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Chand Baori

Coordinates: 27°00′26″N 76°36′23″E / 27.0073°N 76.6065°E / 27.0073; 76.6065
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Chand Baori
Chand Baori
Chand Baori is located in Rajasthan
Chand Baori
Location within Rajasthan
Chand Baori is located in India
Chand Baori
Chand Baori (India)
General information
Architectural styleMihira Bhoja
LocationBandikui, Dausa, Rajasthan
Coordinates27°00′26″N 76°36′23″E / 27.0073°N 76.6065°E / 27.0073; 76.6065
Construction startedc. 800
Completedc. 900; 1124 years ago (900)

Chand Baori is a stepwell situated in the village of Abhaneri in the Indian state of Rajasthan.[1][2][3] It extends approximately 30 m (100 ft) into the ground, making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India.[4] It is named after a local ruler of Nikumbh dynasty called Raja Chanda and its construction is dated to the 8th-9th century. It has 3500 steps cascading 13 stories deep into a massive tank at the bottom and has been constructed in an upside-down pyramid-style.



Chand Baori is said to be named after a local ruler of Nikumbh dynasty called Raja Chanda.[5][6] However, no epigraphic evidence has been found regarding the construction of the Chand Baori or the adjoining Harshat Mata Temple. Based on similarities in style and carvings with the terraced temples of Paranagar and Mandore, the Baori can be dated to the 8th-9th century.[7] It was likely constructed before the temple.[8] According to Morna Livingston in Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India, Chand Baori is one of the few stepwells that has "two classical periods of water building in a single setting".[1]

The oldest parts of the step-well date from the 8th century onwards. An upper palace building was added to the site, which is viewed from the tabulated arches used by the Chauhan rulers. Adjoining the baori is the architecturally splendid and sculpturally beautiful Harshat Mata Temple, which was built between the 7th-8th century, but was destroyed and damaged by Mahmud Ghazni. Many of its pillars, columns, and statues now lie scattered.[9] The Mughals also destroyed the Baori interior sculptures. Today, there are remains of old sculptures and carvings, which were suggested to be in the temple or in the various rooms.[1] The nearby temple of Harshat Mata, goddess of joy, was a pilgrimage site and formed a complex together alongside the well.[6]

Many of these stepwells, including Chand Baori, served multiple purposes alongside drawing water and playing a significant role in religious or ceremonial activities.[3] Pilgrims are said to have found comfort in quenching their thirst and finding a resting spot at the steps of Chand Baori after their long travels.[6] This unique form of underground well-architecture remains constant from the 7th century in the existing monument.[3] Excavated stones of the temple are now kept by the Archaeological Survey of India in the arcades of the well. Chand Baori is a significant architectural site in western India.



Chand Baori is a deep four-sided well with a large temple located in the back of the well.[2] The basic architectural aspects of the monumental well consist of a long corridor of steps leading to five or six stories below ground level which can be seen at the site.[3] Chand Baori consists of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 stories.[6] The state of Rajasthan is extremely arid, and the design and final structure of Chand Baori were intended to conserve as much water as possible.

Ancient Indian scriptures made references to construction of wells, canals, tanks and dams and their efficient operation and maintenance.[2] This site combined many of these operations to allow for easy access to local water. At the bottom of the well, the air remains 5-6 °C cooler than at the surface, and Chand Baori was used as a community gathering place for locals during periods of intense heat. One side of the well has a haveli pavilion and resting room for the royals.



Chand Baori is considered to be one of the oldest surviving step wells in the country. On three sides, it has 3500 steps cascading 13 stories deep into a massive tank at the bottom. The fourth side has pillared corridors at many levels. Of interest here is its exquisite diamond-setting geometry of the cascading steps on three sides and the image of Sheshasayee Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananta.[10] This baori or stepwell has been constructed in an upside-down pyramid-style. The classical Indian texts on architecture (Vastu) like Aparajitapriccha or Vishvakarma's Vastushastra call this design a vijay vapi.[11] The baori has double flights of steps on each of its ten landings on all three sides. On the fourth side, to the north, is a pillared corridor of many stories. This wall at the north contains two projected offsets to house a niche in each of them. These two niches serve as shrines, the right one houses the deity Ganesha while the left one has an image of Mahishasuramardini. The Ganesha shrine is crowned with chaitya having a female dancer and her attendant carved over it. There are many other dancing figures and attendants carved around this structure. On the upper section, carvings depicting Uma-Maheshwara and Simhavahini Durga can be seen in small nimodifications, repairs, reconstructions since its construction as it was in continuous use till late medieval period.[12] The ancient stepwell underwent many changes for both beautification and better utitlity. A pillared verandah on all four sides seems to be a later addition. There is also a small room, Anderi Ujala, which was a spot to draw water with some traditional pulley-like equipment. Legend also says that a tunnel connected Abhaneri to Dausa.

In media


Chand Baori has been used as a filming location for a number of films, such as Bhoomi, The Fall, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, and Paheli. The 2012 Hollywood movie The Dark Knight Rises starring Christian Bale as Batman used Chand Baori as inspiration for one of its production sets but was not actually filmed on location at Chand Baori.[13][14][15][16]


See also



  1. ^ a b c Safvi, Rana. "A mathematical marvel called Chand Baori". ProQuest. Kasturi and Sons Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Voudouris, Konstantinos; Kaiafa, Asimina; Xia Yun, Zheng; Kumar, Rohitashw; Zanier, Katharina; Kolokytha, Elpida; Angelakis, Andreas (March 2017). A Brief History of Water Wells Focusing on Balkan, Indian and Chinese Civilization (1 ed.). Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Cesme-Izmir, Turkey: IWA 2nd Regional Symposium on Water, Wastewater and Environment. pp. 465–476. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Singh, Aditi; A. Mishra, Soma (October 2019). "Study of Ancient Stepwells in India" (PDF). International Journal of Research in Engineering, Science and Management. 2 (10): 632–634. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 December 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  4. ^ Mukherjee, Tarun Tapas; Mukherjee, Sreecheta (1 August 2015). Chitrolekha International Magazine on Art and Design, Volume 5, Number 2, 2015. Chitrolekha International Magazine on Art and Design. pp. 40–50.
  5. ^ "ASI: Chand Baori". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d Karelia, Gopi (3 November 2021). "Chand Baori: With 13 Floors & 3500 Steps, Why India's Deepest Stepwell Is A Marvel". The Better India. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  7. ^ Chandramani Singh, ed. (2002). Protected Monuments of Rajasthan. Jawahar Kala Kendra. pp. 176–177. ISBN 978-81-86782-60-6.
  8. ^ Cynthia Packert Atherton (1997). The Sculpture of Early Medieval Rajasthan. BRILL. p. 64. ISBN 90-04-10789-4.
  9. ^ Morna Livingston (2002). Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-1-56898-324-0.
  10. ^ Geringer, Susan (17 March 2021). "India's Step Wells – A Gift Of Life". Geringer Global Travel. Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  11. ^ Singh, Chandramani (2002). Protected Monuments of Rajasthan. Jawahar Kala Kendra. ISBN 978-81-86782-60-6.
  12. ^ Yadav, Rajendra (2006). Sculptural Art of Abaneri: A Paradigm. Jawahar Kala Kendra. ISBN 978-81-8182-029-7.
  13. ^ 017. I found Dark Knights Prison. 2 hours in JODHPUR. TheFreeBird. 5 November 2017. Archived from the original on 5 May 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2021 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Batman's Prison | Chand Baori Stepwell in Abhaneri (The Beginning // Backpacker's Magazine). UndDasIstErstDerAnfang - Reisevideos & -blog. 26 December 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2021. Retrieved 5 September 2021 – via YouTube.
  15. ^ "The Cave Where Batman Found His Soul is in a Rural Indian Village - foXnoMad".
  16. ^ "Chand Baori: An Ancient Civil Engineering Marvel (Step-well)". 10 September 2016.

Media related to Chand Baori at Wikimedia Commons