Dada Harir Vav Ahmedabad

The Dada Harir ni Vav or Step Wells was primarily built to battle the scare water resources of the state where rainfalls are unpredictable. But these step wells were much more-not only was it a great piece of art and architecture, it was a symbol of luxury and glory. Yet, it was open to all, right from the weary traveler who needed a place to relax and get some water to the communities that resided around.

Dada Harir Vav Ahmedabad
Dada Harir Vav: The Step Wells that were much more than Reservoirs...

The Idea Behind the Construction of Dada Harir Vav

The idea of building water reservoirs was brought up by architects belonging to Gujarat’s medieval era. They built step wells, digging deep in to the leading to massive spaces housing wells, which were easily accessible via a descent using steps.

The idea behind the construction of step wells in Gujarat borders on the need of conservation, given that water has been scarce resource in the state and the rainfall patterns are unpredictable and usually scanty. The importance of water conservation has been realized despite major advancements in technology. People still have to face conditions like droughts, floods and scarcities of water, giving us an idea of how futuristic and socially responsible people of the bygone era were.

Bejewelled artistically with unique cut-stone carvings, these reservoirs were definitely much more than mere wells. They served rather a bigger role by representing larger-than-life style of rulers of those times.

Dada Harir Architecture

As one walks down the steps of the Dada Hari step wells, the darkness envelopes you in every sense of the word, filling you with this serene calm. The air as you proceed is tinged with moisture making the environment around you cooler as the temperature drops. There is an amazingly powerful yet undisturbing calm as one walks around this monument; a stillness that is peaceful but one that seemed so alive. Try dropping a small pebble as you walk down, and hear the echo travel through the quiet yet mystifying step-wells filling you with its awe.
   
Located in close proximity to the Mata Bhavani Step wells in Ahmedabad's suburbs, the Dada Hari Vav, bavli or step wells (however you may prefer) is unlike any other heritage site you have been to. The majestic wells are located near Asarwa village. At ground level you may not see much, but as move up to top, you will suddenly find an amazing deluge of stairs and columns deep down to several storeys, illuminated with lights flashing on lovely carvings with birds fluttering their wings to get in and out. The few rays of sunlight that manage to filter into the lower depths of the vav were sufficient to enlighten the atmosphere and only seemed to create a wonderful light play of shadows that seemed positively pleasing in the visual sense.

Be sure to keep the decibals low, in order to enjoy the complete beauty of this monumental community architecture, or you might just end up sending a couple of pigeons fluttering up from the depths of the well, the suddenness of their flight leaving you startled and unleveling the calm. Further down you may just be greeted by the other dwellers of the step wells- the fruit bats. Please do not panic, in no time will they get used to your presence, allowing you to also taste the serenity of the step wells.

There are about 120 Vavs or step-wells all over in Gujarat with Dada Hari Vav being the most popular of them. The Vav is still in great shape and attracts tourists from all over the world.

Uniqueness of Dada Harir Vav

The step well was built around 500 years back by the then ruler Bai Harir.  The extrinsic craftsmanship and elaborate construction of this octagon-shaped well makes it unique among all the other wells built in those times. The lovely cravings on the walls will lure you to keep descending on the steps as you look at the unbelievable craftsmanship.

Quick Facts:


Location:

Dada Harir ni Vav,
Near Asarwa Lake, Moti Khatriwad,
Mahavir Nager, Asarwa,
Ahmedabad

Timings:

The Vav is accessible from early morning till sundown. However the best time to visit the well is late morning when light penetrates down the shaft.

Photography:

Allowed for Free

Tip: Please avoid making too much noise, the step wells has its own population of birds and bats. You would want to avoid sending them into a flutter disturbing your serene experience. Also please do not litter.

How to Reach Dada Harir

The best way to get there is to hire an auto rickshaw from the Kalupur auto rickshaw stand or hire a taxi from the tourism desk at Law garden. The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport System (AMTS) buses come nearby, and then it is short walk to the Vav.

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