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Showing posts with label Stepwells. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stepwells. Show all posts

Udaygiri - Glory intact in stones

While following the road marks, I was snaking in the foothills of the Jajpur district in Eastern Ghats and completely desolated areas and vacant roads were the onoly company. Finally I reached at the spot, which was precisely located in a picturesque valley.

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Rani Ki Baoli, Neemrana

An old saying “Importance of anything is felt in its absence”.

In absence of water, difficult to imagine life. Perhaps this is the reason why the arid state of Rajasthan has followed the tradition of preserving the precious water to the extent possible. To conserve every drop of water step wells or bawdis, also locally known as Pushkarani or Boalis wherein water gets collected at the bottom of structures have been generously built in state of Rajasthan.

One of such significant baoli is lying neglected in the Neemrana village, very close to the much visited Neemrana Fort. Neemrana has been administered by Chauhans till 1947. The erstwhile ruling family of Neemrana is considered to be the direct lineage of Great Prithviraj Chauhan, one of the most illustrious rulers of India, who holds the distinction of defeating an invading army – 17 times.

This baoli is popularly known as “Rani ki Baoli” and has been neglected for decades. It is surprising that even in Neemrana no one advises to visit this spot, however the first sight is enough to appreciate the glorious past of this monument. 
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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 Abhaneri 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. Beautiful statue of Harshat Mata - 


Such Bawdis are still 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. Rainwater collected in these bawdis can augment the existing water storage/ collection facilities too.


Bawdi is 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 mispronunciation over the times.


What an amazing day it was, unearthing such a fantastic gem. 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 BhangarhFort.


Keep travelling Guys...

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