As mentioned I have a fascination for culture and history, and whenever I travel to any destination, I make it a point to include some sort of historical visit that gives me an insight into the culture and heritage of the locals. While I love hanging out with friends, this holiday to Gandhinagar was a special one for me because I was traveling with my sister. She too, is a history buff and she suggested that we must visit Adalaj. I love budget travel and hence, coaxed my sister into an auto ride to Adalaj instead of an air-conditioned cab. A short drive away from Gandhinagar, Adalaj is famous for its stepwell. Locally known as Adalaj ni Vav, this stepwell has a very unique architectural design.
Local lore says that this well was built by a Muslim king for a Hindu Queen. This king has invaded and killed the ruling Vaghela king and tried to woo his widow who was very beautiful. She laid down the condition that she would marry him only after the construction of the stepwell was complete. And when he reminded her of her promise to marry him, she jumped into the waters of the well and ended her life.
Stepwells were initially built for collecting rainwater. Rain water harvesting over 6 centuries ago! This stepwell lay in a very busy trading route and was frequented by travelers and traders who needed rest and respite from the burning heat during the day. Adalaj stepwell has exquisite architecture, made of sandstone and has a depth of 5 stories. Its upper walls are octagonal in shape and the pillars are carved with very delicate designs, and being a passionate photographer I was immensely delighted to click some very beautiful photographs of this structure. Adalaj blends Islamic, Jain and Hindu architecture so magnificently that I couldn’t help being mesmerized with each detail I spotted! You can easily notice a drop in the temperature as you enter, it being a few degrees cooler inside due to the water. We went to one of the local eateries to grab a bite after that and then decided to indulge ourselves in some street shopping at the local bazaars. One of our most awaited activities!