A Guide To The Ancient Abhaneri Step Well, Rajasthan
A little less than 100 km away from the Pink City of Jaipur, there lies a ruins of ancient step well, which has more than 3,500 steps covering 13 levels. The well is at least 100 feet deep and it is one of the major attractions of the land. This step well is located in a small village of Rajasthan, named Abhaneri. Thus, the well gets its name, Abhaneri step well. The actual name of this structure is Chand Boari.
Chand Boari was built as a place for social gathering and as a water source. The deep regions of this well will be around 5 degrees C cooler than the surface area and thus, people get together here during hot times. There are even pavilions, havelies and major structures inside the well. There is a large performance area inside the well, where the royals enjoy cultural activities and performing arts during peak summer. The well has steps built on the side that will lead you to the bottom of the well. With these steps, the villages were able to access water, no matter how low or high the water level might be. This step well is the world’s deepest and largest step well.
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According to literature descriptions and archeological findings, this Step well was not built during a single reign. The oldest parts of this well belong to the 8th century and the upper stories and columned regions were built by Mughals during the 18th century. The well is named after a local king, Raja Chanda. However, there is no inscription or literature indications to prove that King Chanda was the one who commissioned this well or structures around it. King Chanda belonged to the Pratihara clan, who are assumed to be descendants of Laxman (brother of Lord Ram) of Ramayan. The inscriptions and sculptures of the well are quite similar to the style of carvings in Mandora temples, Parangar temples, and others. Thus, it is assumed that most part of the well was constructed before the 9th century.
Major Tourist Attractions of Abhaneri
Abhaneri Step Well
The overall structure of the well is the first attraction. The entire well is built with complex geometric symmetry, which makes it hard to believe how artisans used primitive engineering techniques of the 8th century AD to create such a wonder. Three sides of this monument are well-like structures with maze of stairs leading to the bottom of the well. On the fourth side, the well is designed like a pavilion. There are numerous carvings of religious deities and cultural elements. The pavilion has numerous rooms, where royals hung out during peak summer.
Once you enter the step well, you will reach a large rectangular courtyard. You will find windows opening up to the private rooms of the royals. To your left, you will see many caves of stairs narrowing down to the bottom of the well. There are four sets of stairs. Three of them lead to the bottom of the well and one will reach the pavilion supported with pillars and decorated with carved jharokhas.
Harshat Mata Temple
This temple is the next best attraction of this land. This temple of the 10th century has unique carvings of ancient times. The temple is dedicated to Goddess of Happiness and you can find deity of Lord Vishnu inside the temple. Thus, Harshat Mata is assumed to be a form of Lord Lakshmi.
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Performance Art of the Land
The ancient tribes of Rajasthan are responsible for numerous cultural performances of this land. The most iconic dance form of the land is the Kalbelia. Kalbelia dance is famous in Jaipur too. This is called the snake charmer dance and the most interesting part about the dance is the dress, which an expert dancer would wiggle accordingly to the music. The second best form of dance to enjoy is Bhawai. The dancers would balance 7 or 8 earthen pots on their heads and dance to the beat. Ghoomar is the next best beautiful tribal performance to watch.
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How to Reach Abhaneri Step Well?
The nearest airport is located in Jaipur. From Jaipur, you can find road and rail transportation to reach Abhaneri step well. Jaipur airport connects the region with almost all the major airports of the land.
It is best to reach Abhaneri from Jaipur. You can find numerous buses, cabs from other parts of the country to Jaipur, easily. There is no direct bus to reach Abhaneri from Jaipur. You can hire jeeps or private cars to reach the step well directly from Jaipur. However, it would. The fastest option is a private cab and the cheapest option is the bus. If you are choosing buses, you need to reach Sikandra from Jaipur.
A government bus ticket per head from Jaipur to Sikandra would cost around INR 20. From Sikandra, you need to find taxis to reach Abhaneri step well. There is another option to reach Abhaneri from Jaipur. Board a bus to Gular from Jaipur. From Gular, Abhaneri is just one kilometer of walking away.
You can find numerous trains from Jaipur to Bandikui. From Bandikui, you can find autos to Sikandra and from Sikandra to Abhaneri. You can also choose to reach Gular from Bandikui and from Gular to the step well. If you are traveling from Delhi, the nearest railway station to Abhaneri is Dausa Railway station. You can find numerous trains from Delhi to Dausa. From Dausa, you need to find road transportation to reach the step well.
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- Distance between Abhaneri and Jaipur – 93 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Agra – 165 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Alwar – 77 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Ajmer – 223 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Delhi – 232 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Gwalior – 275 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Bikaner – 419 km
- Distance between Abhaneri and Jodhpur – 420 km
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Weekend Getaways from Abhaneri
Top destinations closer to Abhaneri to spend a couple of days after visiting the step well are:
- Bhangarh – 42 km away
- Alwar – 77 km away
- Fatehpur Sikri – 132 km away
- Sariska forest reserve – 82 km away
- Sawai Madhopur – 144 km away
- Jaipur – 94 km away
- Bharatpur – 107 km away
- Vrindavan – 160 km away
Top tourist attractions closer to the step well for a same-day stop are:
- Bhandarej – cultural destination (31 km away from step well)
- Kalakho – birdwatching site (32 km away from step well)
- Dausa – pilgrimage site (38 km away from step well)
- Neelkanth Mahadev – pilgrimage site (70 km away from step well)
- Vinay Vilas Palace of Alwar – heritage site (76 km away from step well)
- Ramgarh Lake – picnic spot and natural beauty (77 km away from step well)
- City Palace of Alwar – heritage site (78 km away from step well)
What to Eat in Abhaneri?
It is hard to find major restaurants in Abhaneri. There are a few eateries to try snacks like kachori and others. You need to reach Sikandra and regions around it for some refreshment. The cuisine of Abhaneri is very similar to Jaipur cuisine. Lentils and meat are the main ingredients of the cuisine of Abhaneri.
Top local dishes to try in restaurants closer to Abhaneri are dal batichurma, kachori, gattesabzi, gajak, mavakachori, and others. Buttermilk is the most common beverage you can find in almost all the restaurants in this region. Apart from this, lemon-flavored soda is the next best local beverage to try.
Best Time to Visit Abhaneri
The prime tourism season is from October to March. The recent rains would make the monuments and structures look fresh. The clouds will be clear and the overall climate will be very pleasing. June to September is the monsoon season. The region does not receive heavy downpour. If you are comfortable in drenching in a mild shower, you can choose to travel in budget between June and September. Summer is the worst time to visit Abhaneri. The place will be hot, humid and dehydrating. Unless you choose an air-conditioned private jeep to reach Abhaneri from Jaipur, it is better to avoid summer. Bus travel during summer in this region would be dehydrating and exhausting.
The perfect time to visit the step well is at the end of September or the beginning of October. This is the time of the Abhaneri festival. During this festival, locals perform local dances, music celebrations and much more.
Abhaneri Step Well Entry Timing and Fees
There is no entry fee to the step well. It is open throughout the year and free for everyone. There were plans by ASI (Archeological Survey of India) to impose a small amount as entry fee in late 2018 but, no legal announcement has been made yet.
The Stepwell is open from 10 AM to 5 PM. It would take around 30 minutes to explore this well.
FAQs about visiting Abhaneri Step Well
Q: Which is the nearest railway station to Abhaneri?
The nearest railway station to the step well is located in Dausa. Dausa railway station is 35.2 km away from the step well.
Q: How far is Abhaneri from Jaipur?
Jaipur is 93.2 km away from Abhaneri. It would take 2 hours and 3 minutes to reach Abhaneri from Jaipur via NH 21. The step well is 92.8 km away from Jaipur.
Q: Which buses run from Dausa to Abhaneri?
Buses from Delhi and Ahmedabad cover Dausa. There are no direct buses from Dausa to Abhaneri step well and it is recommended to hire a jeep.
Q: Which buses run from Jaipur to Abhaneri?
You cannot find direct buses from Jaipur to Abhaneri. You can find direct buses from Jaipur to Sikandra. From Sikandra, you can find jeeps to Abhaneri.
Read More Frequently Asked Questions here.