History India

Chand Baori: India’s Most Famous Stepwells

Chand Baori, India`s Stepwells

Located in the village of Abhaneri near Jaipur, Rajasthan, is a famous stepwell constructed in the 9th century. Chand Baori consists of 3500 narrow steps over 13 storeys and extends approximately 100ft into the ground, making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in the world.Built during the reign of King Chanda of Nikumbha Dynasty, the stepwells provided surrounding areas with a dependable water source centuries before modern water delivery systems were introduced. The apparently complex geometric architecture of the stairs and steps ensured that the Rajput people had access to water at any time of the year and from all sides. No one is sure why the steps were built so elaborately but every drop of water was precious in Rajasthan and Chand Baori also became a community gathering place for the Abhaneri locals, especially during summer due as the air at the bottom of the well is always 5-6 degrees cooler than at the top.The steps surround the well on three sides while the fourth side has a set of pavilions built one atop another. The side that has the pavilions have niches with beautiful sculptures including religious carvings. There is even a royal residence with rooms for the King and the Queen and a stage for the performing arts. A temple is situated right across these stepwells.

Chand Baori was featured in the movie The Fall and also made a small appearance in Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster The Dark Knight Rises.

The well is now a treasure managed by the Archaeological Survey of India.