This ancient stepwell built during the 8th and 9th century by King Chanda of Nikumbha Dynasty, is one of the oldest stepwells in Rajasthan, India, and is believed to be among the largest in the world. Chand Baori in Abhaneri village is 13 stories deep and encompasses 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetrical patterns.
The bottom of the well holds a green puddle of murky water which was once the dependable water source for centuries before modern water systems were invented. While this 1,000-year-old well is no longer in use, it makes for a great tourist attraction given its incredible architecture.
Stepwells are also known as kalyani or pushkarani, bawdi or baoli, barav, vaav. They are wells or ponds in which the water may be reached by descending a set of steps. The stepwells may be covered and protected and are often of architectural importance.
Those who built the stepwells dug deep trenches into the earth for dependable, year-round groundwater. They then lined the walls of these trenches with blocks of stone. The majority of surviving stepwells originally also served a leisure purpose, as well as providing water. The added benefit is that the well provided relief from daytime heat, and more of such relief could be obtained if the well was covered. Stepwells also served as a place for social gatherings and religious ceremonies.