The Dada Harir in Ahmedabad is one of the most incredible stepwells that I had the pleasure of exploring in India. Here is a quick guide to exploring the incredible 15th Century Dada Harir Stepwell in Ahmedabad, India.

Dada Harir Stepwell is a 5-story deep well supported by large stone pillars and built-in an octagonal configuration. There is also a small Mosque and the tomb here, where a household lady of the 15th Century Sultan, Mahmud Begada is buried. Visitors are free to explore this stepwell from the upper levels to the lower depths of the well.

The Dada Harir Stepwell, also known as Bai Harir Vav in Gujarati is one of the most impressive stepwells in this part of India, and in my opinion, one of the most underrated too.

I’d recommend visiting this stepwell over the more popular Adalaj stepwell. Honestly, both are very similar and since Dada Harir is within walking distance of most hotels, it’s a good choice for a short trip.

Looking for ideas for your trip to India? You might also want to check out this comprehensive India Packing List to find out what you should bring and what you shouldn’t! Also, I’ve written a very comprehensive 1 Month India Itinerary that covers an epic, fast-paced travel route as well as a bunch of information and tips that will prove useful in planning your trip!

More: Essential India Travel Resources

Find Cheap Flights
The best and easiest way to find cheap flights is to use an airfare search engine like Skyscanner. This compares all of the best fares across all airlines.

TIP: If you’re flexible on dates, search for “Whole Month” to see a calendar result with the cheapest days to fly.

Finding the Best Deals on Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts, between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals in India.

TIP: To find the best hostels, I usually compare reviews on Hostelworld, then check other booking sites to further compare prices and deals.

Good Deals on Tours and Transport
You already know that I prefer independent travel. In saying that, sometimes the best and cheapest way to get things done is to just book a tour or package. For India, I always use Klook and Viator.

By far, the cheapest way to get from place to place in India is to take long-distance, overnight buses. A reliable bus network is Redbus.in, which also has a downloadable app. You could also consider BookAway to compare cheap buses and land transport options in India.

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If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking adventures over poolside sips. My two favorite options for adventure travel are SafetyWing and World Nomads. Click here to read the comparison between the two.

Where is the Dada Harir Stepwell in Ahmedabad?

The Dada Harir Stepwell is located approximately 5 kilometers from the banks of the Sabarmati, on the east side. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from the Ahmedabad Junction train station.

The best way to get to the Dada Harir Stepwell is to simply hail a Rickshaw driver or an Uber. Both should cost around 50-100 IR for the one-way trip from most areas within Ahmedabad. Since the stepwell was close to our accommodation in Ahmedabad, we decided to walk.

Dada Harir Stepwell Entry Fee

There is no entry fee to visit the Dada Harir Stepwell. Visitors are free to explore without having to pay or buy a ticket.

What to Expect at the Dada Harir Stepwell

Upon arriving at the stepwell, or “vav” as they are known in Gujarati, you are free to explore the upper levels or head straight down via the 3 large, stone staircase to the right.

The Dada Harir Stepwell has five stories, or levels in total, held up by intricately carved stone pillars. Light and air filters through large openings in many of the structure’s areas. Water level will depend on the season, but the lower well section was completely dry when I visited late in the dry season.

Visitors will also find tight, spiraling staircases entered through intricate doorways on adjacent sides of the octagonal well structure. These staircases lead to the different levels of the vav where you can catch unique perspectives of this 500-year old architectural phenomenon.

TIGHT SPIRAL STAIRCASE TO THE LOWER LEVELS OF BARI HARIR VAV
Narrow spiral staircase to the lower levels of Dada Harir Stepwell Ahmedabad.

You can also visit the small Mosque on the upper level, as well as the tomb of Dhai Harir, the overseer of the stepwell construction.

We spent close to two hours exploring this unique stepwell, playing with the light, and trying to capture some unique shots.

BAI HARIR VAV STEPWELL IN AHMEDABAD

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Brief History of the Dada Harir Stepwell, Ahmedabad

Built in 1485, the Dada Harir Stepwell helped to combat Ahmedabad’s seasonal water shortages. By digging into the reservoir of groundwater, 5 levels below, the Mahmud Begada Sultan could provide a more reliable source of freshwater for citizens and travelers.

DADA HARIR STEPWELL AND MOSQUE IN AHMEDABAD, INDIA

Although the Dada Harir is built on Islamic-style architecture, it was interesting to find the symbols of both Hindu and Jain gods also carved into the stone structures of the stepwell,

Furthermore, this site’s history was also built on the fundamental principles of accommodating travelers, as outlined by the Arabic Sanskrit on the north wall:

This holy and wholesome water; the splendid travellers’ rest-house enclosed on four sides by carved and painted walls, and a grove of fruit trees with their fruit, a well, and a pool of water for the use of man and heist, were built in the reign of the Sultan of the Sultans of the age, established by the grace of God and of the faith, Abul Fath Mahmud Shah, son of Muhammad Shah, son of Ahmed Shah, son of Muhammad Shah, son of Muzaffar Shah the Sultan, may God keep his kingdom. Dated the metropolis of the kingdom the 2nd of Jamadi-ul-awwal in the 26th year of the reign.

Source

I’m sure I share the same sentiment with other travelers when I say that this welcoming attitude to foreigners and travelers seems to be stronger than ever in modern Ahmedabad.

Accommodation in Ahmedabad

Where I stayed: Aaramgruh Hotel Dormitory 
To be fair there’s not much of a backpacker scene in Ahemdabad. However, I found this dormitory-style hotel to be excellent value at only about $6 per night for a bed. It’s also fairly close to the Dada Harir Stepwell.

Central for a stopover – Dodhia Haveli
A little more pricey than my usual budget dorm recommendations. But, this hotel is definitely worth it if you’re coming to Ahmedabad for a stopover by bus or train. It’s located very close to the Ahmedabad Junction train station and offers holds reviews and offers spacious, clean rooms.

Compare and book accommodation in Ahmedabad by using Booking.com or Agoda.

More Dada Harir Stepwell Photos

Here are some more photos of the Dada Harir Stepwell that I captured on my visit.

DADA HARIR STEPWELL IN AHMEDABAD INDIA
LOOKING UP AT THE ROOF OF THE BAI HARIR VAV
STONE PILLARS AND FLOORS OF DADA HARIR STEPWELL
DADA HARIR STEPWELL IN AHMEDABAD INDIA

More Travel Guides and Blogs for your Travels in India

I hope that this quick guide has been useful for planning your visit to the Dada Harir Stepwell in Ahmedabad (Bai Harir Vav). For more travel guides and articles tailored to independent backpackers and adventure travelers, take a pick from the list below.

EXPLORING DADA HARIR STEPWELL AHMEDABAD INDIA

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