June 3, 2015

Chand Bawdi - Oasis of the desert

When your destination is the journey itself, you will come across places which are known as "Offbeat". These places are lying hidden in our countryside to which even most of the acclaimed travel planners have no clue.
People from all over the world have been fascinated by the colourful state of Rajasthan. However this colourful state of Rajasthan is extremely arid, where people make efforts to preserve each drop of water. To preserve the water exquisite arrangements have been made in state of Rajasthan since ages, most common of which has been Bawdis or step wells.

One of such Bawdi, which is also one of the oldest in Rajasthan is Chand Bawdi; situated in Abhanaeri village, Dausa district, around 95 Km. from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra Road. Chand Bawdi is a massive architecture consisting of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 stories. Approximately 100 feet into the ground it is one of the deepest and largest step wells in India.  
Bawdis were not just reservoirs of water but a special architecture constructed to preserve every drop of rain water, to provide precious drinking water and respite from scorching heat. Steps were intricately constructed to guide water till the bottom of the step well for collection and minimized evaporation/ loss in the process. Unique triangular pattern of the steps is really hypnotic, try to count the levels and number of steps...

As the water used to get collected at the bottom; air towards the bottom used to be much cooler, almost 5-6 degrees cooler at the bottom than at the air at the upper surface. Bawdis also served as a community gathering place for locals during periods of intense heat and also a favourite hangout place. One side of the Bawdi also has a pavilion and resting rooms for the royals.
Looks like a small fort in itself...
Chand Bawdi is one of those spots in India, where you realize that the present one is more beautiful than the last one. This Bawdi has been constructed as a place where people can gather and pray to GOD as many relics are also inscribed in the walls of this Bawdi.
People can go till the bottom of stepwell to escape the scorching heat.  

 
Chand Bawdi was built by King Chanda of Nikumbha Dynasty around 800 AD and is dedicated to Harshat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness upon completion. It is located opposite Harshat Mata Temple and was constructed in 800 AD. Blessings of the Gods were imperative to ensure prosperity of their respective states and these bawdis used to provide an ideal cushion for the seasonal fluctuations of water availability due to uneven or no rainfall. Many of the flourishing civilizations have perished due to scarcity of water.


Such Bawdis are present in almost every town and city of our country. The water collection mechanism/ structure is still intact. If these bawdis can be connected to the present day water distribution system, it can solve majority of water problems which we are facing in India on a regular basis. Rain water collected in these bawdis can augment the existing water storage/ collection facilities too.
Bawdi , also pronounced as Baori, Bawri, Baoli, Bavdi in different parts of the country. Abhaneri was known as Abha Nagari, city of brightness in earlier times, however it has got its present name by mis-pronunciation over the times.
What an amazing day it was, unearthing such a fantastic gem...Keep travelling Guys...
If you do not want to go to Jaipur all the way; take a left turn before Shahpura while coming from Delhi drive to Bhangarh fort, the most haunted place in India and Chand Bawdi is only 60 Km. (via Dausa)/ 42 Km (via Bandikui) from Bhangarh Fort.

Another such Bawdi worth mention is Rani Ki Baoli at Neemrana Village. It is 122 km. from Delhi on Delhi-Jaipur highway.
 
(With contributions by Abhishek Soni)



Reactions:

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for dropping by...
      India is full of such places, which are lying hidden but are as beautiful as regular tourist attractions...

      Delete
  2. was this the location in "Paheli" by Amol palekar??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are bang on target. Chand Bawdi was the location for film "Paheli".
      Also The Fall, The Dark Knight Rises have been shot here...

      Delete
  3. Amazing , Nice Article
    Rajasthan was such Rajao ka Sthaan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said...
      Rajasthan is royality unlimited.

      Delete

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