Walk the 3500 Narrow Steps of Chand Baori

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If M.C. Escher ever designed stepwells in India 1000 years before he was born, the Chand Baori was probably his design. Located in the village of Abhaneri near Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan, Chand Baori is the one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India. Chand Baori was commissioned by King Chanda in the 9th century to give the local population easy access to clean ground water at the bottom of the well. Because the steps of the well made it possible for regular villagers to descend down to fetch water, Chand Baori became a popular gathering place, especially during periods of hot weather when the temperature at the bottom of the well would be several degrees cooler than at surface.

The well’s 3,500 narrow steps descend down 12 stories in a dizzying pattern that would give even Felix Baumgartner a feeling of vertigo (okay, so we exaggerate). Chand Baori is no longer an active well and is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India. The algae-covered green water at the bottom of the well does not exactly invoke feelings of refreshment, but certainly adds an otherworldy element to this already mystical structure.

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