Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The stepwells of India

The stepwells of India:
The stepwells in India are some pretty amazing structures which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Stepwells, are called bawdi or baoli in India and are basically wells in which the water can be reached by descending a set of steps. The biggest of such a structure, with a lot of these steps, is found near the town of Bandikui in India. This is a large touristic attraction and the most famous stepwell in the world. It look's like some sort of an Escher drawing:

In the picture below you can see some people standing in it so you can better estimate the size of the structure:

A stepwell which is widely considered as the most beautifull of India and which ones also was one the biggest in India is the Queens stepwell near the town of Patan. Not the whole structure is visible nowadays because much of it got silted up:

Also take a look at this section view to better visualize how it is structured:

Another big stepwell (similair to the one mentioned above) is found in the village of Adalaj. This thing is slightly less big as the one in Patan but it is in a better condition:

In my opinion the most beautifull stepwell is found here near the Modhera Sun temple near Modhera town. This stepwell is part of this temple complex and is one of the biggest in India:

As you can see in the picture below the temple itself is not as large as you might think:

There are of course a lot more of these stepwells in India, but the ones mentioned above are the biggest and most famous.

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