This 20-metre deep, symmetrical step well in India is a treat to the eyes

CHANDIt’s easy to miss this unique destination on the busy Jaipur-Agra road, but people who have been to this place would vouch for its authenticity and the experience it offers travellers. Situated at least 95 km from Jaipur, Abhaneri is a village in the Dausa district of Rajasthan believed to have been instituted around the 9th Century AD by King Raja Chand of Gurjar kingdom.

It’s renowned for its Chand Baori step well that was made in a very interesting way with a series of symmetrical steps leading to the water source. The way it was conceived and constructed can leave many baffled, especially due to the attention to details in the way the steps are intricately carved. Invented by the natives of the region to harvest rain water, the step well served dual purpose: To harvest rain water during rainy season for conservation during parched times of the year and also as a cool retreat for relaxation.

With a depth of 20 meters, with 13 levels, it is one of the most popular wells in the region, and one of India’s deepest and largest water reservoir. Because its not easy to find, its easily one of India’s hidden gems well preserved through the ravages of time.

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The other tourist attraction is the temple of Harshat Mata, which is dedictaed to Hindu goddess Harshat Mata. She is considered to be the goddess of happiness and joy. It was razed during the Mughal rule in the 10th century, but whatever remains of the temple is evidence of its rich architectural and cultural heritage. The temple is now conserved and maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). According to historians, people back in the day used to wash their hands and feet at the well as ritual before stepping inside the temple premises. The presence of images of Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology inside the temple also indicate it was actually dedicated to the god.

HOW TO REACH

Located on the NH-11 or the Jaipur-Agra road, Abhaneri is just 95 km from Jaipur. You can reach the village by road or train through cities of Jaipur and Dausa. While Abhaneri is 95 km from Jaipur, from Dausa it is approximately 31 km. The nearest airport to Abhaneri is the Jaipur Sanganer Airport. From here you can hire a bus or a private taxi to reach your destination. Since its well connected by road, regular private buses ply between Abhaneri and Dausa, Jaipur, Ajmer, Bharatpur, Alwar and Bikaner. By rail, you could reach Abhaneri through Dausa railway station.

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