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