Today I am off to look at a water well. Now you might well think why would anyone hire a car and a driver for four hours just to look at a well…..In India it is considered woman’s work to fetch the water and can be very heavy hot work during the very hot summer months. In 1499 Queen Rudabai (I am sure she did not fetch water) decided that the fetching of water could also be a social occasion so she built a rather special well called Adalaj Wav (Vav)These wells are also called baolis and there are now a number of them in Gujarat all built around the same time.
Adalaj Vav is one of the finest step wells and was built to conserve water and provide a cool and pleasant place for social interaction. A series of beautiful platforms and galleries were built all the way down to the water platform.
The Stepped Corridor leads down five stories to a depth of 100ft through pavilions with some very ornate carvings. The pavilions are supported by rows of carved pillars and the pavilions were the main meeting places. The water was actually drawn in the normal way from the top of the well. I was amazed at the work that must have gone into building this well as it is all underground so required a lot of digging and construction and all this over 500 years ago. I imagine the men did have a hand in the building and digging!!
On my return to Ahmedabad I decided to take a walk to the old Ahmedabad Fort going through the narrow lanes. Unfortunately the fort was very badly affected by the last earthquake and has never really been restored. Like all things in India there are limited funds and following the earthquake there were far more important things to spend the money on.