Located in Adalaj village in the district of Gandhinagar, the Adalaj stepwell is another example of architectural marvel in the state of Gujarat. It has an interesting and dramatic story attached to it. If the stories are to be believed, it goes as – King Rana Veer Singh was killed by an invader Mahmud Begada who in turn fell in love with King Rana Veer’s widow Rani Roopba and proposed marriage to her. 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, 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.
On the completion of the stepwell, Begada reminds the Queen of her promise. The Queen jumps into the well so she doesn’t have to marry Begada. There are six tombs near the well, which are 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.
If you ask me, there are several such stories floating about each monument around Gujarat and Rajasthan. Common people anyways did not have much access to Royal family’s private life. And such stories were made up to earn respect towards Royal families. That being said no doubt India truly had a rich culture, wealth and history. And that is all reflected in the monuments and ruins that remain today.
Architecture of the Stepwell
The Adalaj stepwell is five stories deep with carvings on the beams, pillars and arches. The monument is built in such a way that sunlight does not enter in the interiors. Therefore the place remains much cooler inside as compared to outside.
I have personally experienced this when I reached the place at around 2 PM on a Sunday afternoon. The place was crowded and buzzing with tourists from near and far places.
How to Reach: The stepwell is located around 18km away from the city of Ahmedabad. Preferred mode of transport would be Road(cab or rickshaw)
Timings: Open all days of the week from 6 am to 6 pm
Recommended length of visit: 30 minutes
Best time to visit is early morning to avoid the crowd.
Website: Gujarat Tourism