चाँद बावड़ी

Chand Baori - Chand Bawri

Useful Information

Location: Abhaneri, Rajasthan 303326.
(27.007270, 76.606480)
Open: All year daily 7:30-18:30.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaStepwell
Light: n/a
Dimension: W=35 m, L=35 m, D=30 m.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan 303326.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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800 construction started.
900 completed.
1864 described by the famous French world traveler Louis Rousselet.


चाँद बावड़ी (Chand Baori, Chand Stepwell) in one of the oldest stepwells in India, and definitely the largest 1,000 years old stepwell. It is also one of the most beautiful ones, with geometric stairs, resembling an Escher painting and a square green lake at the bottom. It was built by King Chanda in the 9th century, but its completion took almost a century. At this time the city was actually built and the well provided drinking water for the inhabitants. The city was named Abhaneri from Abha Nagri (city of splendor). According to legend Goddess Harshat Mata was in a good mood and spread splendor throughout the town.

The stepwell is quite huge, 35 m wide and long, 30 m deep, and with 13 levels in the staircases. The pool at the bottom is 8 by 6 m. The stairs have more than 3,500 steps.

Probably the oldest description of the site is from the famous French world traveler Louis Rousselet. He called it a "vast sheet of water, covered with lotuses in flower, amid which thousands of aquatic birds are sporting”.

This is one of the hidden secrets of India, and pretty hard to find. Not only because it is underground, but also because it is located in the small village Abhaneri in the middle of a semi-arid plain, far from the more interesting cities. However, it is known as a filming location. It is shown in The Fall (2006), The Dark Knight Rises (2008), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011), and the Bollywood film Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007).

The commonly used name Chand Baori Stepwell is actually nonsensical, as Baori means stepwell, so this is name translates Chand Stepwell Step Well. Such duplications are quite typical when names are partly translated. In this case, they have gone one step further by translating the British term back into Hindi: चाँद बावड़ी स्टेप वेल.