Ah-ti ,the elephant, is an Amdavad resident who just happened to appear new the Fort where we were tourisiting yesterday. Nothing nicer than to see an Ah-ti at the beginning of a busy day, and quite a friendly girl at that.
We were climbing around on the ancient fort when Ah-ti was noticed and we hurried down. Actually, I think Selim , our guide rickshaw leader, called down for the elephant rider to wait for us.
Ancient, elegant minimal architecture. . . .
The fort structure is under renovation but the scaffolding and things we needed to climb over or under didn’t stop us exploring.From there we went to a very ancient mosque where there were wonderful carvings.
This is a very large Jain Temple complex, called Hathseeing Temple near the step well.
The Jains are a very ancient sect that predates Hinduism. There are a large number of Jains in Amdavad because they come mostly from the business and education classes.
From there, we went to the Dada Harir Vav, stepwell. The student’s first with many more to see in our travels. These are place of both relaxation and specific purpose. In this arid climate , water is as precious as gold. These elaborate underground wells were often dedicated to the deities. The people acknowledged the hand of God in providing them this life giving substance. The cool steps down to the well were meant to be resting places for the women who would go to fetch the water for their families.
The view from near to bottom up towards the top. This construction gave David a good chance to review retaining walls and weight bearing columns in this beautiful structure.
Lastly, we went to I I M, Indian Institute of Management, which was designed by Louis Kahn and is a masterpiece of buildings and landscapes housing the most elite business school in India. We will return often to I I M but this was a two hour introduction, walk through and of course several quick sketches.
We were touring most of the day from 9 until 5ish, good practice for the upcoming North trip with “architecture all the day long. . . . . . days!”
The images from Hatheesing Temple are from Google Images, public domain.
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