Postcard Greetings from Adalaj, India
A simple act of fetching water on a hot Sunny day becomes a delightful architectural experience at the stepped well of Adalaj in India. This stepped well was built by Mohammed Begda in 1499 AD and has become a wonderful place of refuge for weary travelers. Greetings from Adalaj, India.
The stepped well of Adalaj
Adalaj is located between Ahmedabad and Jaisalmer in India with connections to the ancient silk road that linked Europe with Asia. The stepped well was envisioned by King Ranveer Singh, who wanted to create a place of refuge for his people. The construction started during his reign, however, he was killed in a battle with a neighboring King named Mehmud Begda before the well could be completed. The new king fell in love with Ranveer Singh’s widow – Queen Roopba – and wanted to marry her. The Queen agreed to marry him if he completed the stepped well. King Begda agreed to complete the structure. When the structure was completed, Queen Roopba threw herself into the well and died. All she wanted to do was to see the stepped well completed as a tribute to her late husband.
Subterranean work of architecture
How does one conceive, let alone build a subterranean work of architecture with such proficiency and skill? From the engineering perspective, you must excavate and create massive retaining walls to hold earth with the help of braces and supports. From an architectural perspective, you need to create an experience that is comfortable and enjoyable for a cosmopolitan audience with varying religious and spiritual needs. All of that was done skillfully and effortlessly at the stepped well of Adalaj with the added intrigue of a love story.
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