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 (Patan is built on this ancient city) was the tenth-largest city in the world in the year 1000, with a population of approximately 100,000.
Muhammed's general and later Sultan of Delhi Qutb-ud-din Aybak sacked the city between thenga 1200 and 1210, and it was destroyed by the Allauddin Khilji in 1298. The modern town of Patan later 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 which (along with a few of the gates) is 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.
During the period of the Chaulukya dynasty or Solanki's of Patan, the stepwell called the Rani ki vav or Ran-ki vav (Queen’s step well) was constructed. It is a richly-sculptured monument, built by Udaymati in memory of her husband, Bhima I (1022-1063).
It was probably 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 largest and 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 which is 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 arranged in tiers and is richly carved.
There is a small gate below the last step of the step well which has a 30 km tunnel (now it has been blocked by stones and mud) which leads to the town of Sidhpur near Patan. It was used as an escape gateway for king who built the step well in the times of defeat.
This stepwell is the oldest and 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 (Krishna, Rama and others), 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 previously known as North Gujarat University.
There are many schools and colleges in Patan. Sheth B.D. High School, P.P.G experimental higher secondary school and Junior College is the oldest. Other famous schools are P.P.G. Experimental High School, Adarsha Vidhyalaya, 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 almost 200 practicing medical professionals. It has a medical college name GMERS Medical College and 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, Apna Cinema, Kohinoor Cinema and Krishna Cinema provides Entertainment facilities.
Siddhhem Water Park & Resort is developing on Sariyad Highway near Rani Ki Vav.
Patan has an ONGC and the small and medium size industries.
Auction of agricultural product done here between farmers and buyers through commission agent is called APMC (Agriculture Product Market Committee)
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 extremely 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 totally colored with vegetable colors. Costs start from Rs. 20,000 which may go up to Rs. 20,00,000 even 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 places where traditional clay toys are made are worth visiting. Many annual religious fairs act as tourist destination.
There are many tourist attractions including forts, vavs (step wells), talavs (lakes) and places of worship. The main tourist attractions are the Rani ki vav (World Heritage Site) and patola saris.
The remains of Old City of Patan are a very small portion of Old Fort near Kalka on the outskirts of the New City is of historical and archeological importance. So is the case with the remains of the walls of new fort and the Darwajas (gates) of the new fort which are fast disappearing. Unfortunately, administration and a majority of local people show little interest in preserving these heritage places which are shrinking at a rapid pace. Fortunately, the inner fort of Bhadra with its Darwajas is preserved well.
Step wells include Rani ki vav and Trikam Barot ni Vav. Lakes include historically and archeologically important Sahastralinga Tank, Anand Sarovar (Gungadi Talav) and Khan Sarovar.
Bagwada, Chhidiya, Mira, Aghara, Kothakooe, Phatipaal (Fatipal), Ghoonghdi, Kanasda (also known as Kalika), Khansarovar, Motishah, Bhathi, Lal, 12th is door and 1 window (in middle of city is called Ganesh Bari).
There are many places of significance on religious, historical or architerctural grounds. These include Old Kalka Mandir, Panchmukhi Hanuman, Jasma Odan ni Deri, Old Mahalaxmi Mandir, Sindhavai Mata nu Mandir, Hingaraj Mandir, Gayatri Mandir, Jalaram Mandir, Saibaba Mandir, Bahuchar Mata nu Mandir, Jagganath Mandir, Padmanabh Mandir, Ambaji Mandir, Panchasar Derasar, Sheikh Farid no Rojo, Veer Megh Maya nu Mandir, Jwalamukhi Mata nu Mandir, Ramji Mandir.
Hindus are the largest religious community of the city. other minority religious communities includes Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Jains. About 90% of the population is Hindu.
Patan is a constituency of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly within the Patan(Lok Sabha Constituency).
City bus service is run by municipality connecting nearby village. Autorickshow are available.
Patan Railway Station is 108 km from Ahmedabad Railway Station. It is also connected by rail to Mehsana and Ahmedabad.
It is approximately 110 Km away from Ahmedabad. It is connected cities Ahmedabad or Mehsana or Chanasma or Unjha or Siddhpur or Deesa or Harij or Thara via state highways. GSRTC, provides bus service connecting all major cities and towns of Gujarat.
The nearest airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad.
As of 2001 India census, Patan had a population of 112,038. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Patan has an average literacy rate of 72%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, and female literacy is 65%. In Patan, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.