Indian architecture is said to be one of the finest architectures in the world.
It is simply amazing and the ancient Indian historical places are great examples of this! The art of architecture is rooted in the history, culture and religion of our country. After the incorporation of Eastern tradition, India has become a modern country. Indian architecture has showed a great progress with time. India became a modern nation-state after accepting the eastern state values.
You must have known about many ancient historical places in India. But have you ever explored any of the ancient step wells (Baori) of our country. Never heard of them? In ancient times the construction of the stepwells was very simple but the more focus was done on their architecture and decoration.
Then let me show you how stunning the Indian architecture is!
India's abandoned step wells are an important part of the country's history and architecture. Although information about them is scarce, they're believed to have started appearing mostly between the 2nd and 4th centuries. In addition to supplying water from the country's deep water tables, they provided shade and were used as temples, community centers, and layovers on trade routes.
Before the British rule, there were reportedly several thousand of stepwells in our country. However, they lost their purpose after plumbing and taps were installed, and many were subsequently destroyed. Each stepwell is different from one another in terms of shape and construction.
Check out the most beautiful step wells and reminisce the history with me.
1. Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan-
This magnificent step well was constructed over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. Do you know that Chand Baori is one of the largest stepwells in the world and also one of the most beautiful ones? Also this 64 feet deep stepwell is India's largest and deepest step wells with 13 floors. Centuries ago, this stepwell was used a source of water supply throughout the year in Rajasthan.
Today, the construction is not used as a well anymore but its exquisite geometry attracts local and international visitors alike. This square shape step well was built between the 8th and 9th centuries by King Chanda of the Nikumbh dynasty of Rajputs. However, locals will tell you a spookier story of it being constructed in one night by ghosts! To promote rural tourism in Abhaneri villeage, a two-day festival takes place every year in September against the evocative backdrop of Chand Baori.
This festival features cultural performances from a number of states across India, Rajasthani song and dance, puppet shows, camel cart rides, and a fairground for the tourists all across the country and abroad. There are no entrance charges to visit this stepwell.
2. Panna Meena Ka Kund Stepwell, Jaipur-
Jaipur is the city where every place itself speaks about the royal history of the place. Panna Meena ka Kund Stepwell is one of the gems of the pink city. This stepwell is less popular as compared to other stepwells. But still this place has its own charm and unique architecture. Millions of the tourists visit this place to explore its beauty and unique concept of styling. It’s an eight story staircase pool and looks extremely pleasant. The place beautifully reflects the combination of nature and religion.
The main attraction of the plain is its symmetrical stepwalls. Pieces of Octagonal shaped are used in the core of the Kund and terrace on two floors. The symmetrical stairs are in zigzag geometrical pattern which leave the visitors charmed. Visitors can see the lovely view of the Amber Fort & Palace and mountains from here.
3. Rani Ji Ki Baori, Bundi, Rajasthan-
Rani ji ki Baori or ‘Queen’s Stepwell’ is located in Bundi, Rajasthan. This stepwell got its name because it was constructed under Queen Nathavati in 1699 AD. With 50 stairs, this stepwell has four pillars at the entrance which showcases beautiful figure. Also there is a tall standing shaped gate. In the medieval ear, this place was a meeting point for local for the social and religious reasons.
4. Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat-
Constructed near the banks of Saraswati River, Rani ki Vav was built in the 11th century. This awe-inspiring step well is now the UNESCO World Heritage site. Up until the late 1980s, it was flooded by the nearby Saraswati River and silted over. When it was excavated by the Archeological Survey of India, its carvings were found in pristine condition. Strange na!
There are more than 500 main sculptures and 1,000 minor ones on the panels of the elaborate and showy step well, which was designed as an inverted temple. What is more astonishing about this stepwell is the galleries dedicated to Lord Vishnu, containing hundreds of intricate figurines depicting his 10 avatars. They're accompanied by captivating carvings of other Hindu gods, celestial beings, geometric patterns, and flowers.
5. Rajon ki Baoli, Delhi-
Rajon Ki Baoli also referred as Rajon ki Bain is a famous stepwell in Mehrauli Archaeological Park of Delhi, India. This stepwell didn’t get its name from Kings (Raja) but from the masons. Supposedly this picturesque stepwell dated back in 1516 and was built by Daulat Khan. Restored in the early 2000s, the rectangle shaped stepwell is a grand structure both in terms of scale and architecture.