Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water may be reached by descending a set of steps. They are covered and protected and are often of architectural significance. They also may be multi-storeyed having a bullock which turns the water wheel (“rehat”) to raise the water in the well to the first or second floor.
Here is the List of Vav or Stepwells located inside/around Vadodara – Baroda City.
• Khanderao Stepwell
• Koyali Stepwell
Tandalja Vav is over 200 Years Old Vav. It was built in 18th century and still has water inside it.
The Vav had a dome at entrance, which has brought down. The dome had artistic murals depicting gods, animal motifs and narratives of war. The Stepwell also had equisite paintings and carvings which depicted life during the Gaekwad’s reign.
Earlier, people living nearby used water from the stepwell, but now it has contaminated water stewn of garbage
Located in the Laxmi Vilas Palace compound,is the only Vav (Stepwell) in Vadodara (Baroda) City today and probably the only remnant of the Gurjar rule. A plaque on the Vav says it was built in Sultan Muzaffar Shah’s time in the 15th century. Ramesh Joshi’s book ‘Imarat Ane Avshesho — Baroda Nagari no Prachin Itihas ’ says that on one of the Lower Floors of the Vav is a Brahmi inscription saying Suryaraj Kalchuri,a general of the Gurjar Kingdom and Son-in-Law of King Daddh I, built the Stepwell in Vatpadra. The Vav is/was called Navlakhi because 9 Lakh Gold Coins were Spent to Build it. It was also Refurbished in Muzaffar Shah’s time.
Navlakhi Vav is 600+ years Old. It was then developed by Maharaja Sayajirao & now the Stepwell goes till the Well.
In Earlier Times, the Stepwell’s water was used to Drink in the Lukshmi Villas Palace, but now-a-days it is used to Suppy Water to Golf Course.
An Informative thing is, when in Olden times, Another King came to Fight, then the Whole Army gathers up in Vav & then Attack from behind, so that nobody know that there are Army in Vav.
This type of Arrangement was done by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad.
• Hetampura Stepwell
• Kelanpur Stepwell
• Sayaji Vav
Sevasi (Vidhyadhar) Vav
On the way to Sindhrot in the ravines of Mahi river is a 500-year-old vav, considered as the oldest and most beautiful vav of Sultan Mehmud Begada’s time in 16th century. A clutter of shops hides this treasure. Sevasi Vav (Originally known as Vidhyadhar Vav) was built to commemorate a spiritual leader, Vidyadhar, who died early and was revered in Sevasi village. The money used in building the vav came from state the treasury. The brick and stone vav is in east-west direction and goes seven storeys below ground level. The second storey has leaf patterns and magnificent sculptures. Some of the walls have scriptures on festivals celebrated by communities of that era. A stone masonry at the entrance has a name inscribed in Devnagri script. The gate has two tigers carved on the left and two elephants on the right. Stepwells were used to store rain water, and also became sources of legends. It is said, young girls decked in gold were sacrificed at Sevasi stepwell on full moon nights, for prosperity.
Saptamukhi Vav (Dabhoi)
Located near a lake in Dabhoi, Vadodara. This Vav was constructed during 13th century A.D.. This Vav consists of a central shrine with porches on the north and southern side. The Stepwell is approached through an entrance on the east.
• Dumad Chowkdi Vav
• Urmi School Vav
• Asoj Vav
• Gorwa Stepwell
• Kadak Bazaar Vav (Demolished)