Adalaj Vav (Ahmedabad - Gujarat)

At 7 AM, I set off to Adalaj Vav with an idea to finish it before the sun gets too hot. Vav in Gujarati means Step well. This was built by Ruda, wife of Vaghela chief Virasimha in 1498. Its an oblong well with has entrance at south and steps from south to north.

The building is 5 storeyed and a small platform corridor is present along the wall in all storeys. However they have been blocked by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) to protect the monument. Also spiral steps are available on the eastern and western sides, to reach the top from the base directly. However those are also closed presently by ASI. 
Here's the marble slab, on the 2nd storey, on the eastern side, which is inscribed with the information about who built it and when.
The mythical creature opposite to this marble slab is considered as a local deity and is a live temple!
The intricacy of the sculptures are mind blowing! Its all so small in size too. See my thumb beside the sculpture. That's the size! 

Somewhere, once in a while, here and there, in the middle of a series of flowers or elephants are little mythological scenes and figures of Gods!!! An eye for detail is needed to even spot them in the middle of overwhelming intricacies!!!
Challenge - Spot the monkey in this!
A war scene with elephants, horses and soldiers!
King seated on the throne, churning of buttermilk and subtle erotic-ism!!! Able to spot them on the panel??? 
A man and 2 women!
From the top most story looking to the end, if you've a great vision, you could spot a relief sculpture of Lord Ganesha with Siddhi and Buddhi there, but I couldn't see it without any binocular or telescope!
Going down to the water level at the base of the well, this is how it was! The temperature within was considerably cooler!!!

That's the intricacy level on the pillars & walls around!!!
The top of the well could be directly accessed on those days when rain is good and the well is filled! That's the top covered with grill today!
Right atop are 7 tombs of the 7 architects who built this stepwells, of which 5 survive till date! And guess what, as I planned, by 9 I was out of Adalaj, before the sun got fierce!!! My next stop was Dada Hari ni Vav... Coming back soon with it!!!

From Ahmedabad Airport: 14.5 km via Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad Road, Koba Circle, Koba-Adalaj Road

Contact of the ASI care taker of the monument: Mr. Babu Bhai: +91 81404 75561
On Google Maps:

P.S: Thanks to Fly Tagged for this memorable trip!


An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands


  1. The step well was not built by Roopba, but for Ruda in 1499 by Muslim king Mohammed Begda for Queen Rani Roopba, wife of Veer Singh, the Vaghela chieftain. The step well or 'Vav', as it is called in Gujarati, is intricately carved and is five stories in depth. Such step wells were once integral to the semi arid regions of Gujarat as they provided basic water needs for drinking, washing and bathing. These wells were also venues for colourful festivals and sacred rituals. Though now dry, the well once provided water to weary travellers and pilgrims along the roads outside of Ahmedabad. Its deep interior provided cool relief from the harsh Indian sun.

  2. Lovely post, Bhusha. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Amazing shots.

    Though not qualified enough to comment to the art. Landed here somehow while googling and really loved this blog. I am sharing it on G+ and facebook with my friends.

    1. Thank you Rachit! Glad you liked. Keep visiting! :)

  4. Captivating pictures of this charming structure. And the lattice work is exquisite.

  5. Adalaj is such a beautiful specimens of the step wells in Gujarat. When we went there, there was not much water and could go till the last level (which was a little spooky). Nice post :)

    1. Wow!!! That sounds awesome. I went till the base in the Dada Harir ni Vav. But this one had water! :)


Thanks for visiting...! Why not leave a comment.? And tell your friends..!!!
By commenting you accept to our GDPR Policy.