It’s World Water Day today and we see water related crises around the world. For the people of Rajasthan, water scarcity is nothing new but a profound one as we get torrential rains and the water disappears in a very short time.
To overcome this problem, our ancestors from medieval times as a practical solution built step wells.
Step wells, in simple term means, “Wells which have Stairs” But the science behind this isn’t that simple. Most of the architecture of step wells is simple but massive. The system of step wells was meant to ensure that the people had direct access to water throughout the year.
Royalty and affluent members of society usually constructed these step wells. Not just for the men but step wells were developed in such a way with ramps so that cattle could reach the water easily and the steps built into the sides of the water-well made water accessible even when water is at a very low level.
Unbelievable but true that yours truly Jaipur city hoards many Baories or Step well apart from the one world renowned Chand Baori of Abhaneri and almost all are marvel of supreme craftsmanship and architecture.
We visited few of these Baories and have found that some have little water, some have gone dry, some have almost fallen into disrepair, and some were filled in with trash but yes they continue to exist.
Let’s have a look:
- Parshuram Baori
Located at Amer road opposite Jal Mahal and situated in a large historical complex housing temples etc., the Parshuram Baori is live till date.
- Kale Hanuman Baori
It is located opposite to Jal Mahal on rear side and is close to Kale Hanuman Mandir.
- Mahadev Baori
- Panna Meena Ka Kund
It is located in Amber.
- Cheela Baori
Cheela Baori is located off main road of Amer leading to Delhi road.
- Naku Baori
It is located near Cheela Baori.
Today, however, these step wells as water-harvesting systems have fallen into disuse by the march of industrialization and urbanization, but there is an urgent need to regenerate and revive these ancient systems.
Lately, individuals and government of Rajasthan are giving rise to the wonderful idea of organising Heritage Water Walks in cities with prominent tourists and heritage locations and have been rethinking their values and their roles in safeguarding creation and the earth’s resources.
With little interest, some of these sites of step wells, which are off the beaten track and have a whiff of adventure can be another interesting location for conducting Heritage Water Walks.