Stepwells were important in the history of India. In addition to their architectural beauty, they were used on purpose like providing water for people. Thanks to their huge water capacity, they served as indispensable water providers for daily usage. Stepwells were designed to fill and empty with the changing seasons, allowing access to the water via a series of cascading terraces, no matter how high or low the water level.
Here is a list of the most beautiful stepwells in India.
1. Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan
Chand Baori is one of the most known stepwells around the world. The lower tiers of Chand Baori were constructed by the Hindu king Raja Chanda in the 9th century. But the Mughals embellished the upper levels with pavilions and arcades in the 18th century, making the monument look more Islamic than Hindu.
2. Rani-ki-Vav, Patan, Gujarat
Raniki-ki-Vav, The Queen’s Stepwell, was built by Hindu Queen Udayamati in 1032 AD reflecting the Maru-Gurjara architecture style with a depth of more than 28 meters. Today, Raniki-ki-Vav is Unesco-listed, both for its super-sized superstructure and for the intricacy and elegance of the carvings of Vishnu and other deities that cover every spare inch of exposed stone.
3. Agrasen Ki Baoli, Delhi
Agrasen Ki Baoli is thought that probably was constructed during the Tughlaq period in the 14th century when Delhi was ruled by a dynasty of Turkic sultans. The stepwell cuts a 60m-long slice through the earth below the Indian capital, faced with niches set under Islamic arches, accessed via a single sweeping stairway.
4. Adalaj Vav, Adalaj, Gujarat
Adalaj Vav stepwell was built in 1498 in the memory of Rana Veer Singh by his wife, Queen Rudadevi. It has a jewel-box of column-propped arcades surrounding a central, octagonal well shaft, covered in a filigree tracery of carved flowers, elephants, deities, and ornamental motifs.
5. The Pushkarinis of Hampi, Karnataka
Pushkarinis stepwell is a classic Indian stepwell, with long since stripped of its upper pavilions, but with its eye-catching cascade of pyramid-shaped stairways still intact.
6. Rajon Ki Baoli, Delhi
Rajon Ki Baoli stepwell is an Islamic architecture with stepped tiers of arches decorated with stucco motifs, and niches for lanterns hinting at ceremonial activities after dark. It was commissioned by Daulat Khan, a prominent official in the government of Delhi’s Lodi Dynasty, in the early years of the 16th century.
7. Peralassery Temple Stepwell
8. Karpur Baoli
Karpur Baoli is a 1,200-year-old water tank nested in a forest at the feet of the hillocks behind. Its name comprises two words: karpur, meaning camphor, and baoli, meaning water tank. It was named so because of the water’s camphor-like scent and supposed medicinal properties. Locals say the water level in this 1,200-year-old tank never goes down.
9. A helical stepwell with 8 entries. Maharashtra, India
Unique “Helical Stepwell” in Walur Village, Selu Taluka in Parbhani District of Maharashtra (India) with Spiral Steps from 8 Sides leading to the Well Shaft and 8 Devakoshta (Niches) above the steps.
A massive cleanliness drive was recently done by locals of Walur Village to bring this Stepwell to Glory.