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Photographer's Note

Adalaj ni Vav or Adalaj Vav is a five-storied beautifully chiseled step well located in a small sleepy village named Adalaj, about 18 km from Gujarat’s main city. Ahmedabad. Adalaj Vav was built in 1499 by Queen Rudabai & is counted amongst the finest architectural structures of Gujarat.

In Gujrati language, step well is called Vav. Adalaj Vav is a classic example of Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The designs on its walls and pillars include, leaves, flowers, birds, fish and other breathtaking ornamental designs. The Vav consists of three sandstone-built entrances, which consist of octagonal landings with huge carved colonnades and intricately carved niches. Some of the pillars and walls show the influence of Buddhists, Jains and Solanki rulers of Gujarat. The carvings on the panels include that of a king sitting on a stool with two bearers, a scene depicting women churning buttermilk, musicians accompanying dancing women, and representations of various Hindu gods and goddesses. Sunlight cannot reach directly into the well, but openings in the ceiling enable light and air to enter inside. This keeps the water inside the well cool even in summer. Visitors can also see Ami Khumbor (a pot that contains the water of life) and Kalp Vriksha (a tree of life) made out of a single stone slab.

In the past, these step wells were frequented by travellers and caravans as stopovers along trade routes.

Legend behind Adalaj Vav

With time, the well has become a memorial of the love of the queen for her husband. One can still see water in the well which is a living example of spirit of the queen. In A D 1499, Dandai Desh (earlier name of Adalaj) was ruled by Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela Dynasty. Mohammed Begda, a Muslim ruler of a neighboring state, invaded Adalaj and killed Rana Veer Singh. Greatly attracted by the beauty of Rana Veer Singh's widow Rani Rudabai, he put forward a marriage proposal. She agreed under a condition that he should complete a five-storeyed step-well for her. King Begda finished the step-well within record time. The next day, after finishing the step-well, Rani Rudabai said her final prayer and jumped into the well and died.

Another view of this marvelous step well in the Workshop

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7766 W: 324 N: 15668] (55263)
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