The Most Beautiful Step-well in India
Beautiful and breath taking moment ! Words are always less to describe this amazing step-well in small town known as, Abhaneri. Thousands of stairs based on some mathematical calculations, ready to hypnotize you with its charm. Situated on Agra Jaipur highway, 95 km from Jaipur. This place is a must visit if you are using your car, taxi or motorbike.
I was aware of this place, since last few years but was not able to visit. But recently on my visit to Bandikui, a small town near Abhaneri, I got the opportunity to explore this magnificent structure. Don't miss it, How to be there, I will tell you !
Significance of Abhaneri
Abhaneri, is made up of 2 words. Abha, which stands for light and neri, an abridged form of nagri; which stands for city. So, the city of lights. This historic town was established by King Raja Chand, when ? Well somewhere in 8th and 9th century ! In Abhaneri, there are several step wells, but one particular is really famous for it's architecture and beauty, Chand Bawoli. The Bawoli or step well was used for water conservation purpose as well as recreational stuff. These bawolis were really important for the residents as they were the only source of water during parched times of the year. Although now these Bawolis are not in use, but there beauty still attracts thousands of people every month.
How to reach Abhaneri
Abhaneri lies on the Jaipur-Agra highway and you can visit it easily if you are planning the famous Golden Triangle in India. If you are driving from Delhi, you need to take the road towards Alwar on Delhi-Jaipur highway after Rewari. Once you reached Alwar, you need to drive towards Bandikui and it's 12 km from Bandikui. The entrance to the step-well is free for everyone, Indians as well as foreigners. Harsha Mata temple is next to the step-well as you can visit there also, really famous with the locals as their local deity. The temple was broken down by the invaders in 10th century, but you can still feel the historic charm with the remaining of the temple.
The statue of Harsha Mata was made up of Blue Sapphire and was stolen in late 1960s by a heritage idol thief, which never got recovered. Believed to be broken down and sold into pieces in international market. The new statue was then established in early 1970s !
Stay: There is hardly any place to stay in Abhaneri, so you have to make it a drive-through plan. You can stay in Jaipur or Agra. Other nearby places to stay is Bharatpur, Alwar or Bandikui. Or if you are driving down from New Delhi, you can drive back easily.
Places Nearby Abhaneri
I already wrote something about Harsha Mata Temple ! There is a small and beautiful church in the nearby town, Bandikui. But the condition is you have to ask locals for the address of Railway colony and there the church is. Small, beautiful and closed. Seems like waiting for someone since generations. Bandikui use to be a one of the largest railway colonies in British India and now a small town lost on map.
Also there is another stepwell near the railway crossing before the entrance to Bandikui city after crossing Alwar. Big, quite and amazing paintings. Check the Facebook Album for rest of the pictures.