We all are used to the scorching summer sun in Ahmedabad – the cold ice creams and soda pops, centrally air-conditioned malls to beat the heat and deserted afternoon streets! Of course a few centuries ago, this wasn’t the scene. There was only one way to beat the heat in Ahmedabad – the glorious step wells!
Step wells were an integral part of ancient Ahmedabad. Even today these step wells are a reflection of the charming vintage years Ahmedabad was witness to. One such step well is Mata Bhavani’s Well; which is believed to be one of the earliest step wells in the city. The well was built in the 11th century and even though it gets its name from Bhavani Mata’s shrine, the shrine was built much later. It is located at Asarwa just 200 m north of Dada Hari ni vav.
The construction of this well is splendid and is one of the longest wells. A long flight of steps leads to the water below a sequence of multi-story open pavilions positioned along the east/west axis. The step well was built after considering the different water levels across seasons. The well served water not only to people but also to animals. Therefore, in a way the well met community needs and religious needs as well. And that’s why this particular step well is considered sacred.
Though this step well is not as decorated as other step wells, nevertheless it still has decorated columns, ornate brackets and intricately designed arches and panels.
Thanks to Mata Bhavani’s temple, even today this step well is lively and colourful.