Our cultural heritage consists of an outstanding feature called the stepwell, better known as the Baoli. Baolis are steps which end in wells. The architecture of Baolis ranges from covered to open, one-storeyed to multi-storeyed, and non-embellished to embellished.
Baolis have been seen in various Bollywood films’ sequences, for instance, in this scene from Sultan:
These Baolis are not only beautiful to look at but they also serve the farsighted purpose of providing people with water.
One among the many places which boast of Baolis is Chanderi in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from the very popular Chanderi silk sarees, Chanderi houses 1200 Baolis.
The interesting bit here is that Chanderi does not have any water body in its vicinity. Therefore, with Chanderi’s evolution as an administrative centre, the rulers found it imperative to build Baolis and hence, their prevalence.
Ponds were excavated beside these Baolis so that rainwater could be harvested and the water level be maintained. The following are some of the popular step wells of Chanderi:
Believed to be built in the 16th century, Chakla baoli is a wide, rectangular step well. It is used by locals, for instance, by women to wash their clothes and by boys for diving.
Battisi Baoli derives its name from the flight of 32 (Battis in Hindi) steps that lead to the well. The depth of the Baoli goes four storeys down. This Baoli falls under archaeological surveillance and hence, has been kept protected from usage by the locals.
Boasting of a unique architecture, the circular Moosa Baoli is available for use by the locals, like the Chakla Baoli.
Don’t these Baolis look damn intriguing? Not only do they contain water that helps thousands of local families, but also boasts of rich historical and cultural significance. Well, we’re sure these wells would be far more interesting to visit than just be read about. We suggest you look into www.mptourism.com for more details and pack your bags right away!