My Gujarat sojourn wasn’t as long as I had expected, however, I enjoyed each and every second I spent there. Right from my stay at House of MG to the Ahmedabad Saputara road trip and eventually the complete Saputara trip, everything was so fab. Our trip, organized by Gujarat Tourism, started from Ahmedabad and ended in Ahmedabad. In my last blog post, I wrote about my experience staying in a presidential suite at Fortune Landmark hotel in Ahmedabad.
While our trip officially ended in Ahmedabad, a few of us planned a trip to Adalaj stepwell which is near Ahmedabad. A short trip, but it was totally wort. The Adalaj Stepwell is an architectural marvel that you must visit whenever you are in Ahmedabad.
History of Adalaj Stepwell
Back in the 1400s, King Rana Veer Singh ruled this region around Adalaj. Water scarcity was always a problem in the region and people had to walk miles to fetch water. Seeing this, Rana Veer Singh decided to make a stepwell that would provide relief to his people.
The construction soon began, however, only after it was half done, he was killed in a battle with a Muslim king, Mehmud Begada. Mehmud was mesmerized by Rana Veer Singh’s wife – Queen Rudabai – that he proposed to her. She agreed to marry him but at a condition – he would have to complete the stepwell that her husband had started.
Mehmud agreed to this and employed his artisans to complete the stepwell. Soon after it was completed, Rani Rudabai jumped into the well and committed suicide. It is believed that she never wanted to marry him and only wanted to see the stepwell complete. Luckily, King Mehmud Begada didn’t destroy the stepwell in anger.
Thanks to him, we are able to witness this architectural marvel even after 500 years. The mix of Indo-Islamic architectural styles is quite evident at the stepwell. Today, the Archaeological Survey of India is taking care of the monument. It is also known as Rudabai ni Vav or Adalaj ni Vav locally. Vav means stepwell.
An Architectural Marvel – Adalaj Stepwell
Reaching Adalaj Stepwell
Adalaj Stepwell is about an hour drive from Ahmedabad, about 20kms. It’s closer to Gandhinagar in fact. It is located off the Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway. Drive about a couple of kilometres from the Adalaj flyover, drive through a few narrow lanes and you’ll reach the Adalaj Stepwell. There are a lot of state buses plying from Ahemdabad and Gandhinagar that you can take to reach here. Though they won’t drop you at the stepwell, fairly close to it.
Adalaj Stepwell Timings and Ticket Price
The stepwell is open from 8 in the morning to 6 in the evening on all days. The ticket price is Rs 25 for Indian citizens and Rs 300 for foreigners. I don’t know if it’s due to COVID-19, but the process of purchasing tickets is completed online. There’s a QR code present at the entry gate. You simply need to scan it and fill in the details on the website and pay the amount. Show the ticket to the gate and walk-in.
Do note that there’s no official guide available at the place nor any audio guides like you see at other monuments. There is a person who stays nearby who is well aware of the story of the Adalaj stepwell. He can converse in Hindi and Gujarati and you can take his services. Just inform the security personnel and he’ll help get that person. I feel that Gujarat Tourism should also have their own guides who can help the tourists understand more about the place.
What to expect at Adalaj Stepwell
The five-storey deep Adalaj stepwell is built using sandstone. It’s laced with intricately carved pillars and walls. There are beautifully carved windows on the first step. The incomplete dome has quite a few designs that will leave you awestruck. The red sandstone along with the beautiful carvings shine as the sun beats the surface.
As discussed earlier, the stepwell is an architectural marvel that showcases the Indo-Islamic architectures in the same building. There are depictions of women doing their daily chores, musicians and the king. It’s so amazing to see that the Adalaj stepwell hasn’t lost much of its grandeur in the last few centuries since it was built. To this day, it serves as a temple for a section of the society who visit this place.
Every step you take towards the bottom, you feel the temperature dropping and things becoming dark. It is said that the temperature inside the stepwell is 6 degrees less than the outside temperature. Each step has adequate space for a group of people to congregate. The last and final step is made into a circular well. It houses a square floor, columns and beams around it and arched openings that continue to the top. The top is open allowing the sunlight to peek in the light up the whole place.
Must Visit Adalaj Stepwell
It’s amazing to see that how people a few centuries ago, without the use of technology were able to build such amazing buildings. The Adalaj Stepwell is the epitome of Indo-Islamic architecture and only a few of them standing tall today. Many monuments have been razed and rebuilt because of the different rulers, but the Adalaj Stepwell depicts a different story. It’s a mesmerizing place and the complex yet beautiful designs are sure to leave you spellbound. It’s a great place to take pictures or simply sit and appreciate the architectural marvel.
It was my first visit to Adalaj Stepwell and trust me I’m glad we took the decision to spend an extra day in Ahmedabad. If you are ever in Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar, make sure you plan a trip to Adalaj Stepwell. It won’t disappoint. Share your thoughts about this place in the comments below. Tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM me on Instagram or Get In Touch.