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Wadhwan, Kathiawar. Madhav Vav, entrance to

Wadhwan, Kathiawar. Madhav Vav, entrance to

Photographer: Cousens, Henry

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1899

Shelfmark: Photo 1009/6(1595)

Item number: 100961595

Length: 21.8

Width: 29.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the entrance to the step-well Madhav Vav at Wadhwan in Gujarat, taken by Henry Cousens for the Archaeological Survey of India Collections: Western India 1898-99. A stepwell or baoli, it consists of a vertical shaft descending to the water table, reached via tiers of stepped subterranean platforms. As well as being a source of water, stepwells were used as cool retreats in hot weather and also functioned as shrines, many being closely connected with a temple. They are a unique form of underground well architecture found all over Gujarat and Rajasthan. The most elaborate and monumental forms are found in Gujarat, however, where they are called vavs or vavdis. The Madhav vav at Wadhwan is of the usual step-well type.

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