Advantages A unique and clever invention.
Disadvantages In the middle of nowhere!
The village of Abhaneri is a small Rajasthani village approximately 50 miles from Jaipur and is home to the largest step well in the world.
We visited at the end of February and the well was nearly empty exposing the rooms with finely carved pillars and all the levels of steps deep inside the well. The level of water was really low exposing all the steps down the side. The water was green and full of Algae and did not look inviting in the least. I can imagine that after the monsoon when the reservoir is full it is quite a magnificent sight and looks quite inviting.The well was built in the 8th & 9th Century and it is a remarkable feat of engineering considering the lack of modern day tools. Some similar wells date from the earlier 2nd century and are unique to the Northern parts of India and Pakistan,
At the top of the well surrounding the top platform is a colonnaded area housing reliefs of Hindu Deities that were in various states of disrepair. Next to the step well there are ruins of a temple for the goddess Harshat Mata who was the goddess of Joy and Happiness which is the second tourist attraction in this very poor village.The village is quite sparse and there were no salesmen or hawkers selling souvenirs here. Lots of village children came running up to say hello. They were all cheerful and happy looking kids with nothing much to do in the village apart from play games with each other so for them it was quite a novelty to see westerners visiting their little village.
I would recommend a visit to this unique and unusual attraction.
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