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Adalaj ni Vav- Historical step well of Gujarat

History beckons when it gives you entry to the life people subsisted and the air they breathed. India is a treasure of art and sculptors. Let it be a temple, a well, a simple wall or the best architecture, folks tend to try their magical hands on everything they came across. Giving every bit a personal touch was the way Ahmedavadis, live. The amalgamation of Hindus and Muslims is what you will find in major historical monuments of Ahmedabad.  One such place is Adalaj ni Vav, one of the best historical steps well of Gujarat. The old name for Adalaj was Gadhpatan.

What are the step-wells?

The word Vaav means step well. It is a five-storey well that is massively used for photography and videography nowadays. But, hardly is anyone aware of the walls that speak and the water that holds the soul of the queen who sacrificed her life by jumping in the well. Vav was usually constructed to hold the water that lied deep in the Earth.  They were so magnificent and built in the most artistic way that each wall and each stone speak about the hands of the artists that carved them. This Adalaj stepwell was dug when drought had its major effect and so it was dug deep enough to fetch groundwater. This beautiful stepwell has created curiosity not only in Amdavadis or Indians, but it has tourists across the seas. Ahmedabad has gained the title of World’s heritage city by UNESCO and with it, Adalaj ni Vaav has gained a new position and have attracted eyes of folks.

Architecture in step well
Architecture in step well

History of Adalaj ni Vaav

Are you interested in knowing the magnificent history that lies behind Adalaj ni Vaav? If, yes. Stick on. This well was built to fetch the water that lied deep beneath the Earth and so it is Five storeys altogether. It was constructed during the reign of Veer Singh Vaghela in 1499 AD. However, before the construction met its final touch, the kingdom was attacked by Mohammed Begda who tend to be the Muslim ruler of the kingdom nearby. The construction of the Vav could not be completed and hence, it was stopped. The kingdom was occupied by Mohammed Begda who happen to fall in love with Rani Roodabai. He was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her.  Rani Rooda bai wanted to be Sati after his husband but she found out the way to varnish the left-over construction of Adalaj ni Vav.  She agreed to the marriage proposal given by the king only if he allowed the construction of the step gets completed. King was so mesmerized by the beauty and wanted to marry her on any condition. He passed on the order to complete the edifice as soon as probable. After the construction was over, the queen had achieved her only purpose of life. She wanted this construction to get completed anyhow, which was started by her husband. No sooner it was completed she ended her life by joining hands and jumping into the same stepwell which is widely known as ‘Adalaj ni Vav’. Adalaj ni Vav stands is a sacrificial place and it stands as a monument depicting the deep love of Veer Singh Vaghela and his wife Roodabai. It is also known as Roodabai ni Vaav on the name of Rani Roodabai. All the architects who built the Vaav were killed so that they could not build any other monument like this. The language that is incrusted in the walls of the stepwell is in Brahmi language.

Carvings in vav
Carvings in vav

So, to sum it all construction was initiated by Veer Singh Vaghela and completed by Mohammad Begda. You will see a combination of Hindu and Muslim version both on the walls of the stepwell. It is an Indo- Islamic architecture that holds marvellous beauty in it. When we visited, we were mesmerized with the carving on the walls and the perfection of each drawing and each part of the well had.  It is an octagonal well and you can view the perfect shape when you reach the bottom of the stepwell. You can view at the top and check the perfect octagon shape of the well. It provided the perfect ventilation to the well and the folks who fetched the water from the well.

Indo-Islamic structure

The walls have carvings of Hindu gods and Islamic themes of flowers.  You can view beautiful carvings that depicted the lives of people in that era. Woman performing her daily chores of adorning themselves, woman churning buttermilk, dancers, musicians and king watching them. The verses are scripted in the stepwell and you can read them which sing the lore praising Roodabai. it also says about the expense of the well which was five lakhs in the 15th Century. Also, one important thing to be noted is the temperature inside the well always remains 5 to 6 degrees cooler than the temperature outside. This made the perfect place for catching up people and chit chat for those who fetched water.

How to book:

This is 400-year-old Vav and nowadays in the Covid situation, you have to book tickets online. Once booked, you have to show it at the ticket counter before you are allowed in.

Ticket charges:

  • INR 25 for adults.
  • Children below 15 are free.

Nowadays, when pre-wedding shoots are crowning, it is the place that is mostly preferred for photoshoots and videography. Picture perfect place that gives immense natural filter during dawn and early rise. This post is written as a part of #exploreamdavadseries . For more such post in the same series visit
Hastibibi no gokhlo- Golden feather in the history of Ahmedabad
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16 Comments

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    Surbhi Prapanna

    Wow adalaj ni vav the name and place both sounds interesting to me. honestly dear with each post you share info about great visiting places in Ahmadabad and near by area. my in laws and brother both stay in Gujrat and I had also stayed there for long years in past but never get a chance to visit these places. will surly go through your blog when visit India ( and Gujrat) next time.

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    Sundeep

    I just love the name of this place called Adalaj Ni Vav. I never heard about this place but I love to visit this place in future after reading your article about this place. Thanks for sharing

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    Monidipa

    I must say This is an offbeat place in the middle of a small town. It is only open for a certain duration of time because this well fills up to the top at other times and you cannot go down. As you descend downwards on the steps you see beautiful carvings all around you, it has a very appealing symmetric structure which adds to the beauty. People say it’s one of those wishing wells, where you throw a coin and wish for something and it is fulfilled. if you touch the pillars, they are pretty moist indicating they had been wet.

    This is the ideal, picture-perfect location so carry your camera, and takes around 30-40 minutes to see the little place and click snaps.

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    Raksha

    Wow I didn’t know about this step well at all. Looks so beautiful and the details are even intriguing. I will add this place to my list.

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    Hansa Kajaria

    Wow you are introducing us to some aweosme historical marvels. Last time it was the Hastibibi no gohklo and now this place. I am amazed at how beautifully it is made even 400yrs ago. History and historical places exite me and I am nothing this place for my future visit to Ahmedabad.

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