Trip to the mysterious step wells of Abhaneri Chand Baori

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Trip to the mysterious step wells of Abhaneri Chand Baori

Rajasthan is full of mysterious and extraordinary places, and Abhaneri’s Chand Baori is one of them.

I first visited Chand Baori back in July last year, as this was the first stepwell I visited and after this, I could not stop myself to explore and visit more stepwells like this.

And after 18 months, and visiting more than two dozen stepwells in Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Karnataka, I’m back at Chand Baori, to get more pictures and refresh my memories.

In India, the concept of stepwells or baori, bawdi, vav and many other names given to these water reservoir is ancient. As per my understating the first stepwell type structure was built in Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, dating 2500 BCE.

And Chand Baori, is just 1200 years old. So, in my eyes, Chand Baori is still a young stepwell, and we will see that in the near future we all will feel the scarcity of water, Chand Baori & many other stepwells like these will come to our aid.

Small history of Chand Baori

Chand Baori Abhaneri

1. Chand Baori (2018)

Chand Baori of Abhaneri was built by Nikumbha Rajput rulers of Chahamana dynasty who ruled Abhaneri or as they said Abha Nagri during 8-9th century AD and though there is a temple next to the Baori, there is no way hell that this step well was a sacred spot.

Harshat Mata Temple

There are two attractions here, one is the Baori and 2nd an ancient temple of Harshat Mata, which is now dedicated to Durga as this temple was destroyed during Mahmud Ghazni invasion of India.

Nevertheless, the temple has some great ancient artefacts for all travelers, and I was able to get these pictures for you and me. Have a look:

Note: The below images of Harshat Mata Temple is from my 1st tour of Chand Baori, last year.

Harshat Mata Temple artifacts

Harshat Mata Temple artifacts

Harshat Mata Temple

Harshat Mata Temple

Harshat Mata Temple artifacts

Harshat Mata Temple artifacts

 Harshat Mata Temple artifacts

Harshat Mata Temple artifacts

Back to Chand Baori, Abhaneri

And just 20 meters from Harshat Mata Temple, you will find the entry gate of Chand Baori Stepwell, with a sign board from ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) claiming this step well as a national heritage and in every way it is remarkable.

Chand Baori Entrance

2. Chand Baori Entrance (2018)

The entrance of this stepwell will bring you to the pavilion or room type structure, where today you will find some guards standing.

But a few centuries ago, priests, & members of royal families use to come here either to attend some festival or as we say, just to chill out, as the temperature in Chand Baori is 5-degree cooler.

But mostly Chand Baori was a place for the local villagers to get water for daily household work and for passing travelers to rest. As stepwells in India are mostly built for this purpose.

My experience of this and previous visit at Chand Baori

Last time, when I was here, it was just me, and two guards. And they did stop me from entering the stepwell, as it isn’t allowed just to climb the stairs of the well. Nevertheless, I did convince them and had a walk inside.

But this time, there were like 70-80 travelers, (mostly foreigners) so, there was no chance to enter the well this time. Never the less, I did grab some more pictures which I have shared below.

Chand Baori

3. Chand Baori Pavilion View

Chand Baori

4. Chand Baori Pavilion View

Chand Baori

5. Chand Baori Pavilion View

Chand Baori

6. Chand Baori Pavilion View

Chand Baori

7. Chand Baori Stairs 

Chand Baori

8. Chand Baori

Chand Baori

9. Chand Baori Pavilion Rooms

Chand Baori

10. Chand Baori Stairs

Chand Baori

11. Chand Baori View from Top

And the below pictures are from my last year trip, where I was allowed to enter Pavilion Rooms of Chand Baori Stepwell.

Way inside Baori

Way inside Baori

Complex inside Baori

Complex inside Baori

View from step wells below

View from step wells below

Amazing structure

Amazing structure

 

A few more points to suggest

You will also notice some 8th century statues at Chand Baori complex which belongs to Harshat Mata Temple. It’s being kept here to preserve them as they were destroyed at a wicked time of Indian history.

Artefacts of Harshat Mata Temple st Chand Baori

Artefacts of Harshat Mata Temple st Chand Baori

How to reach Chand Baori?

Way towards Chand Baori via Jaipur Agra Highway

Way towards Chand Baori via Jaipur Agra Highway

I hired a cab from Rajputana Cabs, Jaipur and it took one and a half hour to reach. We choose the route from Sisodia Rani Garden, which is Jaipur Agra Road. There will be a total of 5 toll points till Chand baori, and four of them are payable. So do set aside INR 400 for a return trip to Jaipur.

It took 6 hours for a return trip, like 3-4 hour driving and an hour and a half at the Abhaneri. Plus the Abhaneri village is quite clean, so I trying local food or sweets would be suggestible.

And… on our way back to Jaipur, we went to a destination which I believe hasn’t been on the web.

Hint – its sand dunes of Jaipur. Yep, 60-80 meter tall sand dunes, just 45 km away from Jaipur. Wait for the next post in a week to see actual proof.

Movies in which Chand Baori is featured

I first saw Chand Baori in 2006 Hollywood movies The Fall. Later Chand Baori was also featured in films like 2008 The Dark Knight Rises, 2011 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and 2007 Bollywood film Bhool Bhulaiyaa]

By |2018-02-04T18:49:02+00:00February 4th, 2018|Rajasthan, Step Wells|46 Comments

About the Author:

Hi all, I am Jatin Chhabra, born and raised in Delhi India, For me traveling isn't just a hobby, its more than that. More like a way of living my life and I do it every last week of every month. Attraction which attracts me are Off-beat ones and I always try to visit them before me or they, get perish.

46 Comments

  1. Vijay Sharma July 16, 2016 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Actually Boari or Bowari is a telgu term, as villages near Hyderabad still calls wells as Bowari. And the one which you have mentioned dosen’t look like it was build for storing water. There is also one in Vijayanagar, do check that.

    • Jatin Chhabra August 5, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Will do. Vijayanagar and hampi are on my bucket list.

  2. Brennan October 11, 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Jatin, we will be headed to India soon and Chand Baori is part of the stop. I’d like to clarify if the INR400 is just a 1-way estimate from Jaipur? Google says the entire distance is around ~90 km/way and Rajputana Cabs charges INR9/km.

    The reason I asked is because I’d like to assess if this option (i.e., via rented cab) makes better sense compared to riding buses from Agra or Jaipur to get to Chand Baori.

    • Jatin Chhabra October 11, 2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      Hi Brennan. INR 400 is the sum I paid for the toll charges – from Jaipur to Abhaneri. So as you are coming from Agra to Jaipur by bus, then you don’t need to worry about these toll charges as they are included in the ticket.

      As per my experience, I will suggest you to hire a cab from a tour taxi firm (I prefer Rajputana Cabs), and the basic car rental in north India is INR 9 per km (8 if its a week plus tour) and minimum 250 km charge (per day) = INR 2250 + 200 which is more like breakfast money for the driver (optional)

      So bus from Agra will be a cheaper option, but then you will have to stop at Dausa, and then hire some local transport like tuk-tuk till Chand baori.

  3. Nalini gouri December 23, 2016 at 4:04 am - Reply

    I fell in love with all the things you have done, would very much like to see Chand Baori on our trip this January. I am traveling with my husband and daughter and need an excellent guide + leaving Delhi to Agra( we have hotel reservation already), see The TajMahal at sunset + other sites during the day spend the night and then drive to Jaipur( stopping in Chand Baori) and then 3 days inJaipur( hotel already booked) and finally fly to Udaipur for 2 day. We then fly back to Delhi and catch our flight back home to geneva Switzerland. A bit jammed packed, but both my husband+ daughter work.
    You seem to travel with the same taste as me. Could you help me? I am Indian living abroad married to an Italian. I want to show my faughter our wonderful culture. We start our trip mid January. Please reply in some manner
    Thank you

    • Jatin Chhabra December 23, 2016 at 12:06 pm - Reply

      It would be a pleasure to assist a fellow traveller and believe me you are not the first to ask info about Chand Baori ? I have mailed all the details via mail…

  4. Jherson Jaya February 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Wow you are so generous guy. We will visit India for 20 days in March and Chand Baori is one of our stops. Hope to meet you on the road 😉

    • Jatin Chhabra February 17, 2017 at 2:20 am - Reply

      You can meet me anytime at my home in Delhi 🙂

      Chand baori is amazing, I am personally collecting pictures of some amazing maintained Stepwells in India and abroad and Chand Baori is one of top 3 ones. 1st is Rani ki Vav in Patan Gujarat.

      If you have any question on travelling in India, then feel free to message me at my FB page – facebook.com/jatintheexplorer

      Would love to assist a fellow blogger 🙂

  5. Suhail February 20, 2017 at 9:59 am - Reply

    Few question plz..

    Is chand baori a crowded space?
    What about parking space, is there enough space?
    Can we enter on its stairs, as i m gng wd my kid, so is anyone going to stop us or we can enter freely?
    I m coming from delhi, so how is the road condition from Alwar state highway?

    • Jatin Chhabra February 20, 2017 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Suhail,

      It’s nice to see that finally some Delhi travellers are visiting Chand Baori. So here are my views.

      1. crowded space?
      Not at all – I visited Chand Baori in July’16 and there were just 6 people (apart from 2 guards) in the complex. Plus, in the above comment Brennan visited Chand Baori near Diwali 2016 and he said that there were like 25 odd people. So, there is no chance that you will see 100 odd people at Chand Baori.

      2. parking space

      There is no official parking site near Chand Baori. But never the less, you can park your car next to Chand Baori and Harshat Mata temple. Chand Baori is in Abhaneri village which is quite clean and friendly.

      3. enter on its stairs freely
      Well it’s not allowed to enter the Baori. But I gave Rs 200 to the guards after 5 mins talk. Not proud of it but I had to get some shots from the lower levels.

      4. road condition from Alwar
      I went from Jaipur, so it was the Jaipur-Agra highway for me. Now I have visited half of Rajasthan by road and but state highways are not as nice as NH, but never the less Alwar is a big city so chances are high that you will find good road from here. Plus, if possible, plz share the road condition as I am also planning to visit Chand Baori again in March from this route 

      Hope I could assist. Plus, feel free to ask anything here at my FB Page – https://www.facebook.com/jatintheexplorer/

      • Suhail Zaidi February 20, 2017 at 12:28 pm - Reply

        Thank u so much Jatin for such a quick response. Its really helpful.

        Have a great day ahead!!

        • Jatin Chhabra March 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm - Reply

          No problem… Though do visit Fatehpur Sikri which is not to far from Chand Baori and is an amazing site as well.

  6. Maxime March 19, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Thank’s so much for this article!
    Doing a trip to Abhaneri Chand Baori is on the top of my Travel List. This place seems just unreal..

    • Jatin Chhabra March 19, 2017 at 6:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks Maxime, Chand Baori is amazing. Even I am planning to visit it again next month.
      Plus do check out Fatehpur Sikri which isn’t far from Chand Baori.

  7. Paulina March 20, 2017 at 1:10 am - Reply

    Wow, Abhaneri Chand Baorilooks like a true hidden gem. The pics really make me want to travel there. It seems to be a very unique place.

    • Jatin Chhabra March 20, 2017 at 1:21 am - Reply

      Thanks Paulina, no doubt that Chand Baori is a hidden gem. I would suggest to visit India as there are some incredibly sites like Chand Baori in Rajasthan and Gujarat.

  8. Sandy N Vyjay March 22, 2017 at 9:24 am - Reply

    The step well looks hypnotizing! I really want to visit it once. I am intrigued by the Harshat Mata temple artifacts. They are beautiful! Chand Baori is an architectural feat!

    • Jatin Chhabra March 22, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Thanks Sandy. Yeah Chand Baori is amazing and I don’t miss a chance to visit this site.

  9. Harsh Gupta March 22, 2017 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    There is something so damn mysterious about such baoris. There’s one in Delhi also Agrasen’s Baoli. It’s eeriee but the architecture definitely makes up for it. Abhaneri Baori is beautiful and I would visit it for sure.

    • Jatin Chhabra March 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Harsh, I have been to Agrasen’s Baoli but it’s no where similar as Chand Baori. Though many ghost stories about these Baori’s have come up as they were banned by the Britishers and left vacant for years. You will be surprise to hear that there is a stepwell in Jodhpur which is called as Bhoot Baori. Locals says that this stepwell was made by the dead…

  10. Brianna March 23, 2017 at 3:07 am - Reply

    That is absolutely breathtaking! I can’t imagine having to walk up all those steps. But still, it does create some really interesting architectural effects!

  11. Nisha March 26, 2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

    This is quite a spectacular Baori. I have hardly scratched the surface of Rajasthan and have a lot of places to visit and Chand Baori is one of them. The other beautiful Baori I saw is in Modhera Sun Temple called SuryaKunda.

    • Jatin Chhabra March 26, 2017 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      Yeah, Chand Baori is quite spectacular and you can see a lot more those sites in Rajasthan.
      I also visited Modhera Sun Temple in Non’16 plus even the one in Patan – Rani Ki Vav. Both are amazing sites.

  12. Mike Cotton April 2, 2017 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    What an interesting place. The stairs look like they could be a challenge, one misstep and down you go. But the photographic opportunities look incredible there.

    • Jatin Chhabra April 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Mike, you are right about the misstep part, but stil Chand Baori is place worth a visit 🙂

  13. Reshma Narasing April 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    The step well looks so incredible. Rajasthan has so much to offer and Chand Boari is on my list of places for my next trip there. I loved the pictures of the temple.

    • Jatin Chhabra April 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks Reshma, yeah Harshat Mata temple is also worth exploring.

  14. Riely April 5, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Chand Baori seems like a must see in Abhaneri. It’s too bad you can’t navigate down the steps a little bit. I wouldn’t want to venture too far down, but it does seem intriguing. The Harshat Mata temple also seems worth exploring. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jatin Chhabra April 5, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

      Thanks Riely, well couldn’t go down as the guard start shouting that why I even entered the baori 🙂

  15. Suma April 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Wow, the step well is really impressive! I have read a lot about Baoris in Delhi and Rajasthan, but never got an opportunity to visit them. The steps looks very intimidating, but nevertheless it will be fun visiting this ancient wells. Thanks for the share :).

    • Jatin Chhabra April 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

      Hi Suma, Baoli’s are every where in India. Plus if you want to check out something unique, then have a look at Rani Ki Vav in Patan Gujarat.

  16. Harsh Gupta April 6, 2017 at 6:42 am - Reply

    There is something amazing about the intricate architecture of palaces, temples, and monuments in Delhi that catch my fancy. There is a baoli in Delhi which looks quite mysterious. Chand baoli definitely is a notch higher in the mystery quotient, especially the stepwell! I am definitely putting this on the list for my next visit to Rajasthan.

  17. Nausheen Ahmad July 13, 2017 at 12:12 am - Reply

    Hi Jatin,

    I am planning to go to Jaipur from Kolkata and would love to viist Chand Baori on 16 July 2017.
    I am a mom travelling alone with 3 kids. Would you advice me to travel to Chand Baori???
    Also, is it really dangferous to go down the steps?
    Is it worth to do the entire journey to & from Jaipur just for Chand Baori?

    • Jatin Chhabra July 13, 2017 at 1:26 am - Reply

      Hi Nausheen, As I’m a Stepwell traveller. So for me, Chand Baori is an amazing site and I am even planning to visit it again this month.

      And whether you want to know weather it’s worth a visit, then I would suggest to plan 1 day for Jaipur sightseeing and one day for: – Chand Baori, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (just ok for 3-4 hours), Fatehpur Sikri and come back to Jaipur on same day. Fatehpur sikri is 130-140 km from Chand Baori and the road condition is excellent (Jaipur-Agra Highway).

      And as you are travelling with kids, I would suggest to book a cab, rather the bus. Though is much safer than my hometown of Delhi, but still.. a cab for a day won’t cost more than Rs 3000 (total km driven in a day from Jaipur to other cities, multiply by Rs 9 per km. That what I pay for my tours in all cities of Rajasthan). You can contact a good friend CB Singh at 9928399846, he runs a Jaipur car rental firm by the name of Rajputana Cabs.

      If you need any advise on how to plan a tour for Jaipur, like which place to see or skip, feel free to ask. It would be a pleasure to assist a fellow traveller… Plus do check out the restricted part of City Palace in Jaipur (Chandra Mahal). 90% travellers skip this as ticket is very high but it’s worth a visit – Just check the pics here – http://jatinchhabra.com/trip-secret-rooms-city-palace-jaipur/

  18. Sanjiv Gupta August 11, 2017 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I am visiting Chand Boari tomorrow

  19. Rashmi September 23, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

    Hi jatin. ,
    I m planning for jaipur via agra from lucknow by road. Its 5 days trip. Will luv to visit chand baori,you described it so well that cant miss this place. Plz give advice for jaipur trip…we r staying jaipur for 3days n one day in pushkar.

  20. Sushma Goh November 3, 2017 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Hi Jatin
    Read your wonderful and detailed description of Chand Baori. Im visiting Jaipur in Jan2018 with my husband – we live in Singapore. And my husband is Chinese Singaporean.
    We’re both architects and would really like take a day trip

    Like Ms Jherson above, i too love introducing my husband to indian culture and history and architecture.
    I have similar queations as her – would you be able to suggest an able and ibforned guide who coukd arrange a day trip from Jaipur? Woukd appreciate any ibformation you may have. Many thanks

    • Jatin Chhabra November 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Contact Mr CB Singh at 992839846. He can share more details on planning a tour here.

  21. michael December 11, 2017 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Hello,
    Could you please advise me on the fees to enter the stepwell at Chand Baori, they look amazing.

  22. Nabamita Ghosh December 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Jatin,

    I am planning to make a trip to Abhaneri next month. You had mentioned about Rajputana cabs on your blog. Please could you tell me if the cabs are safe for solo woman traveler. If not, what would be a safer option for a solo woman traveler.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Jatin Chhabra January 2, 2018 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Yeah, I know the owner (CB Singh), directly contact him at 9928399846

  23. Ismail January 2, 2018 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Hi Jatin

    I am traveling to the Taj Mahal from Delhi by express train. Do you think its possible for me to go to Chand Boari with a cab and still make it in time to catch the express train back to Delhi?

    Thank you.

    • Jatin Chhabra January 2, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Hey Ismail, Well distance from Taj Mahal to Chand Baori is 170-180 km, so it will take 3 or 3 hour 30 mins (a non stop drive). So, if you can lend 6-7 hours of drive, plus one hour at Chand Boari, then you can visit this site. Plus, aren’t you planning to visit Fatehpur Sikri from Agra, as I have suggested many to plan a tour of Akbar’s tomb, Fatehpur Sikri and Chand Baori from 8 am to 8 pm. It’s like this:
      1. Akbar tomb from 8 am to 9 am.
      2. Akbar tomb to Chand Baori (reach by 12:30 pm
      3. Tour of Chand Baori from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm
      4. Reach Fatehpur Sikri by 4 or 4:30 pm
      5. Back to Agra by 8 pm.
      I would suggest to call a local cab operator in Agra. rajputanacabs.in/agra/

  24. Emm July 10, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Hi, your description of Chand Baori is very interesting and the photos are beautiful! I’ve never been to India, but if I had the chance to visit Rajasthan, I wouldn’t really miss that

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