Tangible Ahmedabad : #Step wells

June 18, 2021 by Aarya Chavda0

Tangible Ahmedabad : # Step wells

# Share heritage

Ahmedabad’s architecture has been influenced by cultures from all over the world. Step wells, one of the splendid glories of Ahmedabad, were first built in 600 AD. Cradled in immense climatic variations and erratic monsoons, step wells had turned out to be the solution to some of the problems in earlier times. Step wells such as Adalaj Ni Vav depict six centuries of the cultural heritage of Ahmedabad. These linear structures of the traditional buildings not only provided water, but they served as a place of social gathering, especially for women, who came to fetch water. These step wells have also helped the locals to strive and survive too. Step wells were also places where they celebrated religious festivals, where local travelers came to rest, the step wells would provide them with relief and shelter in such hot and arid weather.

Among the unique architecture of step wells, Adalaj Stepwell shines out brightly, due to its example of immense beauty. It has intricately carved pillars and the Vav is a spectacular example of indo-Islamic architecture and design. This distinctive Vav was built by Rana Veer Singh, a Hindu king, who ruled a small kingdom of the Vaghela dynasty. This step well is not only justified by its immense beauty but its story is one of love, sacrifice and war. Adalaj step well has also played an integral role in making the city of Ahmedabad a world heritage city. It showcases a great example that our heritage is more than just stone buildings. 

At the age of 9, my curiosity took over me and a poem popped inside my mind:

“In this arid state,

the steps of the step wells are steep.

Earlier people had to fetch-

water that deep. 

To view the bottom from top,

you just need to peep.”

Excerpts from my book : ‘Ahmedabad- my city my heritage’ and ‘Intangible heritage’

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