Northern Gujarat abounds with remarkable step-wells – deep, with elaborately carved walls and broad flights of covered steps leading to a shaft – but Dada Hari-ni Vav, just outside the city’s old northeast boundaries, is among the finest. While it’s a Muslim construction, built in 1500, the craftsmen were Hindu, and their influence is clear in the lavish and sensuous carvings on the walls and pillars. Visit around 11am when the sculpted floral patterns and shapely figurines inside are bathed in sunlight. Bai Harir’s lofty mosque and lattice-walled tomb stand just west of the well, while a couple of hundred metres north of the complex is the neglected Mata Bhava-ni Vav, probably constructed in the eleventh century, before Ahmedabad was founded. It’s profoundly Hindu in character, and dedicated to Bhava-ni, an aspect of Shiva’s consort Parvati

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