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Dada Hari Vav (Stepped Well), Ahmedabad

Dada Hari Vav (Stepped Well) Overview

Gujarat step wells or baolis are strange and unique and the Dada Hari Well built in 1499 is a magnificent masterpiece representing the typical Gujarati style of architecture Entirely underground, they were built to overcome heat and dust. Behind the well is the tomb of Dada Hari. Northern Gujarat abounds in remarkable step-wells, with elaborately carved walls and broad flights of covered steps leading to the shaft. Dada Harini Vav, in the northwest of the city, is one of the finest. While it is a Muslim construction, built in 1500 for Bai Harir Sultani, superintendent of the royal harem, the craftsmen were Hindu and their influence is clear in the lavish and sensuous carvings on the walls and pillars. A lady of Sultan Mahmud Begara court built one such step well in 1501. It is a fascinating place, though has signs of neglect today. It has a series of steps leading down to lower platforms terminating at a small, octagonal well. The depths of the well are cool, even on the hottest day, and it must once have been quite beautiful.

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