|ujala bapli -atlasobscura.com|
The historical Mandu, Madhya Pradesh has many attractions for the the tourists who always like something unique that differs from other places of interest. Among many sites in Mandu, the nicely ornamented step wells never fail to get the attention of the tourists.
|Ujala baori, Mandu, MP atlasobscura.com|
|ujala bapli .asianpaints.com|
Ujala (meaning ‘light’). built away from Mandu is a strange-looking one as the steps ' geometric patterns are not prominent unlike other baolis that have distinctive patterns. The patterns. may be direct or zigzag suggesting not a “normal” approach. The interesting feature of this baoli is when the steps are combined with carved-out niches and arched chambers, they bring out a sort of sculptural 3D painting work. Shadowy arches are a bit disquieting, however, the surroundings offer calm, almost magical, serenity. This baoli appears to be diminutive and shallow.
Centuries ago these baolis offered travelling public the needed
rest and relaxation in the semiarid region. Shadows in the step wells and the buildings below the ground were quite useful to the people. But, the baolis had begun to lose their importance during the British colonial rule. With the advent of modern water pumps, including submersible water motors, lots of baolis have lost their usefulness and are not well-maintained now. Like historical monuments, such time-honored step wells need to be restored
and preserved for the posterity as they are impressive and innovative structures unique to the Indian subcontinent and once it served as a rain-water harvesting system, taking care of the water needs of the people in that area.
Victoria Lautman, author of The Vanishing Stepwells of India says: ''We do not choose our obsessions; they choose us, and I could never have predicted that step wells would commandeer such a large slice of my life.”