Around 9.30, after our visit to Tri-Mandir and after having food from a nearby restaurant, we reached Adalaj Step Well Gandhinagar. The story concerning this step well is famous. In 1499, Queen Rudabai built this step well to serve as a resting place for the villagers, pilgrims and other travellers visiting the city.
The step well has five stories and the visitors would have to climb down these five steps to reach the bottom of the well. The Well, to this day, has a clean water supply and is in excellent condition, with grills surrounding it. Being an important heritage site, it attracts a large number of tourists every year.
The travellers in the early days used to come to the step well to fill water, to offer their worship to the deities carved on the walls or to just sit in the shade and converse. Apart from the architecture, the designs and the carvings on the walls are so intricate that I could only marvel at the talent and the precise drawings of the artists of the yesteryears!
There are three main entrances to go down to the step well. As we proceeded downwards, the mythological scenes carved on the walls amazed us. There were carvings of women churning buttermilk, musicians playing their traditional bands, women dancing to the tunes of the musicians, the women adorning themselves with flowers and many other such carvings.
Another feature, which my friend pointed out to me, was the nature of floral designs on the walls. He explained to me that it was a combination of Hindu and Islamic pattern along with the Jain motifs. It symbolized the harmony amongst people of the early days.
We looked at the magnificent “Ami Khumbor”, which is a pot containing the water of life. Further down the steps was the “Kalp Vriksha”, the tree of life. Made of out a single stone, this sculpture stands as a symbol of life. The walk down to the well and the walk back up was indeed a great experience. We were glad that we went during the time of the day, when we could clearly examine the intricate designs and carvings on the wall.