Chand Baori Stepwell Jaipur

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2017

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Had read so much about Chand Baori. Eventually visited in November 2017. It is about 1.5 hours drive from Jaipur. Easiest is to take a taxi. Reached about 7.30 am. U have an overview. Entrance is from north.

Baori was built by King Chandra who ruled Abhaneri during 8-9th century a.d. This 19.5 feet metre step well has a square plan. It has double flight of steps on 3 sides. The northern side consists of a multi-storeyed corridor supporting on pillars and 2 projecting balconies enshrining images of Ganesha and Mahishasurmardini.

Entry from north side, first view of steps. Depth amazed me. Rooms behind are later additions and contain sculptures. The city was then called Abha Nagari. It is called Abhaneri.

Side view. On your right is multi-storey corridor.

Vertical view. "It is a 13 story deep step well with symmetric triangular steps leading to the water at the bottom." In a desert region it is a good way to store water. During summers it serves as a natural cooler.

Angular view. Corridor clearly visible. Today they do not allow you to go down. ""On three sides of this 19.5 meters deep step well are geometric steps. Steep triangular steps ensure that you get down or up sideways and not straight."

The two projecting balconies have images of Ganesha and Mahishasurmardini. "A step well also has an image of Sheshasayee Vishnu or the sleeping Vishnu. At Chand Baori, I was told there is an image at one of the lower corridors. Idea is that the step well or any water body is supposed to be an embodiment of Ksheersagar – the ocean of milk where Vishnu lives." Matter in inverted commas is quote Anuradha Goyal.

View from North side top to bottom of steps. Amazing. Is there something like this in the world. That too 8-9th century, over 1100 years ago.

Side view west side. It was very sunny, lucky to get this pic. "There are 35,000 steps at 13 levels".

In corridor along baori are sculptures. This panel is of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

This is of Mahishasurmardini.

This is temple shikhar. Think image in centre is of Bhairava, a form of Shiva. Left lower is Ganesha. Right two ladies seem to be musicians. Please correct if wrong.

Please help with description.

Surya Devata or Sun God indicated by the seven horses.

Help with description. Thanks.

This is Karthikeyan indicated by peacock, son of Shiva and Parvati. Karthik, who has a large following in Tamil Nadu. Image behind is of Lord Vishnu.

Exquisitely carved pillars.

Next to the baori is Harshat Mata Mandir. Built by same King Chandra who ruled between 8-9th century. It is on a raised platform, originally had super structure mahameru style. It has deep relieved carved sculptures, placed in the niches around the plinth of the upper terrace.

Overview of temple. It has a second external wall at a lower level. "Harshat Mata Temple faces the east and it originally had a Nagar style shikhara also called Mahameru Shikhara. The remains of this can be seen in the form of broken Amlaka pieces around the temple. "

Right is sunflower design found all over the temple.

Center man with wife and three daughters is what I could decipher.

A couple with two attendants with young girl at lower level. Look at the design wow.

Side wall of temple.

Lady with a musical instrument in hand. All ladies wear necklace round neck, a girl is wearing an anklet and something tied round her waist.

Lady-observe design carefully. Anklets, ear rings, bangles, chain round her waist and a small necklace round her neck. Took me about 1.5 hours to see and photograph. Worth a visit. Locals said it attracts more foreigners than Indians.

Most people think it is Buddha in the center. It is actually Shivji. To read a good travelogue by Anuradha Goyal Click Here

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