Akshardham Swaminarayana temple in Gandhinagar around 30kms from Ahmedabad and Adalaj Ni Vav (Adalaj Stepwell) which is around 15kms from Akshardham towards Sarkhej were the two places we visited in the Gandhinagar area.
This is going to be a post of pictures of Adalaj Ni Vav .
Photography is not allowed at Akshardham. The temple structure as such is not very rich architecturally and has a seven foot tall gold leafed statue of Swaminarayan in the center of the mandir. Its a 23 acre complex with the mandir and garden named Sahajanand Van. The garden is well landscaped with neatly cut edgings and topiary of some of the incarnation of Vishnu. And as you exit the path leads you through 6-7 beautiful sculptures.
So coming back to Adalaj Ni Vav, this stepwell built for Queen Rani Roopba in 1499 is a intricately carved well, five stories deep, which provided water for drinking, washing and bathing.
The entire structure is bulit in sandstone in Solanki architecture style and the well is octgonal in shape which you can sort of see by the shape of the walls at the bottom of the well. The well floor itself being square in shape.
Three staircases lead to the bottom of the well from the first floor, each floor being spacious enough for people to congregate. The pillars and beams are beautifully decorated.
You can see an influence of Islamic style too maybe because this well was built by Muslim king Mohammed Begda.
Getting here: We did Akshardham first and then Adalaj. Took the city bus to Gandhinagar from Ahmedabad. As suggested by the bus conductor we got down at the highway where the bus would turn into Gandhinagar city. Shared auto from here to the temple. On our way back we took the local bus to Gandhinagat city stand, lots of buses plying to Sarkhej from here which would drop you off on the highway near Adalaj.The Vav itslef is about half a kilometer from the highway , so either take an auto or walk down a small road.
You could also do this the other way, first Adalaj and then Akshardham, lots of buses plying from Ahmedabad to Adalaj.