Abhaneri - Stepwell
In the old ruined town of Abhaneri, about 95 kilometres east of Jaipur, is Chand Baori, one of India’s oldest and deepest wells; aesthetically, it’s perhaps one of the most dramatic. Built in around 850 AD next to the temple of Harshat Mata, the baori comprises hundreds of zigzagging steps that run along three of its sides, steeply descending 11 storeys, resulting in a striking geometric pattern when seen from afar. On the fourth side, covered verandas supported by ornate pillars overlook the steps.
Unique to the region, stepwells are often architecturally complex and vary widely in size and shape. During their heyday, they were places of gathering, of leisure, of relaxation and of worship for villagers of all but the lowest castes. Most stepwells are found dotted around the desert areas of Gujarat (where they are called vav) and Rajasthan (where they are known as baori), while a few also survive in Delhi. Some were located in or near villages as public spaces for the community; others were positioned beside roads as resting places for travellers.
As their name suggests, stepwells comprise a series of stone steps descending from ground level to the water source (normally an underground aquifer) as it recedes following the rains. When the water level was high, the user needed only to descend a few steps to reach it; when it was low, several levels would have to be negotiated.
Chand Baori consists of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 stories. It extends approximately 30 m (100 ft) into the ground, making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India.
Chand Baori is said to be named after a local ruler called Raja Chanda. However, no epigraphic evidence has been found regarding the construction of the Chand Baori or the adjoining Harshat Mata Temple. Based on similarities in style and carvings with the terraced temples of Paranagar and Mandore, the Baodi can be dated to 8th-9th century.It was likely constructed before the temple.[The Chand Baori is one of the few stepwells that has "two classical periods of water building in a single setting", according to Morna Livingston in Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India.
Nearby Destinations :
Nearest Airport : Jaipur Airport (95 km / 2 hrs)
Best time to visit and Climate :
Best time to visit is during the winter & spring months when the weather is glorious. May and june months are extremely hot with the temperature crossing 40 degree celcius.
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