About Chand Baori
Chand Baori is arguably Rajasthan’s most impressive stepwell. Extremely beautiful and relatively tricky to find, Chand Baori is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
History of Chand Baori
Stepwells are found across India: in a climate that is highly dependent on monsoon season to provide water, stepwells allow access to a pool of water year-round, no matter what the level, thanks to their often ornate and unique stairs. Whilst they are fundamentally pretty utilitarian, many stepwells have lavish ornamentation, embellishments or also function as temples. Today, some are in operation still, but others are simply used as swimming spots or to find respite from the heat. It’s typically 5 or 6 degrees cooler at the bottom of the stepwell than the surface temperature, so these spaces still make for popular meeting points.
Chand Baori dates from the 8th century, and is believed to be named after a local ruler, Raja Chanda. Originally a palace would have been built around the top of the site: these rooms still exist but are not accessible by visitors.
The Mughals later expanded on the baori in the 18th century, adding the columned arcade around the top, along with assorted Islamic architectural features. The stepwell has 3500 steps (13 stories), cut in a geometric criss-cross pattern. The stepwell as seen today is much like it would have been in the 8th century.
It remains a popular destination for tourists despite its isolated location, and appears in multiple Bollywood films, as well as the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.
Chand Baori today
The stepwell is now a protected national monument, and costs R25 to enter. It’s well worth the money – Chand Baori is extremely well preserved, and it does feel somewhat like you’ve stepped back in time. Despite being somewhat off the beaten track, there are still normally plenty of visitors. Come at dawn or dusk if you want to take photos, for both less people and better light.
Getting to Chand Baori
Chand Baori is located in the small Rajasthani village of Abhaneri, about 8km north of highway 21 (Jaipur – Agra). The easiest way of getting here is to hire a taxi from Jaipur: it’s a 95km trip each way. If that proves too costly, you’ll need to take multiple buses – head to Sikandra from Jaipur, and then hire a taxi or autorickshaw to take you the last 8km, or take a bus to Gular and walk the remaining 4.5km (you may well be able to find an autorickshaw to pick you up). As a last resort, you could also get the train to Bandikui and hire a taxi to take you the remaining 6km.