Lounge Travel Review

Rudabai Stepwell, Adalaj, Ahmedabad

A UNESCO world heritage site and the most famous stepwell in Gujarat is the Rani ki Vav (Queen’s Stepwell). It is about 130 kilometres from Ahmedabad, and, we didn’t have the time to travel. Instead, we visited the smaller one – called the Rudabai Stepwell at Adalaj, this was a few kilometres from Ahmedabad city.

In the Gujarati language, the stepwell is called a vav, (leading down to the level of water). It was built in 1498 for a beautiful lady known as Rani Roopba (or Roodabai), who was the wife of Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela dynasty, a Hindu ruler, upon his death the well was completed by Mohammed Begda, the Muslim ruler of a neighbouring kingdom.

The walls on the steps leading down to the water are a marvel to see. Every piece of sandstone was intricately carved with motifs of flowers and graphics of Islamic architecture along with the symbols of Hindu and Jain gods.

Rudabai Stepwell, Adalaj.
Rudabai Stepwell, Adalaj.
Top Right are two of the four small rooms with oriel windows decorated at the four corners.
Top Right are two of the four small rooms with oriel windows decorated at the four corners.
Every inch of the sandstones are carved with motifs of flowers and graphics
Every inch of the sandstones are carved with motifs of flowers and graphics
Upper storey.
Upper storey
The Adalaj stepwell is five stories deep
The Adalaj stepwell is five stories deep
Intricately carved motifs can be seen everywhere along with animals and gods
Intricately carved motifs can be seen everywhere along with animals and gods
One of the entrances that lead to the stepwell
One of the entrances that lead to the stepwell
Above the square floor, columns, beams, wall and arched openings spiral around; a feature that continues to the top. The top part of the well, however, is a vertical space open to the sky
Above the square floor, columns, beams, wall and arched openings spiral around; a feature that continues to the top. The top part of the well, however, is a vertical space open to the sky
The tombs of six masons who built the well are seen near the Vav
The tombs of six masons who built the well are seen near the entrance to the stepwell.

Mohammed Begda, the Muslim ruler asked the MasonsWikipedia if they could build another similar well and when they agreed Begda sentenced them to death instead. Begda was so impressed by the architectural excellence of the stepwell that he did not want a replica to be built.

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