Adalaj Vav is a five-storied step-well located in a small sleepy village named Adalaj, about 15 km from Gandhinagar city. Adalaj Vav was built in 1499.
Adalaj Vav is a classic example of Indo-Islamic style of architecture. It consists of three sandstone-built entrances, which consist of octagonal landings with huge carved colonnades and intricately carved niches. Some of the pillars and walls show the influence of Buddhists, Jains and Solanki rulers of Gujarat. The carvings on the panels include that of a king sitting on a stool with two bearers, a scene depicting women churning buttermilk, musicians accompanying dancing women, and representations of various Hindu gods and goddesses.
Sunlight cannot reach directly into the well, but openings in the ceiling enable light and air to enter inside. This keeps the water inside the well cool even in summer. Visitors can also see Ami Khumbor (a pot that contains the water of life) and Kalp Vriksha (a tree of life) made out of a single stone slab.
The legend behind Adalaj Vav is that, in A D 1499, Dandai Desh (earlier name of Adalaj) was ruled by Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela Dynasty. Mohammed Begda, a Muslim ruler of a neighboring state, invaded Adalaj and killed Rana Veer Singh. Greatly attracted by the beauty of Rana Veer Singh's widow Rani Roopba, he put forward a marriage proposal. She agreed under a condition that he should complete a five-storeyed step-well for her. King Begda finished the step-well within record time. The next day, after finishing the step-well, Rani Roopba said her final prayer and jumped into the well and died.
Now one can see the incidents described in detail on the walls and pillars of Adalaj Vav in Sanskrit and Pali.