Adalaj Step Well, Ahmedabad – An Architectural Wonder of 15th Century


The majestic Bhadra Fort offered a revisit to the history of our nation; it stands tall depicting the Mughal dynasty, which once ruled this place. I had a very elaborate dinner at night relishing the Ahmedabadi specialties. The next day morning I got ready early to visit another landmarks and popular destinations in the city. One such place, which was in my itinerary, was the Adalaj Step Well.

Adalaj Step Well

Adalaj Step Well | Image Resource : trekearth.com

Let me give a brief introduction of Adalaj first. Adalaj is a small village located about 20 km north of the Ahmedabad City. The Step Well is known as ‘Vav’ in the local language here and is said to be built by Ruda, the wife of Virsinh, who was a Vaghela chief. The Step Well is said to be built in the 15th or 16th century.

The direction of the Step Well or the ‘Vav’ is north south with the entrance from South and the well in the north direction. There are three entrance stairs, which lead to the stepped corridor inside and they meet at the first floor underground. The platform where the entrance meet is square in shape, with an octagonal opening at the top and it rests on some 16 pillars. This is the place from where the stepped corridor begins leading to the well.

The Well

The Well | Image Resource : joshimukard.wordpress.com

The corridor inside this step well is surrounded by a meter-high parapet wall, which has a round topping. There are steps that descend to five storeys; all the walls and pillars of the step well are a living example of sculptures and ornamentations of that era. They are full of amazing art and some of which are also erotic in nature, some show king sitting while others show dancing girls and women churning milk.

Intricate Carving in the Adalaj Step Well Structure

Intricate Carving in the Adalaj Step Well Structure | Image Resource : wikimedia.org

There are string courses, which run along the side walls and embellish all the parts of the structure and also divide the wall into horizontal sections. The Step Well is one of its kinds in India. It was the first time I had visited such a place though on TV and magazines I have read about a few of them. The infrastructure really makes one wonder about the place.

It took me a few hours to complete the visit to the Adalaj Step Well. Next, I proceeded to visit the Vaishno Devi Temple, the next place in my itinerary.

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