Jaipur: Chand Baori (Abhaneri Stepwell)

Step Wells were integral part of Indian villages before the British imposed their way discarding the need of such water reservoirs and belittling the societal functioning of the villages. Some of the step-wells still exist but are not in use like Agrasen ki Baoli (New Delhi), Rani ki vav (Patan, Gujarat), Chand Baori in Abhaneri (near Jaipur, Rajasthan),  Pushkarani (Hampi, Karnataka).

Abhaneri (originally called Abhanagari meaning “City of brightness”) is a village 95 km from Jaipur(Rajasthan) on Jaipur -Agra road. The city was established in 8th century by the king  “Samrat Mihir Bhoj”. The city is in ruins but the splendid architecture of the times survives in the Chand Baori.  This is one of the oldest, largest and deepest step well in India with 3500 steps descending 20 meters down (13 stories)to reach the collected water. The narrow and symmetrical steps are along the three sides of this large square water reservoir. The fourth side has  corridors, pavilions and rooms for the royal couple with stage for dance performances.

Besides being large tanks for rain water harvesting, these step-wells were community gathering places during festivals, cool retreats for travelers, villagers and king.

Chand baori is located next to temple of ‘ Harshat Mata Goddess’ who for locals is the goddess  of joy, happiness and brightness. Razed by some Muslim invaders, some defaced sculptures of gods and goddesses still exist along with broken parts of the temple.

This step-well was featured in movie ‘The Fall’ and ‘Dark Knight Rises’.


About shoma abhyankar

I like to believe that I am a creative person. I read, write, paint, sketch, rustle up some quick and some elaborate meals for friends and family, love chess, su-doku and scrabble, can hum an old Hindi song tentatively, always stand up for women rights, hate fake people, bugs, roaches, spiders and cigarette smokers!! I graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Architecture in 1998. Soon after, I married an officer in Indian Air Force and have been on move since then. For a brief time of two years when we were posted in Pune, I worked as a junior architect in a firm. Being aware of frequent movement that we would have to live with, I chose to be a homemaker and concentrated on creating a warm and welcoming home for my family. But sitting at home without any creative activity was not my cup of tea. I learnt candle making and soon put up an exhibition at Poona Club when my daughter was barely a year old. I also enjoyed a short stint as a home-based entrepreneur, supplying chocolates and cakes on demand, while we were posted in Bareilly. With an inclination towards writing, I completed a diploma in ‘Creative Writing in English’ from Symbiosis College of Distance Learning, Pune. Then I discovered the blogosphere. Now I hope to not only travel and share my experiences with the world but also to pen a book someday....
Gallery | This entry was posted in Architecture, Destinations, Historic India, Rajasthan, Travel India and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Jaipur: Chand Baori (Abhaneri Stepwell)

  1. Dilip says:

    Many thanks for this interesting post. Very educative too. Regards.


  2. Pingback: The Land Of Royals, Jaisalmer | Astonishing India

  3. Hello, Thanks for sharing such a fantastic blog.I really appreciate your blog to share information about Jaipur chand Baori abhaneri stepwell …Visiting in Jaipur is amazing experience. Jaipur is a place with a glorious past and a very rich historic background. People come from far off places just to get the taste of its beautiful monuments and their architecture.


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