Adalaj Vav was built by Rani Rudabai in 1499 AD. She was the wife of Vaghela chief, Veer Singh. The beautifully chiselled Adalaj Vav is one of the exclusive sites of Gujarat which is known for its legend. According to the legend Sultan Beghara killed the Vaghela king in order to expand the territory. After killing the king he then sent a marriage proposal to queen Rudabai, wife of Veer Singh. In reply she begged for some time from the Sultan so that she could complete the construction of the Vav. She extended the construction of the Vav upto twenty years. Being impatient the Sultan gave reminder for marriage. This time the queen reciprocated by jumping from one of the storeys of the step well or Adalaj Vav in order to save her honour. As such this monument is considered as the Jal Samadhi of the queen who sacrificed her life. It is also believed that the queen chose to sacrifice her life in order to pay a tribute to her late husband as well as Jal devi so that there remained a constant flow of water in the well.
Besides the legend the well is also known for its architectural superiority. It has some intricate carving and delicate sculptures. The walls of the well include some fine sculptures of birds, flowers, fishes and other ornamental designs which depict the craftsmanship of Saurashtra. There are a number of corridors and platforms which surround the well. It has three entrances which are connected with the corridor of the well. The corridors meet on a platform which has an octagonal shaped opening at the top. With all its decoration the well has a missing canopy which describes that well is still not complete.
Adalaj Vav is not only used for conserving water for drinking purposes, but also worked as a cooling chamber for the visitors. This has a number of steps which are used by the travellers who pass through this site and use the well to take rest and continue with their journey. With the passage of time the well is considered as a major historical sight which is the memorial of the queen for her beloved husband. Inspite of severe heat the well still remains filled with water.
Thus with its splendid architecture and fine carvings this is a well visited tourist spot in Gujarat. Like Jauher of Rani Padmini in Chittorgarh fort, this place is also known as the memorial of Queen Rudabai who made a self sacrifice to save her honour.
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