Since we had a few hours in hand we decided to visit Adalaj ni Vav (Adalaj ni Vaav) since EKta wanted to show me the Gujarati architecture of famed step wells. We enquired with local auto drivers, and a gentleman agreed to show the place and drop us in Ahmadabad bus stand for Rs 500.
It seems that these structures were more than just wells; they used to be a resting spot for travelers and caravans, a congregation place for locals and a meeting place for women where they would collect water, gossip, and worship the deities placed in small temples along the well. The underground part at the bottom looked very much like a palace in itself, with a distinct touch of Islamic architecture.The Islamic influence contains a legend in itself. The construction of this well was started by the local hindu ruler of the area, Rana Veer Singh for his wife. His kingdom was attacked by Mohammed Begda of a neighboring kingdom and the Rana was killed in the battle that ensued. Begda was smitten by the beauty of the queen of Rana, and proposed her to marry him. However the queen put forth a condition to get the well completed before she considered his proposal. So Begda built this well with great hopes in a record time and once it was completed, reminded the queen of her promise. But the queen committed suicide by jumping into the same well started by her late husband and completed by his nemesis, thus ending the saga in tragedy.We were intrigued by the sight of six Islamic graves just next to the well to be informed that these were the resting places of the masons of this great monument by Mohammed Begda so that they could never build another one…
Adalaj, a set on Flickr.
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