Tag Archives: stepwells

Nahargarh and Amer’s Water Harvesting System becomes a new tourist spot in Jaipur

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The tourists visiting Jaipur will now get to see the marvels of ancient archeology at Nahargarh and Amer Fort of Jaipur. In an initiative by Department of Archaeology and Museum, which has tied up with “Heritage Water Walks”, tourists visiting these heritage sites can witness and understand the amazing water harvesting structures on request. As informed by the Director of Archaeology & Museums, Government of Rajasthan, Mr. Hridesh Sharma today, the 2-hour water walks both at Nahargarh and Amber are designed to understand the sacredness of water in Rajasthani culture and the wisdom of our ancestors. It uncovers the stories hidden in the majestic forts of Nahargarh and Amber Palace.  The tourists may choose to enjoy a walk into jungle or witnessing the majestic grandeur of the forts. They may also choose to be amazed at the marvelousness of water technologies of past. Such walks are being conducted since 2015. The timings for these walks are : Nahargarh Fort (6 am to 5 pm); Amber Palace (8am to 5 pm – winters; 10 am to 5 pm – summers).

 

Nahargarh Fort Water Walk

The story of Nahargarh Water harvesting structures is also the story of ingenuity of Rajasthan society to innovate for all its needs. Built In 1734 during the reign of Sawai Jai Singh (1698-1740), the extensive water systems of Nahargarh is one of the most significant features of the fort. Water catchment for Nahargarh extends to about 6 kms surrounding the fort. A network of six closed catchments connects through small canals and aqueducts and drains are laid in and outside the fort. Small canals bring rainwater from the higher reaches of the hills. The bed of these canals is designed in such a way that it is on a gradient and also at the same time has an undulating course. Nahargarh has two large step wells (Bawri) and a smaller step well known as ‘Kund’. The large step wells receive water from the catchment in the surrounding hills. The ‘Kund’ receives rainwater harvested from the fort complex alone.

 

Amber Palace Water Walk

The story of Amber water lifting and harvesting structures is also equally ingenuous as that of Nahargarh. Water harvesting system here shows how the provision of water for large residences was made bearing in mind the refined water conservation mechanism and superior architectural practices of 16th century Rajputana. Raja Man Singh I built Amber Palace in 1599. It was further expanded for next 150 years by Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Jai Singh II until Jai Singh II decided to move the capital to newly built Jaipur City in 1743. The extensive water system of Amber Palace is one of the most significant features of the Palace.  Amber palace has two sources of water – Maota Lake and rainwater harvesting within the palace. A series of six structures (buildings) lift water from Maota Lake all the way up to the fort through a complex relay system.  Unlike rainwater harvesting system of Fort Nahargarh, which collects water from surrounding hills via extensive network of drains, Amber Palace uses a much more sophisticated mechanism to lift water few hundred feet above from Maota Lake.

 

Ever since the water walks have started a large number of Indian and foreign tourists, students, civil service officers, designer, architects, citizens of Jaipur and even renowned authors of Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) have experienced the walk.

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The Vanishing Stepwells of India!

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Revisiting a forgotten facet of Indian architecture with American author Victoria Lautman

STEPWELL JACKET LARGE

Tourists throng India’s temples, palaces, forts and mosques, but the country’s ancient stepwells are largely unknown. These remarkable subterranean structures not only provided communities with water all year long but also served as civic centers, refuges, remote oases and, in many cases, active places of worship. But besides their many functions, stepwells were marvels of engineering, architecture, and art. Some were lavish and ornate, others minimal and utilitarian. They could be enormous, plunging nine stories into the earth, or could be intimately scaled for private use. Thousands of these fascinating edifices once proliferated across India, but most were abandoned as a result of modernization and depleted water tables. While some have been restored by the government, most are sadly neglected and in danger of extinction.

 

PANNA MEENA Ka und

Panna Meena Ka Kund

ASSI KHAMBHA

Assi Kambha

BATRIS KOTHA

Batris Kotha

CHAND BAORI

Chand Baori

HELICAL

Helical

 

 

 

 

USE NAGPURIA

Nagpuria

 

VAN TALABJPG

Van Talaab

UJALA BAOLI

Ujala Baoli

SAI NATH USE

Sai Nath

NAVGHAN KUVO

Navghan kuvo

NEEMRANA BAORI (1)

Neemrana Baori

NEEMRANA BAORI

Neemrana Baori

The Vanishing Stepwells of India is an marvellous book, documenting the author’s extensive travels across India and her exploration of the country’s ancient water-harvesting systems – brilliant examples of ancient Indian engineering, now largely forgotten. The book presents seventy-five subterranean wonders, a fraction of those Victoria spent four years photographing throughout India. Informative rather than scholarly, the book sheds light on a unique – if ignored – architectural typology, through several hundred colour photographs and detailed entries. GPS coordinates are provided, in the hopes that readers will be inspired to see these elusive beauties with their own eyes.

Website: www.victorialautman.com

To get featured, send mail at rajasthantourismbuzz@gmail.com

Top 10 Weekend Getaways From Jaipur

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  1. ALSISAR

The entire Shekhawati region has mesmerized millions of tourists and has been aptly dubbed as the ‘Open Art Gallery’ of Rajasthan. The region, which is approximately 200 kms from Jaipur is replete with palaces, minor castles, wells and also a deer sanctuary. As the region is said to be a mini desert, we advice to you travel on a horse or a camel to enjoy the semi desert feel and watch for the well preserved wall painted havelis.

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  1. BHANGARH

How about hiking on a blissful and adventurous break at Bhangarh and discovers the secrets of the Haunted Ruins of Rajasthan along with heritage sceneries?
Flanked among three Aravali Mountains, 52 km. away from Jaipur, Bhangarh is situated in Alwar district of Rajasthan and is known to be India’s most haunted place.
The remains of Bhangarh Fort are informative enough to take you on a mesmerizing journey, of the reminiscence from the past. Entry to the place is closed after sunset due to paranormal activities reported inside. It’s just not the place, but the route also gives whimsical experience.

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  1. BUNDI

With a majority of blue houses, Bundi, loacted 219.7 km away from Jaipur via NH 12, is surrounded by the Aravali Hills. Lazy and narrow lanes, Lakes, around 60 step wells (Baories), temples and mosque dominate the town. Not many knew this fact that Jodhpur- the blue city and Bundi have a strong affinity to the color blue. Get to the top of Bundi Fort to get a glimpse of the beautiful Blue City. A picturesque Nawal Sagar man made lake in the heart of the town, add more beauty to the place, especially during sunset when it soaks the reflection of the two-storied fortified complex ‘Garh Palace’. Garh Palace is host to ‘Chitrashala’ where the walls and ceilings are embellished with miniature paintings. Bundi miniature paintings depicted on the walls are still in its original form.

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  1. DEEG PALACE, BHARATPUR

Relatively less explored in Eastern Rajasthan, Deeg Water Palace is an awe-inspiring visual masterpiece, 192 km from Jaipur in Rajasthan.
Built in 1772, Deeg palace was a luxurious summer resort for the rulers of Bharatpur State. It is open 9 am to 5 pm except on Fridays.
Stay the night at Bharatpur, just 32 km away from here !

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  1. JODHPUR

Rambling between the mighty Mehrangarh fort and Umaid Bhawan, the sun kissed city of Jodhpur is situated 337 km away from Jaipur. Founded by Rao Jodha in 1459, Jodhpur is dotted with soaring forts and palaces shimmering in sandstone while the narrow lanes lead to an alluring world of antiques and handicrafts. The blue of houses renders an alluring “Blue City” especially to be seen at sunrise and sunset. The other places to visit include Sheesh Mahal, and Osiyan Temple that are some of the most imposing architectural works of ancient times and the Osiyan sand dunes will take you away from all the hustle bustle. Jodhpur Sweets, Gatta, Chakke ki sabzi and Mirchibada are not be missed !

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  1. MOUNT ABU

Mount Abu is the only hill station in the dry arid lands of Rajasthan, which can be reached through a 7 hour drive from the capital city of Jaipur. This hill station provides a great tourist destination owing to its picturesque land. Some of the main attractions of the city are Nakki Lake, Dilwara Temple, Mt. Abu Wildlife Sanctuary. Capture a perfect sunset from the Sunset Point in Mt. Abu J

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  1. NAWALGARH

Situated 115 km from Jaipur, Nawalgarh is better known as the ‘Open Air Art Gallery’. It is a small town where the vibrant streets depict the true blend of architecture smoothly fusing the Hindu, Mughal, Persian and British facets together. As you walk down this “Open Air Art Gallery” you will be amazed to see how the painted havelis and frescoes have captured the culture,customs and royal lifestyle of the Shekhawatis. The Roop Niwas Kothi , Murarka Haveli, Bhagton Ki Choti Haveli are some architectural gems which illustrate an impeccable mélange of Rajput and European architecture.

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  1. PUSHKAR

Situated 14 km (8.7 mi) northwest of Ajmer, Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India and is also one of the five pilgrimage sites for the Hindu. The town has hundreds of temples, including 14th-century Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma- creator of the world. People from all over the world visit Pushkar especially for Pushkar Fair, the largest cattle fair of the country. Set on Pushkar Lake, Pushkar is a sacred Hindu site with 52 ghats (stone staircases) where pilgrims bathe. You can also drive to the Dargah in Ajmer !

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  1. RANTHAMBORE

Once a hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Jaipur and now a Project Tiger Reserve, Ranthambore National Park or Ranthambhore is one of the largest national parks in northern India, covering an area of 392 km². It is situated in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, about 160 km southeast of Jaipur. Ranthambore gives a unique flavor of nature, history and wildlife and houses a large number of Bengal tigers that can be easily observed hunting and taking care of their young ones during the jungle safari.

The destination pulls the attention of myriad wildlife lovers and photographers every year. The legendary Machli or T-16, is probably the oldest and world’s most photographed Tigress alive who also has a postal stamp on her.

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  1. SHAHPURA

65 kms. Away from Jaipur city, Shahpura, offers a life that is unhurried, a beautiful town of friendly people un-spoilt by the creepy fingers by modernity. The real charm lies in visiting its quaint village and experiencing a feel of authentic rural Rajasthan with all its charming eccentricity. Exquisite and discreet, the 300 years old impressive Shahpura Haveli is a tribute to the glorious past.

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