North of Gandhinagar, the district of Mahesana was the Solankis’ seat of government between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Some remains of their old capital, Anhilawada Patan, still stand, including the extraordinary Rani-ki-Vav step-well, situated just outside the modern city of Patan, home to Gujarat’s last remaining patola weavers. The big draw here is undoubtedly the ancient sun temple at Modhera, easily reached from the crowded city of Mahesana (Mehsana); it’s also worth visiting the striking shrines at the Jain temple at Taranga.

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