Adalaj Step Well in India.
Visiting Adalaj ni Vav step well (Adalaj Ni Vav) which is near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.
Adalaj ni Vav is a beautiful 5 storey deep Hindu step well which is located around 18kms from Ahmedabad on the northern edge of Adalaj Village in Gujarat, India. Therefore being such a relatively short distance from Ahmedabad getting to Adalaj ni Vav can be easily achieved inexpensively by using an auto-rickshaw - the cost for this should be around 600 Rupees or so and
specify when negotiating that this includes the driver's waiting time.
Adalaj step well is open every day and there is no entrance fee.
Adalaj ni Vav gets pretty busy during weekends and Indian public holidays so if possible it's better to visit during weekdays and best of all fairly early in the morning.
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On arriving at Adalaj Step Well things look somewhat unimpressive initially - Adalaj step well is completely built into the ground and all that can be seen at first is a flat top surface with just a few small structures sat on it. Descending the steps the bottom of the step well is in fact five stories below - the first pavilion is beautifully decorated and carved with magnificent
balconies which are so finely carved they look like lace. As the descent continues the other pavilions are just as well carved - the pillars and walls have exquisite sculptures of dancers, musicians, animals and maidens including one of Sheba looking somewhat fierce. There are many carvings of elephants, horses and mythical animals depicted around the shaft sides. The five stories descend a total of 30
metres to the first well - this well has steps around it and was originally used for ritual bathing. The views looking back up the well shaft show the balconies in yet another aspect. The main well is no longer in use but it's possible to walk onto the roof where the ramp for drawing water can still be seen.
About the history behind Adalaj Stepwell in India. The construction of Adalaj step well was started in the 15th century by Rani Roopbam, the wife of Rana Veer Sing of the Hindu Vaghela Dynasty. However because Rana Veer Sing was killed when the Mohammad Begda (a Muslim ruler of an adjacent territory) attacked and took over the area the building of the step well came to a halt. The legend has it that the Queen was really beautiful and Mohammad Begda wished to marry her however she only accepted his marriage proposal on the condition that Mohammed Begda would first have the step well completed. This he agreed too however when
Adalaj step well was finished the Queen committed suicide as a mark of devotion to her ex husband - she apparently jumped into the well and was dround.
Adalaj step well is set in quite a large area which is mainly grassed - there are also quite a few trees dotted around so having looked round the well it's quite a good spot to relax for a few minutes or so to get over the climb back up all those steps.
There is much more about touring in India via our India Travel and Touring Guide Home Page.
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