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Thread: India's Forgotten Stepwells.

  1. #31
    Senior Member sandy's Avatar
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    Ancient civilizations put such intelligent design into their building of structures it seems to me. They not only address functionality & practicality, but address visual and creative arts. They are not only inventive and genius but beautiful puzzles of accomplishments causing intuitive and mental quandaries of who, what, where, why and how in all of us.

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  3. #32
    Senior Member Aianawa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Frances View Post


    (Image: Edward Burtynsky, courtesy Flowers, London)

    Source:- https://www.newscientist.com/article...t-indian-well/

    Pana Meena, Amber, Rajasthan.

    ESCHER might have gawped. But this labyrinthine nest of stairs is no impossible construction. Between AD 600 and 1850, more than 3000 step wells were dug, by hand, in the Indian provinces of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Many of them had intricate staircase designs, peppered with shrines and balconies on which to linger in the afternoon heat.

    They reach deep underground and provided insurance against the region’s fluctuating water supply. The stairs guided local people – women, mostly – down to the water that seeps in from nearby aquifers. During the rainy season, the wells fill up, but in the dry season, you would have to lug containers up and down the entire well. This particular well, Panna Meena ka Kund near Amber Fort in Rajasthan, has eight storeys. According to local tradition, you must use different sets of stairs to climb down and climb out.

    The photograph was taken by Edward Burtynsky for his latest exhibition, Water, which opens at Flowers Gallery in London on 16 October. “I wanted to find ways to make compelling photographs about the human systems employed to redirect and control water,” he writes in the accompanying book. His research took him around the globe, from the fish farms and giant dams of China to Iceland’s glaciers and the salt flats of Mexico.

    Burtynsky found it a challenge to gain enough height to capture the enormous scale of water resources and the structures we build to tap them, and had to resort to drones, aerial lifts and helicopters. He took this picture using a 15-metre pneumatic mast, with his remotely controlled camera mounted on the top.
    Frances.

    How accurate is the dating for all these wells, some have an ancient feel about them, some more purpose driven, ?.

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  5. #33
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    I'd be wary of any date attributed to them, especially from the Middle Ages back. Since the British colonization of India, their traditional history (a lot of it preserved in the Vedas) has been twisted around to fit conventional Greek and Roman history largely by guesswork based on trying to match one name in an ancient Indian text to another in a Greek or Roman text. The result has left at least one research I've came across from India already trying to reconstruct Indian history, to say nothing of revisionist chronologists in the western hemisphere.

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  7. #34
    Senior Member Aianawa's Avatar
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    That was my feeling Bsbray, feel there is a goldmine of truth, lie shattering. Have not begun researching as yet ( did research Madras = Chennai as is closest city to Oneness university so felt it would have some clearing/turbuLANCE ), but have seen some info from Elen's survivor thread regarding concerntration camps by the usual suspects when taking over anothers land, mind, culture etc.

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  9. #35
    Senior Member UK Frances's Avatar
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    Adi-Kadi Vav : Stepwell



    Source:- http://m.indiatvnews.com/news/india/...adh-31282.html

    Adi-Kadi Vav.

    New DelhI: Junagadh is an ancient and the 7th largest city in Gujarat. It is known for its various attractive and interesting places.
    Literally translated, Junagadh means "Old Fort" and with its many eye-catching monuments which reminds one of its great history. Junagadh joined India on 9 November 1947 after a brief struggle between India and Pakistan.

    It was a part of Saurashtra state and later Bombay state. It became part of newly formed Gujarat state in 1960, after the Maha Gujarat movement.
    The city has acquired an important place in the tourist map of Gujarat with thousands of tourists visiting the city for religious, educational, and entertainment purposes.



    In Junagadh there is an amazingly and an unusual form of stepwell built which is entirely different from any other stepwell built in any part of India.
    This stepwell is carved out of stone leaving the structure of the well out of the original rock, unlike other stepwells dug through various kinds of subsoils and rock layers. The stepwell is popularly known as Adi-Kadi stepwell.



    The whole structure of the well is hewn out of a single stone and no structural construction is done.

    Adi-kadi Vav, built in the 15th century, is carved entirely out of hard rock. A narrow flight of 120 stairs cuts down through the stone to meet the well shaft deep in the stone. Two different legends claim to explain the name of the well. One says that the king ordered a stepwell to be built and workers excavated down into this hard stone, but no water was found. The royal priest said that water would only be found if two unmarried girls were sacrificed. Adi and Kadi were the unlucky ones chosen for this and after their sacrifice, water was found. The other story, less fantastic but probably more likely, claims that Adi and Kadi were the names of the royal servant girls who fetched water from the well every day. Either way, people still hang cloth and bangles on a tree nearby in their memory.
    Frances.
    I like my mind and the places it takes me.

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  11. #36
    Senior Member UK Frances's Avatar
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    India's Forgotten Stepwells



    Photo by Edward Burtynsky. Courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Howard Greenberg Gallery, and Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.
    Sagar Kund Baori, Bundi, Rajasthan



    There are plenty of step-wells like these, each with a distinct flavour and history behind it, in norh-west India. Some are in Pakistan too.
    Frances.
    I like my mind and the places it takes me.

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  13. #37
    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    They are beautiful to look at, Frances.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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  15. #38
    Senior Member UK Frances's Avatar
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    Source:- https://www.quora.com/Where-are-some...itecture-works

    By Abhilash Padhi.

    Ram Kund, near Sun temple Modhera, Gujarat:
    This stepped cistern is attached to the Sun temple. It is 52.8m x 36m, with about 70 small shrines scattered along the steps. Used not only for ablution but also for religious ceremonies.
    Frances.
    I like my mind and the places it takes me.

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  17. #39
    Senior Member UK Frances's Avatar
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    India's Forgotten Stepwells

    Source:- https://www.quora.com/Where-are-some...itecture-works

    By Abhilash Padhi.

    Ruda ki Baoli, Adalaj, Gujarat - built 1502
    Again a Waghela queen named Ruda's desire in memory of her dead husband! Legend says, she apparently threw herself willingly and drowned, to avoid marriage to another king. Those folktales, they are a plenty!





    Vista from mid level



    Welcome to the neglected step-wells of India:
    Rudimentary step-wells first appeared in India between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D, born of necessity in a capricious climate zone. It was essential to guarantee a year-round water-supply for drinking, bathing, irrigation and washing, particularly in the arid states of Gujarat (where they’re called vavs) and Rajasthan (where they’re baoli, baori, or bawdi), where the water table could be inconveniently buried ten-stories or more underground. Over the centuries, step-well construction evolved so that by the 11th century they were astoundingly complex feats of engineering, architecture, and art, which encompassed the religion too, making those wells sacred, and signified an inverted Hindu temple. Overall, a beautiful example of fractals in architecture.
    Frances.
    I like my mind and the places it takes me.

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    Senior Member Aianawa's Avatar
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    Any definite age found for these older Wells, totally sacred feel to them, even with sewerage in them lol.

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  21. #41
    Senior Member Amanda's Avatar
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    Wonderful thread Frances - I feel compelled to say that the History lesson you have delivered has me thoroughly transfixed. I kept thinking 'Sacred Geometry' was a definite component of the engineering. Even the fort step well - it diverted from the tessellations but reminded me of the underbelly of a whale. Yes I am a lateral thinker and a critical thinker and as creative person I am definitely a creative thinker.

    Thank you. Much Peace - Amanda

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  23. #42
    Senior Member UK Frances's Avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Frances View Post


    Source:- http://whenonearth.net/walk-the-3500...f-chand-baori/

    Link to the full article & web site where more images can be found.

    Chand Baori: India’s Sublime Ancient Stepwell

    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.



    Building stepwells has been a necessity under northern India’s hot summers. The earliest were made around 550 AD, but famous ones like Chand Baori were made during medieval times. And from those times, over 3,000 stepwells were built in India’s two northern states.

    But nowadays, don’t expect to still see thousands of them for some have gone dry, old, filled with trash and abandoned; unlike the preserved ancient stepwells like Chand Baori, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Rani Ki Ji Baori, and Adalaj Vav.

    Chand Baori isn’t only visited by the locals before just to get clean water for drinking and cooking. Some even had stayed here to bathe, meditate and pray because for Hindus, water is sacred and it represents the boundary between heaven and Earth.

    And didn’t you know that this not-so-popular site was actually featured in Hollywood films like “The Fall” (2006) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (Batman, 2012)?

    If you plan on going to Jaipur and head to Taj Mahal right after, get this chance right away to get off route and stop over Chand Baori which you can find through the ruined Harshad Mata temple right beside it. Going there could take you for 2 hours from Jaipur by cab, or longer especially if your driver isn’t familiar with the place. Chand Baori isn’t a popular tourist spot and even the locals may not instruct you the precise way to the stepwell, so better be sure you have enough time or better join tours that include the surprising Chand Baori.

    It’s best to visit the village and stepwell from October to March. Be sure that you have packed food and water for there aren’t any facilities around the area.
    Frances.
    Hello Aianawa, there is reference to the dates in this post, although after reading Ellen's thread, When The Atlantis Survivours Wake Up, and reading about Silvie's research I keep a very open mind about dates now.
    It's said these wells were dug out by hand, they are massive and very very deep the logistics of this is mind boggling.
    Frances.

    Hello Amanda, thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the images and the little bit of Indian history.
    Frances.
    I like my mind and the places it takes me.

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  25. #43
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    They had no Elevators.
    This is the only way to let many people climb a high at the same time when place is reduced.

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  27. #44
    Senior Member Aianawa's Avatar
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    Just Amazing

    Quote Originally posted by Frances View Post


    Dada Harir, Ahmedabad.

    Source:- http://www.victorialautman.com/india.html

    By Victoria S. Lautman.

    As for the current state of stepwells, a hand-full are in relatively decent condition, particularly those few where tourists might materialize. But for most, the prevailing condition is simply deplorable due to a host of reasons. For one, under the British Raj, stepwells were deemed unhygienic breeding grounds for disease and parasites and were consequently barricaded, filled in, or otherwise destroyed. “Modern” substitutes like village taps, plumbing, and water tanks also eliminated the physical need for stepwells, if not the social and spiritual aspects. As obsolescence set in, stepwells were ignored by their communities, became garbage dumps and latrines, while others were repurposed as storage areas, mined for their stone, or just left to decay.
    Frances.


    More images to follow....

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    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Indeed.




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