Chand Baori is a stepwell situated in the village of Abhaneri in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It extends approximately 30m (100ft) into the ground, making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India.
|Architectural style||Mihir bhoj|
|Town or city||Bandikui|
|Construction started||c. 800|
|Design and construction|
Chand Baori is said to be named after a local ruler of Nikumbh dynasty called Raja Chanda. 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 8th-9th century. It was likely constructed before the temple. 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".
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 and the cusped arches used by the Mughals. Access to these rooms is now blocked for tourists. The upper stories with the columned arcade around it were built around the 18th century during the Mughal era. The Mughals also added art galleries and a retaining wall around the well. Today, there are remains of old sculptures and carvings, which were suggested to be in the temple or in the various rooms. The nearby temple of Harshat Mata, goddess of joy, was a pilgrimage site and formed a complex together alongside the well. Many of these stepwells, including Chand Baori, served multiple purposes alongside drawing water and playing a significant role in religious or ceremonial activities. 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. This unique form of underground well-architecture remains constant from the 7th century in the existing monument. 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. 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. Chand Baori consists of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 stories. The state of Rajasthan is extremely arid, and the design and final structure of Chand Baori was 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. 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 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
- Chandramani Singh, ed. (2002). Protected Monuments of Rajasthan. Jawahar Kala Kendra. p. 176–177. ISBN 978-81-86782-60-6.
- Cynthia Packert Atherton (1997). The Sculpture of Early Medieval Rajasthan. BRILL. p. 64. ISBN 90-04-10789-4.
- Morna Livingston (2002). Steps to Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. Princeton Architectural Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-1-56898-324-0.
- 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.
- 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.
- "The Cave Where Batman Found His Soul is in a Rural Indian Village - foXnoMad".
- "Chand Baori: An Ancient Civil Engineering Marvel (Step-well)". 10 September 2016.
Media related to Chand Baori at Wikimedia Commons