16 stepwells from Ahmedabad form part of a week-long exhibition, “Stepwells of Ahmedabad — A Conversation on Water & Heritage”
A city-based collective of researchers and graduates from CEPT University have found that three of the 16 stepwells in and around Ahmedabad are unused, dilapidated and uncared for. The collective has documented 16 stepwells from Ahmedabad that are part of a week-long exhibition, “Stepwells of Ahmedabad — A Conversation on Water & Heritage” — which opened on World Water Day on March 22.
The collective, led by city-based architect Riyaz Tayyibji, saw heritage enthusiasts from the city document 16 stepwells in and around Ahmedabad in a bid to explore their present condition and issues of heritage in the larger context of the city. Surface water, ground water and settlement, gender and patronage, inhabitation and the living building, question of heritage were some of the facets studied by the researchers.
“As we went visiting several stepwells, we found 16 and have documented them by way of drawings, photos and films. A 7-member team, consisting of CEPT alumnus and current students, came up with close to 22 photographs and measured drawings of the stepwells for the exhibition. We studied the iconography, the structure, the religious significance, the relationship between the water and the structure and with the community living around it,” said Neel Jain, an architecture student at CEPT University, who is part of the collective.