|step well at Chand Baori.Rajasthan. hitfull.com|
Construction of stepwells became a necessity in the semi dry areas of ancient India. The earliest wells were built around 550 AD. Once there were over 3,000 step wells in two states catering to many villages to quench their thirst and home needs.The construction of step wells may be utilitarian, but sometimes includes significant architectural embellishments.
step well at Chand Baori. Rajasthan,India,www.panoramio.com
Located in the village of Abhaneri near Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is one of the oldest, deepest and largest stepwells in India called Chand Baori. It was built by King Chanda of the Nikumbha Dynasty between 800 and 900 AD.
One important aspect of Chand Baori is the stepwell is artistically designed to create distinctive patterns when viewing from different angles. If you look at the thousands of steps from a distant spot, you will be struck by the crisscrossing patterns in straight lines that well give a spin in your head or vertigo - a unique and strange experience. When looking down into the well bottom from the edge of the ground, the pattern was so revealing you will become transfixed by the emerging patterns on all sides.
|stepwell at Chand Baori. Rajasthan destinoinfinito.com|
Other advantages are the people have to come from distant villages under the scorching sun to fetch water and the gradually decending smooth step wells on all sides made it possible for the thirsty and tired villagers to easily descend to fetch water. During hot summer, the cooler bottom of the well provides a comfortable place for villagers to gather, relax and exchange plesanteries or talk about local as well as domestic politics without sweating it out.
Chand Baori was a popular gathering place for the village women who need respite from monotanous, mundane rustic life. There is a pavillion and resting rooms at the bottom for ordinary and prominant people. This respite will energize the women enough to get back to their village and return for another round of water gathering and water-cooler gossiping.