Ahmedabad – Part XIII: Dada Hari Vav

This much neglected but aesthetically built vav or stepwell is situated in Asarwa area of Ahmedabad city. When it was built in 1500 AD, Asarwa was a village by itself, which has now become an area of the city of Ahmedabad. The stepwell was built by Dhai Harir, a household lady of Sultan Mahmud Begada. She was believed to be the superintendent of the royal harem. Behind the stepwell is the mosque and a tomb built by Dhai Harir, where she was buried.

Built in sandstone this octagonal stepwell is five stories deep. Each floor is built on intricately carved large numbers of pillars and spacious enough for people to congregate. There are air and light vents in the roofs at various floors. From the first storey level, three staircases lead to the bottom level of the well. At the level of the ground, it is 190 feet long by forty feet wide. At the east end, from a domed canopy, a descent of few steps leads to a covered gallery. Built along a east west axis, the entrance is from the east and the two spiral staircases in the west. These spiral staircases are now closed.

The air and light vents in the roofs at various floors and at the landing level are in the form of large openings. From the first story level, three staircases lead to the bottom water level of the well, which is considered a unique feature. The top part of the well is vertical and opened to sky. The carvings of flowers and symbols of Islamic, Hindu and Jain gods are carved at various levels of the well.

The first gallery of the well bears two inscriptions, one in Sanskrit and one in Arabic. As per these inscriptions, the well was constructed in 1500 AD during the reign of Mahmud Shah by Dhai Harir Sultani. The name later corrupted into Dada Hari.

Dada Hari Vav
Dada Hari Vav
The domed canopy at the east end
The domed canopy at the east end
The ceiling of the domed canopy
The ceiling of the domed canopy
Steps towards the gallery
Steps towards the gallery
Interior view of the stepwell
Interior view of the stepwell
The bottom of the well - there is no water
The bottom of the well – there is no water
View from the bottom
View from the bottom
Architectural details
Architectural details
Architectural details
Architectural details
Architectural details
Architectural details
Inscriptions in Arabic from the first gallery
Inscriptions in Arabic from the first gallery
Inscriptions in Sanskrit from the first gallery
Inscriptions in Sanskrit from the first gallery
View from top
View from top

Behind the stepwell is the 16th century mosque built on a platform. The mosque is a 5 domed structure with 2 minarets (which collapsed long ago). The mausoleum contains the tomb of Dhai Harir Sultani. The tomb is beautiful structure with stone carved lattice windows.

The mosque behind the stepwell
The mosque behind the stepwell
The qibla inside the mosque
The qibla inside the mosque
Mosque - architectural details
Mosque – architectural details
Mosque - architectural details
Mosque – architectural details
The mausoleum of Dhai Harir Sultani
The mausoleum of Dhai Harir Sultani
The door to the tomb
The door to the tomb
Mausoleum - architectural details
Mausoleum – architectural details
One of the lattice windows of the mausoleum
One of the lattice windows of the mausoleum

Mata Bhavani’s well
This is another stepwell which is located about 200m north of Dada Hari’s. This well is several hundred years older and is used as a Hindu temple now.

Inside Mata Bhavani's stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani’s stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani's stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani’s stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani's stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani’s stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani's stepwell
Inside Mata Bhavani’s stepwell
Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Ahmedabad – Part XIII: Dada Hari Vav”

  1. Thank you very much. Fascinating. I miss studying history at University. No doubt I will have a love affair with reading history for the rest of this life. I have been many things in this life and my studies and love for the truth of the past has probably been my saving grace through several chapters.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s