Abhaneri Step-Well: Architectural Wonder of 8th century

No Comments

Abhaneri – A Small Village near Jaipur, Rajasthan

Abhaneri is a small village in Rajasthan near Jaipur, while driving on National Highway 11A towards Agra, after crossing Dausa at Sikandara take a left turn on a State Highway 25 to Bandikui, then turn right at Gular Chauraha  for Abhaneri, total distance from Jaipur is 96 Kms, upon entering into the Abhaneri, first visible structure is a ruins of a Hindu temple of Goddess Harshat Mata built in 7-8th century AD, considered to be Goddess of Joy and Happiness, it is built on a double platform, on the walls are the statues & sculptures of Gods and Goddesses which depict images from daily life, built by King Chand, ruins of the temple still boasts the architectural and sculptural richness of medieval India, this city was known as “Abha Nagari“.
The Harshad Mata Temple built around 7-8 century AD
The Harshat Mata Temple built around 7-8 century AD
The walls of the temple carved with images and sculptures of Gods and Goddesses depicting images from daily life
The walls of the temple carved with images and sculptures of Gods and Goddesses depicting images from daily life

Chand Baori, A Step-Well

Just next to the temple is a enclosed rectangular courtyard type of structure, upon entering one reaches a Jharokha and coming down stairs on left one can see, the Baori (Step-Well)  on right, something which is unique to India, it is a water reservoir which not only has water also respite from heat in dry summers it is about 64 ft deep narrowing towards the bottom criss-crossing steps provided with double flight of steps on three sides reach the the water surface, it is one of the deepest and the largest step-well in India, the geometrical pattern of stairs gives the different magical images of the stairs, the light and shadow makes one spell bound, the stairs are on the three sides while on the one  side are the three storied pavilion with beautiful carved jharokhas, the galleries supported on Pillars and two projecting balconies enshrining beautiful sculptures. This surrounding area is semi desert, shrubs and small trees mainly the Kikar and Ber (Ber Berry), Amla (Goose berry) are found, there are only two seasonal rivers Banganga and Morle, agriculture is totally dependent on rains and ground water. Chand Raja was from the Gujara Pratihara clan claiming to be the descendant of Lord Ram’s younger brother Laxman, they were at their peak during 6-10th century AD, almost North of India, founder of this dynasty was Raja Hari Chandra and once dominated the Rajasthan, their capital city was Mandore near Jodhpur, during this period open pavilion temples were built the best examples are the temples are at Khajuraho in Madhya Paradesh and Osian in Rajasthan.
The beautiful arched hallway in front of the step-well adds to the beauty of Abhaneri Step-Well
The beautiful arched hallway in front of the step-well adds to the beauty of Abhaneri Step-Well
The front view of the Abhaneri Step-Well, A Marvelous piece of Architecture
[quote]The front view of the Abhaneri Step-Well, A Marvelous piece of Architecture[/quote] Full view of the stairs of the Abhaneri Step-Well, which gives a sense of magical touch
Full view of the stairs of the Abhaneri Step-Well, which gives a sense of magical touch
A closer look on the double flight stairs of the Abhaneri Step-Well
A closer look on the double flight stairs of the Abhaneri Step-Well
The magical look of the stairs in the Step-Well, Only good architecture can explain that!
The magical look of the stairs in the Step-Well

 

Anil Kumar Rajput – Managing Director at Promark Travel, is in the travel trade since 1980, Hes has worked in India and abroad. A boxer, a Rifle Shooter and a Para Jumper in his college days, as a Boy Scout and NCC cadet, attended camps at many places which developed his interest in traveling and to explore new places, trekking and photography, loves driving to adventurous places , owns a business (promarktravels.com) which caters all the travel needs of it’s clients. Connect with him on Facebook (htttp://www.facebook.com/anil.k.rajput) and Twitter (@PromarkTravels)
[/author]

The Journey through The Sacred Land to Gangotri

by
No Comments

It was a special day, I had arrived from Jaipur to Delhi and was all set to depart for The Land of Gods and Goddesses, Uttarakhand. I was so excited in the train while travelling towards Delhi and couldn’t wait to start my journey. I reached Delhi and packed all my bags, took my camera, recharged all the batteries, emptied the memory cards and I was all set to leave. We left Delhi after lunch in our Scorpio Jeep driven by my father, who loves long drives especially in Himalayas, so I couldn’t even ask him for the wheel not even on the plain roads and spoil his ‘long drive‘. So I sat besides him and we departed from Delhi.

The Start of The Great Himalayas

Journey from Delhi to Haridwar was on NH-58 and that was our resting place, we spent a night there to begin our actual journey in the mountains as the plains end at Dehradun, in our original we had to take a road to Chamba but we took the road to Barkot, a longer route, we knew it’d take longer but we were excited to explore the other side too. There were beautiful waterfalls, bumpy broken roads, falling rocks, landslides, rubble over the roads. One can never cross these roads on a low rider vehicle. We had our Scorpio so it was an ease for us. Although we had to survive the jerks and vibrations which felt like as if my backbone rifted apart all together. We went past Dehradun and the Rajaji National Park stopped on the way to have some tea and breakfast. Went past Mussourie and The Kempti Falls, those are really beautiful falls but the natural beauty seems to be getting destroyed by the people. We didn’t stop for a second there and carried our journey further and got on to NH-123 and were heading towards Barkot.

On NH-123

On NH-123

Near Kempti Falls, Mussourie

Near Kempti Falls, Mussourie

The Alternate Route

This was a really tiring journey and we all were getting irritated as we had taken a long route due to which we reached about 5 hours late. But this tiring journey was full of Green Mountains, Valleys, Lovely River Banks, Waterfalls and hardly any cars on the road. We reached Barkot and gave second thoughts to continue our journey after seeing the direction board in the picture below which said Yamunotri to the left and Gangotri to the right. Stopped for few seconds and discussed about it, we chose Gangotri as it was planned as it was already late. All this time my mother was praying to the god that, we reach safely to the destination and back home, we both (me and papa) were getting irritated from that too but didn’t pay any minute attention towards that and she was so scared all the time that she was reminding papa to blow horn at every turn that we drove through.

The Barkot Bend

The Barkot Bend

The Last City: Uttarkashi

We were following River Bhagirathi all this time and were back on to NH-108 by entering into a tunnel which was built inside a mountain and lead directly to Uttarkashi, as the dark appeared slowly our average speed started declining. After Uttarkashi, there was no big city and we had to travel a long journey of about 75Kms to Harsil. After Uttarkashi, we were heading straight to Harsil, on the way we went past Maneri and the Maneri Dam Project which was built upon River Bhagirathi and the water was flowing out of the small gate at very high speed which was creating mist in the atmosphere and just stopped by to take some photographs, it was dark when we left Maneri. So with no further delay we moved on, the weather started to go down. I was just holding tightly to the handles and whatever I could hold onto to save myself from spinal pains.

Landscape along the River Bhagirathi

Landscape along the River Bhagirathi

River Bhagirahthi

River Bhagirathi

The Maneri Dam Project at Maneri, Uttarakhand

The Maneri Dam Project at Maneri, Uttarakhand

It was so dark, we could hardly see anything besides the road and the oncoming traffic whose frequency was like one car in 20 minutes. Those 75 Kms felt as if we were never going to reach Harsil that night. These 75 Kms on the plains seem just an hour drive but in the mountains it takes about 3-4 hours approximately on broken roads with rocks and pebbles all over. It was okay till now as the car stereo was playing nice music, the stereo mouth fell off due to the jerks and refused to join back as it broke off. After that it was a total silence in the car and still 50 Kms were left. I was just staring at the dark and the tiny lights on the mountains blinking all over the place, these were all small villages settled all over the mountains. This map helped us alot

The Route Map

Harsil

I was just watching the road and eventually we reached Harsil, our final destination for that day and we spent a night at nice cottages in The Harsil Retreat, owned by Mr Rajiv Mehta. We had dinner and went to sleep. It was really a tiring day but I didn’t felt anything by looking at the beauty of  The Great Himalayas.

Harsil Landscape

Harsil Landscape

Gangotri

Woke up early in the morning and had a bath with hot water, clicked photographs, had breakfast and departed for the sacred land Gangotri. The road from Harsil to Gangotri was plain with less landslides and rocks, it was clear at most places as it is maintained by the Army and Border Roads Organization. On the way to Gangotri, which was 25 Kms from Harsil and was a 1 hour drive, we saw the 10 rivers meeting into River Bhagirathi and a beautiful and is one of the deepest gorge in Asia and ‘one of its kind’ bridge which is built over this gorge. The vegetation was pine and deodar trees all over and we could see pine cones everywhere on the roads and the sideways. Finally we reached our final destination, Gangotri, The Origin of The Holy River Ganges

The Sacred Temple at Gangotri

The Sacred Temple at Gangotri

 

About the Author

[author]
[author_image timthumb=’on’]wp-content/uploads/authors/anuj-rajput.jpg[/author_image] Anuj is currently pursuing his Engineering Degree in Computer Sciences and has a keen interest in travelling to different places round the year. He also writes blogs and articles in many online blogs. Connect with him on Facebook (htttp://www.facebook.com/anujrajput) and Twitter (@AnujRajput)
[/author]