Rajasthan is full of mysterious and extraordinary places, and Abhaneri’s Chand Baori is one of them.
I was told about Chand Baori in the past, but I never had the chance to visit it until I came to know about the concept of Baori (Stepwell to store water and even a type of shelter).
In India, there are more the three dozen baori’s, all spread across the states of New Delhi, Harayana, Rajasthan and other areas of western India.
These baori’s were constructed to improve the water level of a whole region and later by the 12th century they offer shelter like guest house for travelers coming from outside. (A good example of that will be Neemrana Baoli, not too far from Chand Baori)
Small history of Chand Baori
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 artifacts for all travelers, and I was able to get these pictures for you and me. Have a look:
Chand Baori, Abhaneri
Just 20 meters away from Harshat Mata Temple we have the entry gate of Chand Baori 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.
So considering the above image as Entry View Angle A, you can get the complete picture of this square shape step well in 4 shots naming A.B.C & D. Just have a look at the next three images.
And thats me
So after this parikrama of Chand Baori I tried to went inside, but was stopped by two local authority guys saying that it isn’t safe to enter as the steps are slippery. They are just trying to scare travelers, not to go inside the stepwell. Nevertheless, you can convince them to enter easily, and I did & got these pictures.
An amazing and scientific fact about a proper build baori, like Chand Baori, is that temperature in a baori is 5 degree Celsius down as compared to the temperature outside.
And this is one of the main reason baori’s were built in the past, as India is and always have been a hot tropical land.
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.
How to reach Chand Baori?
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.
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.