We have heard about mausoleums built by Kings in the fond memories of their Queens. Here is a stepwell which was built for a Queen to convince her for nuptials. Let us get to know more about Adalaj stepwell in Gujarat.
Located in Adalaj village in the district of Gandhinagar , the Adalaj stepwell is known for its architecturalbrilliance. Built in 1499, the stepwell is still a major attraction in Gujarat. It is also called 'Adalaj ni Vav' by locals.
Photo Courtesy: Notnarayan
The Story Behind the Stepwell
King Rana Veer Singh of Vaghela dynasty had started building the stepwell. Unfortunately, the King was attacked and killed by Mohammad Begada, a King of the neighbouring kingdom. Begada fell for the beauty of the widowed Queen Roopba and askedher to marry him. The Queen agreed to marry Begada on the condition that he completes the construction of the stepwell that was started by her husband.
Begada complied to this condition put forward by the Queen and completed the stepwell and filled it with beautiful floral designs and intricate carvings using the best artisans of those times, to impress the Queen. The stepwell has elements of both Islamic and Hindu architecture in it.
Photo Courtesy: Koshy Koshy
On the completion of the stepwell, Begada reminds the Queen of her promise. The Queen circumambulated the stepwell chanting prayers and then jumps into the well that was started by her husband. There are six tombs near the well, which is believed to be the tombs of six masons who built the stepwell. It is said that, Begada killed all of those six masons to avoid the replica of the stepwell.
Architecture of the Stepwell
The Adalaj stepwell is five stories deep, and is built using sandstone. The whole structure has several carved pillars, beams and arches that are beautifully designed. The air and light vents are placed in such a way that the sunlight does not fall on the steps. There are depictions of several daily events carved on the walls and pillars of the stepwell.
Photo Courtesy: Raveesh Vyas
There are carvings of women engaged in conversations and the King watching them. Two interesting depictions seen here include Ami Khumbor (symbolic of the pot of life) and Kalp Vriksha, which is known as the tree of life. The nine planets are also depicted on the frescos.
How to Reach Adalaj Stepwell
The stepwell is located around 18km away from the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, and 5km from Gandhinagar. Here's how you can reach Gandhinagar, from where you can take a taxi to the stepwell.
Pay a visit to this beautiful land to know all about Adalaj stepwell, and don't forget to visit the nearby attractions like Indroda Dinosaur & Fossil Park, Akshardham Temple, Mahatma Mandir and Craftsmen's Village.
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