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Ideas For India

May 13, 2003
Can’t commerce and heritage combine?

Why can’t this be replicated by the millions of heritage seeking rupees that are sloshing around today? Instead of building temples, a hundred Vavs around the countryside will make India a happier place.

The benefits are many:

--artisans will be employed

--water awareness will be created

--communal harmony may ensue

--rural economies will revive

A Vav in the arid countryside is a good fit as land is plentiful. You employ a lot of people building it and when done you propel the local economy to another plane. And you would have created a great aesthetic node that will open new opportunities in tourism and leisure. It can even be justified as a commercial build, own and operate project as gate receipts from tourists will last forever. Nayyar reports that as we go lower the Vav gets cooler. So why not hotel rooms, theatres and museums at the lower level. Given the right entrepreneur and architect, opportunities are plentiful. And cost of building downward is always cheaper than going up. The USP would be that it is an eco project.

It cannot be the Government’s work as their PWD departments and audit systems can never come around to the idea of utility combined with aesthetics. An inevitable committee will --after two years-- conclude with the brilliant insight that ten tube wells are cheaper.

So any private takers out there? May be a monument for your ancestral village? As a first step, a small sensitive team consisiting of an architect, a structural engineer and a art historian should be commissioned to consult rural folk and assess the feasibility and current cost of an Adalaj Vav?  With of course adaptation of design and materials suited for these times.

Where are the heirs of Ruda wife of King Virasimha Vaghela who knew how to use wealth?


Idea originator: D V Sridharan,

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