Have you heard the term “stepwell”? For the ones who are not aware of this term or know what exactly this word means, let me sum it up in one sentence. Stepwell = brains+beauty 😀
On a more serious note, a stepwell is a well where the water is reached by a series of steps. Designed in multiple levels, these wells are dug deep and the bottom leads you to the water and given seasonalities, water is available year-round, and it is easy for maintenance, thanks to this style of construction. A basic difference between stepwells on the one hand and tanks and wells on the other is to make it easier for people to reach the groundwater and to maintain and manage the well. Stepwells can be found across India but predominantly in the western and northern parts of the country.
These stepwells in regional languages are called Baudi, Bavdi, Bavri, Vav, Pushkarni etc. I have had the chance to visit three stepwells in India and I’m listing them down in the order of my visit. The one that’s missing on this list amongst the famous ones is the Agrasen Ki Baoli in New Delhi. In my list of things to do 🙂
We’ve covered Pushkarni and Adalaj in the past, read on to know more about Chand Baori.
One of the oldest step wells in India, King Chanda of Nikumbha Dynasty had constructed this little piece of architecture in 800 AD. Built in the shape of a square, the Baori is 19.5 meters deep. As you can see in these pictures, it has a double flight of steps on three sides which makes it look so beautiful. The fourth side of the Baori has balconies which are supported by pillars.
The Chand Baori is under the control of the Archaeological Survey of India, and it is well maintained.
Where is Chand Baori: Abhaneri, Rajasthan
Distance from Jaipur: 97 km
How to Reach: You could either book a taxi or self-drive. We self-drove, thanks to Zoomcar from Jaipur to Abhaneri. (Have you tried Zoomcar yet? Use Zoomcar coupon code NjA0MzU5 to make your first booking with Zoomcar and get 15% off!)
Route: Agra-Jaipur Highway (NH 21)
Travel Time: Reached in under 1hr 30mins. Great roads.
Timings: Open from Sunrise to Sunset
Parking: Available (Car – Rs. 50, Bike Rs. 10)
Once you enter this place, you will find the Harsad Mata Temple, which is opposite to the Baori. Pay a visit and then proceed experience this beautiful stepwell. As you walk around this huge Baori, you will find broken statues places in the side rooms.
You cannot walk down the steps as it is restricted. We were here for about half an hour before we headed out.
We reached Umaid Lake Palace for lunch – a beautiful property which looked haunted. There was nobody in the property but for the ones working (we didn’t see more than three people). It felt like we were the only ones around.
We dined in the(only?) restaurant of this property as we could not spot any decent place to eat on the way. Food was okay but the all the cutlery and the napkins were smelly as if they hadn’t been used for aeons. The place definitely creeped us out.
If you have some more time and have a thing for creepy places, you can quickly visit the Bhangarh Fort in the village by the same name, which is nearby. Named as the most haunted place in India, the fort can be visited after sunrise and before sunset and a guide is advised.
So, is the Chand Baori in Abhaneri in your list of things to do in Jaipur as well?