Adalaj Stepwell is known as Rudabai Stepwell. It is a blend of Indo-Islamic architecture.
In other languages, the Stepwell is called as Vav, Bawdi or Baoli.
Adalaj Stepwell is located in the Adalaj village in Gandhinagar district of one of the Indian states Gujarat. Adalaj Stepwell is one of the tourist attractions which is 5 kilometres from the capital City Gandhinagar and 18 kilometres from the Ahmedabad City.
Adalaj Stepwell was built in 1498 by Hindu Ruler, Rana Veer Singh of Vaghela Dynasty.
His kingdom was small and of often shortage of water. As a solution to the dependency on rainwater, The Ruler began to build Stepwells to mitigate the shortage of water during the non-rainy season.
Before this Stepwell construction could get completed, His kingdom was attacked by Muslim Ruler Mohammed Begda and got defeated and Rana Veer Singh was killed in the battle. The kingdom was occupied by the invaders.
Rani Rudabai, widow of Rana Veer Singh wanted to perform Sati. However, Mohammed Begda prevented her from performing Sati after her husband’s death and proposed her to marry him.
Rani Rudabai accepted the proposal on one condition. That condition was,’Mohammed Begda would first complete the building of the Stepwell‘.
Mohammed Begda who had fell head over heels for a beautiful widow accepted the condition. Construction of the Stepwell was completed within the time limit in 1499. Since it was started by Hindu Ruler and Completed by Muslim Ruler, it blends Indo-Islamic architecture.
After fulfilling the condition of Rani Rudabai, The Muslim Ruler reminded her to follow her promise to marry him. To complete the construction of the Stepwell was the wish of Rani’s husband Rana Veer Singh and it was the only objective of her.
Instead of accepting the Muslim ruler’s proposal, Rani Rudabai circumambulated the stepwell with prayers and jumped into the Stepwell.
Six tombs are found near the stepwell, They are of six Masons who built the stepwell. It is believed that Mohammed Begda asked masons that if they could build another similar stepwell? Six masons were sentenced to the death when they agreed. The Muslim king was galvanized by the architecture and did not want the replica of Adalaj Stepwell.
Insights into the Structure of Stepwell:
- Blend of Indo-Islamic architecture
- Five stories deep stepwell
- The only Stepwell in the Gujarat which has three sides staircase entrance leading to the first floor
- Each floor is spacious and constructed with the carved pillars
- The Octagonal opening at the Top allows air and sunlight to the water. However, the researchers have found that the temperature at the bottom is 6 degrees less than the top
- All the walls curved by floral patterns, women churning buttermilk, a king sitting on the stool, dancers accompanied by the musicians and ornamentation
Adalaj Stepwell is rich in architectural and historical values. One should not miss this historical place to visit when on the trip to Gujarat, India.