ruler Mularaja II led by his heroic mother Naikadevi of Patan. The city was subsequently siezed by the Sultan of Delhi Qutub-ud-din- Aibak between 1200 and 1210. It was destroyed by Allauddin Khilji in 1298.
The present town of Patan developed beside the ruins of the old. It was part of the Maratha state in the mid 18th century up till the Indian Independence in 1947. Later in 1960 when the division of states happened, Patan fell into the Gujarat territory.
Patola was said to have flourished under the patronage of King Kumarpal of the Solanki dynasty. He had fought and defeated the ruler of Jalna and brought 700 Salvi craftsmen to Patan.It is believed that some weavers also came from Karnataka in addition to those that came from Maharashtra. At a later date, Kumarpal converted the Salvi families into Shwetamber Jains. The Solanki rule is considered as the golden age; prosperity peaked during the reign of King Kumarpal. Patan became the centre of Patola weaving during his reign (1143-1173 AD).
The Salvis are still the clan which carry the craft on their shoulders even now. Unfortunately only four families have stood past the trials and tribulations of this time intensive craft.
Patan (23.83Â°N 72.12Â°E ) lies at an average elevation of 76 metres and can be reached by bus, train or taxi from the nearby cities namely Ahmedabad, Chansama and Unjha.
Alternatively, Patan is 70 miles northeast of Jaipur,on the Kotputli Sikar road, off the National Highway 8, the road which connects Jaipur and Delhi.
The temperature in Patan spans between the two extremes of summer and winter. It reaches a maximum of 45 deg C in summers and drops to a minimum of 7 deg C in the winters.
Major food crops produced in Patan are oil seeds, wheat, bajri, pulses, cereals, cotton, castor, rapeseed, mustard, citrus fruits, ber, guava, pomegranate, papaya.1,338,800 metric tonnes (MT) of cotton was produced in the district during 2005-06.
Patan is a bustling city with schools, colleges, banks, railways, hospitals and other necessities. It is easily accessible by most modes of transport and is fast developing. Patan district enjoys uninterrupted 24 hr power supply due to the presence of many Power Sub Stations. Patan serves as a central market place for local farmers.
Patan is also well sustained in terms of educational provisions. The district houses some of the renowned technical engineering and law colleges in Patan. The B. M. Shah High School and Junior College are one of the oldest schools here. The prestigious Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, previously known as North Gujarat University, is situated in Patan.
Patan is a prominent medical centre in the North Gujarat with almost 200 practicing medical professionals. Patan has 32 primary health centers, 115 primary health sub centers and 4 children care centers.
The major small scale industries in the district are the vegetable oil and vanaspathi, paper and pulp and food processing industries.
Patan's narrow streets are laced by elaborate age-old wooden houses and brimming with more than a hundred Jain temples. The largest of the Jain temple is Panchasara Parasvanath. The Old Fort near Kalka, the outskirts of the new city is of great historical and archeological importance. It is one of the only remnants of the Old City. Patan is also specked with crumbling walls of the new fort and its Darwajas(gates).
One of the thriving examples of excellent subterranean architecture in Gujarat is the Rani ki Vav, with elaborately sculpted levels and steps that lead down to the water level. The surfaces of the well and levels are adorned with fine sculptures of Hindu deities, religious motifs and geometrical patterns. The lower most level has 37 niches with carvings of the deity Ganesha in the centre and images of the Sheshashayi Vishnu on the upper level.
The ruins and monuments in the city speak of its erstwhile flourish in architectural splendour. A new city is fast mushrooming around these remnants. It has catered to the needs of modern living and now consists of buildings made of brick and concrete.
Patan is resplendent with numerous Jain and Hindu temples. These grand structures are standing proof of the reverence and tradition that existed in olden times. The religions and beliefs are still followed with much respect. Patan has also kept with the times while keeping its history intact. It has nourished its educational culture and has become a thriving centre for medicine too.
Patan has a population of 206 people per 52 km. Twenty percent of the population belongs to the urban sector (as of 2001).Patan has a sex ratio of 935 females for every 1000 males.
It has a literacy rate of 73.47%. Literacy rate for girls starts declining after their primary education. As for secondary education, they are required to travel far away from their homes.
Architecture: Patan is well known for its Rani ka Vav. It is a richly sculptured stepped well of the Chalukya period. It is also known as the Rani Uday Mati Vav and is amongst the larger step wells in Gujarat. This stepped well has about 800 sculptures made of stone. It was built in 11 AD in the memory of Bhimdeva I, the Rani's husband.
Lake Sahasralinga also adds to Patan's fame, it is a large pentagon shaped lake spreading over more than 16 hectares, built by the ruler of Chalukyas Siddharaja Jaisingh. It lies in the north-west of Patan, beside the Saraswati River.
Patan also houses one of the main Krishna temples in Gujarat called the Shamlalji temple. The name means 'the dark one' and was so named after Lord Krishna's dark complexion.
Amongst the many hundred Jain temples in Patan, the one dedicated to Panchasara Parasvanath is the largest. The intricate stone carvings and pristine marble floors deeply characterise Jain architecture.
Fabric: Patola is a sophisticated fabric woven exclusively in Patan, it invloves characteristic double ikat technique and known for durability and vibrance.
Mashru is another gem in the world of oriental fabrics, woven with silk and cotton, the structure is such that its the cotton which touches the skin while silk indulges in captivating viewers as it is the layer seen by others.