Ruins of Adalaj Ni Vav (Stepwell), Gujarat, India
Hi Friends! Today, I am sharing some pictures and information about the beautiful Adalaj ni Vav, also knows as Adalaj Stepwell in Gujarat. I can’t believe all these years I have visited Ahmedabad, I had no idea this place existed! Although it has a lot to do with the fact that I usually never explore when I visit home because our short time is filled with spending time with family members, shopping, and eating. However, this time I made it a point to visit this historical landmark.
We visited the stepwell midday. It was about 30-45 minutes drive from Ahmedabad. There was a crowd but nothing overwhelming, there is no entrance fee and the gates are open from 8 am to 6 pm. When we were walking towards it, I was expecting something on the horizon to capture my eyes but then I realized, it is a stepwell! After going down a few steps, I was left stunned!
The stepwell has five stories that lead down the main well. The inscriptions on the walls and pillars on the way down are mind blowing and offer a glimpse into the past. I definitely recommend spending some time observing all the carvings!
The architecture is said to be a combination of Hindu, Muslim and Jain influence. It is quite the structural beauty. They say during certain seasons, the well does fill up and I wish I had seen that but next time!
Be sure to take a look straight across as soon as you arrive on the main level before heading down the steps, you will see a beautiful mirror pavilion! It really blows my mind as to how they must have constructed this back in 1498!
The story behind the well goes something like this, King Rana Veer Singh started the construction of the well to help with the water scarcity issue the people were facing. A neighboring king, Muhammed Begda, killed King Singh and invaded his land. However, the determined wife, Queen Roopba, of the slain king saw to it that the well was completed. The reason there is an Islamic influence in the architecture is that the King Begda was Muslim. The new king helped with the construction because he fell in love with Roopba, who had promised him that she would marry him only after the completion of the well. Roopba took her own life once the well was completed. Nothing short of a Bollywood movie!
Stepwells have been a part of ancient Indian civilization with many found in the ruins of Mohenjo Daro. Gujarat and Rajasthan have quite a few, which is not a surprise given the history.
If you do not have a private car to take you to the stepwell, you can get a rickshaw from Ahmedabad or get on a bus going to Adalaj from the city.
On a side note, I absolutely love wearing Indian clothes! I don’t get the chance as much as I would like here but when I visit India, that is all I wear!! My salwar was from a local shop in Gujarat but I am linking a few options here, here and here.
Shoutout to Jhanvi for telling me about this beautiful place!
Until next time…