Step wells are nothing but “Wells/Ponds with steps” in layman terms. Stepwells are referred by a different name such are, vav or vaav (Gujarati: વાવ). Other names include bawdi (Hindi: बावड़ी) or baoli (Hindi: बावली) and barav (Marathi: बारव). One of stepwell is in Ahmedabad, which I got a chance to visit. Adalaj Stepwell (અડાલજ ની વાવ). Let’s dig down and find more about.
About Adalaj Stepwell:
Adalaj Stepwell is located in the village of Adalaj, close to Ahmedabad town in Gandhinagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was built in 1499 by Mahmud Begada for his queen Rudabai, wife of Veersinh, the Vaghela chieftain. It is an example of Indo-Islam fusion architecture work.
Intricately carved and is five storeys deep. Such step wells were once integral to the semi-arid regions of Gujarat, as they provided water for drinking, washing and bathing. These wells were also venues for colourful festivals and sacred rituals.
How to reach to Adalaj stepwell:
Nearest place by which you can arrive here is either Ahmedabad or Gandhinagar. From Ahmedabad, the distance is around 18 km and 10 km from Gandhinagar. There are different modes of travel you can opt for.
AMTS(Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service): The cheapest way to travel. Its a bus transit system that connect Ahmedabad to its internal subdivisions and outer areas such as Adalaj. AMTS’ Bus Number 501 directly connects Ahmedabad to Adalaj. The charge is mare 15 INRs. Mostly it is jam-packed. Journey time is around 30-40 min.
GSRTC(Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation): Again a government transport run by Government of Gujarat. I personally haven’t use this mode of transport. But it’s cheap too. Journey time is around 30-40 min.
Personal Vehicle or Booking a Cab: It would be best way to travel if you don’t wanna squeeze yourself in crowd. Even if you don’t have your own vehicle you can book a Cab (Uber or Ola, which a common in Ahmedabad and Ghandhinagar). They’ll cost you around Rs. 15o, one way trip to Adalaj from Ahmedabad. Journey time is around 20-30 min.
It’s up to you and your requirements to choose the mode suits you.
What to carry along
The simple answer would be nothing but if you are not willing to eat or drink outside food or water, then you are free to carry that along with. As Adalaj stepwell is based in Adalaj village you won’t have any problem finding food or water. You can have food and drink in the garden build around the Adalaj stepwell.
The Crowd at Adalaj Stepwell
Generally, on non-holidays, there isn’t much crowd to be seen. But if you visit on Weekends or festive time you find a decent amount of crowd visiting stepwell. I personally visited twice, first alone and on a non-holiday and was able to see the bunch of people that I could count on my fingers. The second time was on holiday with friends and could find a good amount of visitors.
The Atmosphere at Adalaj Stepwell
In Gujarat either you’ll find too hot or too cold, similar goes for Adalaj stepwell. It’s pleasant in morning and evening but too sizzling in summer afternoons. Inside the stepwell, it’s pretty cold even in the afternoon. Spending some time in stepwell, you’ll start feeling the humidity and wanna get out soon as possible.
In the evening there is a vegetable and fruit market just outside of Adalaj Stepwell. Total visiting time will not take more than an hour. There is no fee for Adalaj stepwell and it’s open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Generally, people don’t visit after sunset as there is no lighting inside stepwell.
The last note
If you are visiting Adalaj stepwell, you may also consider visiting Adalaj Trimandir which is quite close to the stepwell. Other than these two there is nothing much Adalaj has to offer.
Have great tripping. Good luck! 🙂