Chand Baori Stepwell India - Abhaneri Step well and Harshat Mata Temple.

Terraces and Pavilion at Chand Baori step well, Abhaneri, India

About looking round Chand Baori (Abhaneri) Step Well and Harshat Mata Temple at Abhaneri Village in Rajasthan, India.

Note the proper name for the step well is Chand Baori however it is commonly known as Abhaneri Step Well after the village in which it is situated. (Baori is the Hindu name for a "well"). Currently Abhaneri Step Well is free to enter, as is the adjacent Harshat Mata Temple - both are open daily. One imagines that at some point the Indian authorities will combine Abhaneri Step Well and the Temple into a fenced complex and start charging for entry of course.
Created to provide a reliable water supply for the area, Chand Baori is one of the oldest and deepest step wells in Rajasthan (and India) and was constructed during the Nikumbha Dynasty by King Chandra or Chanda (and also known as Samrat Mihir Bhoja). He ruled Abaneri (or Abhanerai and originally Abhan Agari) during the 8th and 9th Centuries A.D.
The square shaped Chand Baori is 19.5 metres deep and has double flights of steps on it's south, east and western sides. The northern side of the step well has a multi-storeyed corridor which is supported on pillars. There are also two balconies which project into the well and these have beautiful images of Mahishasura Mardini (Durga, Mahadevi, the Supreme Goddess - the slayer of the buffalo demon) and of the Hindu God Ganesa. The enclosure wall, pavilion at the entrance and the side verandah were added to the step well at a later date.
If touring India on a self-guided basis and staying at Jaipur then the simplest way to visit this deep step well, which is around 95kms from Jaipur, is by hiring a car and driver for the day.
Abhaneri village is located in beautiful countryside a little way off the main Jaipur - Bharatpur - Agra road (NH11). If travelling there from Jaipur, having gone through Dausa then around 15kms along turn left onto the SH25 then around 6km along this road turn right at a crossroads to go to Abhaneri Village.
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Steps and terraces at Chand Baori step well, Abhaneri, India.
Restored steps at the deep Abhaneri step well, India
Nicely shaped terraces overlooking Chand Baori, India.
Inside one of the pavillions at Abhaneri step well in India.
If on an organised tour of India and travelling from Agra to Jaipur on the Golden Triangle tour circuit then more and more frequently the coaches are now stopping off at Abhaneri on the way - if this is not offered then you can always ask the driver to do so as it's only a short diversion and it would be a shame to miss seeing it.
Abhaneri step well (or tank) has been completely re-furbished and although the authorities have replaced or re-instated some of the carvings which must have once adorned it's sides the step well does look somewhat "new" - however it's sheer depth is an impressive site. It is possible to go down one side and look around the galleries but you cannot go too far down the step well's quite steep sides.
Northern side buildings at Abhaneri step well in India.
Step patterns at Abhaneri village's step well.
Northern side of Chand Baori Step well - India
Temple Sculptures which can be seen at Abhaneri Village, India
Harshat Temple carvings stored at Abhaneri, IndiaTemple sculptures at Abhaneri Step Well, IndiaReclaimed Harshat Mata Temple sculptures - Abhaneri.Inside the verandah on the top west side of the step well there are many stone blocks onto which have been carved excellent sculptures. These are situated behind wire fences and have been taken from the adjacent Harshat Mata Temple. Presumably these will be re-instated onto the Temple at some point.

Harshat Mata Temple sat atop it's platform - Abhaneri, India.

Harshat Mata Hindu Temple - Abhaneri Village, Rajasthan, India.

Dedicated to the Goddess Harshat Mata, this Hindu temple is in something of a poor condition still and presumably is slowly being re-furbished but there are already quite a few beautiful old carvings situated around the structure's lower area. When you look at some of the removed carved blocks (mentioned above) it is obvious that this very old temple was a truly beautifull building at one time.
Note that Harshat Mata Temple is still active and has regular services - so when walking around on the platform you must remove your shoes of course.
Harshat Mata Temple - India.
Carvings on the terrace at Harshat Mata Temple, India
The domes at Harshat Mata Temple, Abhaneri, India.
Temple carvings - Harshat Mata Temple, India.
Lovely sculpture on the terrace at Harshat Mata Temple, India
Harshat Mata Temple carving.
A sculpture in good condition at Harshat Mata Temple, Abhaneri Village, India.
Another view of Harshat Mata Temple, outside Jaipur at Abhaneri Village.
Similarly to the adjacent step well, Harshat Mata Temple was built by King Chandra during the 8th and 9th centruies A.D. - the temple faces the east and sits on a raised double terrace platform. The temple's sanctum is Pancharatha designed and has a Sandhara Garbhagriha (path surround), pillared Mandapa (external hall) and this is all crowned by a domed ceiling. The niches on the buttresses have beautiful Brahmanical deities and there are sculptures carved into the niches on the upper terrace.
Abhaneri Village itself is quite small and rural as it is deep in farming countryside - there are several stalls and shops where you can buy cold drinks and some snacks or just enjoy a nice cup of chai.
There is much more about touring in India via our India Travel and Touring Guide Home Page.

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