Chand Baori - The Moon Well
Chand baori, Abhaneri (literally translated as "Moon Well") is the oldest and deepest step well in the world. Abhaneri is a village in the Dausa district of Rajasthan, India. It is situated at a distance of 95 km from Jaipur,Rajasthan on the Jaipur-Agra highway. It was so named as it was built by king Chand Raja of Nikumbha dynasty in 9th century A.D. Abhaneri was originally named Abha Nagri, which means "city of brightness," but due to mispronunciation, that name was changed. It is located opposite Harshat Mata (goddess of joy and happiness) temple and was constructed in 800 AD. It consists of 3500 narrow steps over 13 stories and extends approximately 100 ft. into the ground making it one o the deepest and largest step wells in India. Three out of the four sides have steps that lead down to the bottom of the well and one side of the well has a pavillion and resting room for the royals. The state of Rajasthan is extremely arid,and the design and final structure of Chand Baori was intended to conserve as much water possible. At the bottom of the well, the air remains 5-6 degree cooler than at the surface, and it was also used as a community gathering place for locals during periods of intense heat. The steps and the whole surrounding is a fine example of architectural expertise of the great Indian architectures. It also displays the geometrical intelligence of the architects of the bygone era. It has been featured in blockbuster Hollywood movies like The Fall and The Dark Knight Rises.
- Shweta Modi