” The deepest and largest stepwell of INDIA… “
When I saw the last scene of Bollywood movie, ‘ Bhoomi‘ , I got stuck by the splendid beauty of the gigantic architectural structure, Chand Baori. It is the deepest step well of India and one of the largest stepwell in world. It is located in eastern fringe of Rajasthan.
This year, we spend our Durga puja vacation in Rajasthan, so visiting Chand Boari was in my top priority list. Chand boari is accessible from Jaipur. In the first day of Jaipur, we did the local sightseeing like Hawa mahal, Amber fort, jal mahal etc. The next day we visited Chand baori.
We started our journey at 9am from the Pink city. Our driver took us to a Rajasthani sweet shop for breakfast. We did our breakfast with delicious Mawa Kachori, jalebi, malpoa and Chai.
Before going to Chand boari, we visited ‘ Narayani mata temple‘ , which is a very sacred place. After spending 45mins, we headed for our destination. The road to Abheneri, is surrounded by lush green hills. Peacock were mandering in the fields.
After travelling such a long distance, finally we arrived our destination around 3 pm. The entry fee was Rs 100. When I first saw the majestic structure, all the characters of the film came live in my mind. I saw the exact place where the lead character of the movie was standing. It was an awesome feeling.
The Chand Baori is more than 1000 year old structure and was built between the 9th and 10th century by Raja Chanda of Nikumbha dynasty who ruled Abhanagari during 8th-9th century A.D. The geometric pattern of the steps connecting to the water, the intricate stone carving, the splendid beauty of the iconic structure draws attention of the tourist from all over the world.
Stepwells are unique structure which comprises of steps built inside the walls of the tapered well. Steps were provided to reach the water level and to maintain the well also.
Stepwells were constructed mainly for storing water so that the local people can cope up with the dry season. The water stored in the well was used for irrigation as well as fulfilling the demand of local people. This was also the place of social gathering. The local people used to sit around the well to cool off during summer because at the bottom of the well, the temperature is 5-6 degree cooler than the top.
The colour of the water of the well is vibrant green which glorifies the whole environment. There are tortoises in the water.
The structure comprises of 3500 steps built on 13 levels. The depth of the well is 19.5 m. The well is square in shape and it’s entry is from North side. It is indeed the best example of use of mathematical precision in the construction of monumental structure. The pattern and the arrangement of 3500 steps in geometric forms & execution of this giant monument having intricate detail work, prove that India is a land of great mathematician as well as great mason too.
The well has steps on its 03 sides and the 4th wall has multi storied corridor suppoted on pillars. The pavilion has niches and beautiful sculptures of god and goddess of Lord Ganesha and Mahishasurmardini. The pavilion was made for royal people. King and queen with other members used the pavilion to enjoy the full moonlight and beauty of the whole environment.
The well is enclosed by high boundary walls with corridors running parallel to it. There are sculptures throughout the corridors. Visitors are allowed to roam in corridor only.
Adjoining the stepwell, there is a temple of ‘Harshat mata’. The temple was built by king Chand and is built on raised platform. The temple is ornate with beautiful sculptures. It is said by the locals that people at that time used to wash hands in the well before entering the temple. The temple is surrounded by courtyard and the views from the courtyard are simply stunning. The green fields, tiny houses of the villages along with sunset are a visual retreat.
Chand Baori has been featured in Bollywood and Hollywood also. In the famous Hollywood movie ‘The Fall’ & ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and the last scene of the Bollywood movie ‘Bhoomi’ has been featured here.
We spent there almost 2hrs. I tried to capture each and every minute detail of the Baori in my lens. I was totally captivated by the beauty of this splendid architectural monument. The atmosphere of Abheneri village was prevailed by this monumental structure.
After visiting fort, temples, mahals, stepwell of Rajasthan, it is doubtless to say that India is pinnacle in architecture.
How to reach-
It is located in Abheneri village and is accessible from Jaipur. It is approximately 90 km from the Pink City. Cabs are easily available from Jaipur.
1. Start your journey early in the morning.
2. Travel guides are available inside the Baori.
3. Can also visit Bhangarh Fort.
4. Try local food.