Water conservation has always been a top priority in Gujarat. There are about 120 vavs or step wells in Gujarat of which a few are in and around Ahmedabad. One such step well is Dada Hari ni Vav at Asarva, a proof that water conservation was top priority in history as well.
Dada Hari ni Vav was built around 1499 AD, making it more than 500 years old. A woman built it during Sultan Mehmud Begda’s reign to provide travellers with cool water and a place to relax. Behind this elaborately designed step well lies the tomb of Dada Hari and thus the name was given to the step well. It is believed that it cost 3,29,000 Mahmudis i.e. over Rs1 lakh to build this fascinating step well in those days.
If you love heritage places, this exquisitely designed well is a treat for the eyes and soul. This seven-storey step well has a spiral stairway that takes you to each storey. As you walk down the step well, each pillar, every stair is detailed intricately with delicate carvings and floral sculptures. The decorated arches and ornate columns showcase a fine blend of traditional Muslim architecture and Hindu sculpture skills. There are certain Arabic and Sanskrit scriptures engraved on the walls 500 years back which are still visible today.
The well at the bottom is octagonal shaped and its fascinating to see a step well which not only serves a purpose but is an architectural gem as well! You too can experience this architectural marvel by visiting it between 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM. It may take a while for you to locate it, but once you are there you will be surprised with a guided tour given by the caretaker of this monument.
They say good design takes you straight to heaven and this step well is a proof of it.