Abhaneri Step-Well: Architectural Wonder of 8th century

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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)
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Shiv Khori near Katra, Jammu & Kashmir Pilgrimage

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Shiv Khori is situated in Jammu & Kashmir state and one can combine it with Mata Vaisno Devi Pilgrimage, it is located about 80 Kms from Katra, 140 kms from Jammu and 120 kms from Udhampur upto Ransoo village and then 3 Kms trek to the holy cave. Regular buses and taxis are available at rates approved by the J&K Tourism Department, from Katra, Jammu and Udhampur. Pilgrims may also travel from Jammu on Akhnoor-Bhambla Road, Ransoo is 6 kms from Kanda More (turn) on Reasi- Rajouri Road.

The Starting Point of Shiv Khori Pilgrimage Trek
The Starting Point of Shiv Khori Pilgrimage Trek

The Cave

This cave which was discovered about 100 years ago by the local shepherds is more than a kilometer long but pilgrims are allowed upto 150 meters, it has two chambers, outer chamber is little large and after crossing a narrow and low passage, one enters the inner chamber which is comparably smaller, the cave is illuminated and pilgrims take help of ropes to walk and even at places one has to crawl to move ahead in the chamber, there  is four feet tall natural Syambhu Shiva Lingam which bathes in a milky water dripping from the ceiling of the cave,  just above the Lingam is a structure which gives impression of Kamdhenu Cow, one can even recognize the structure near the Lingam Goddess Parvati, the other deities are Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeyen, Lord Hanuman, Lord Ram, Laxman and Sita even one can recognize Sheshnag here, in the center there is a hollow structure giving impression of Lord Shiva’s Jattas, all these are sourrounded by self made Shaligrams in the cave, pilgrims call it a Home of GODS, it is a miracle.

The Shiv Khori Cave
[quote]The Shiv Khori Cave[/quote]

The View from the Outside, Shiv Khori Cave
The View from the Outside, Shiv Khori Cave

Legend

The demon Bhasmasur meditated and pleased Lord Shiva,  received the blessings that “If he put his hand palm on any ones head, that person will die“, to test this Bhasmasur wanted to put his palm on Lord Shiva’s head, and had a battle, Lord Shiva to save himself  threw his Trident ( Trishul) which created this cave, along with Devi Parvati and Nandi Bull entered , leaving behind Bhasmasur,  Lord Vishnu who visualized the ill designs came here, disguised as Apsra, lured Bhasmasur to dance to her steps, each step and move was so planed that finally Apsra (Lord Vishnu) made him to put his palm on his own head thus killing the Bhasmasur of his own powers, after this dance and killing, Lord Vishnu entered the cave along with other Devtas, it is said that 330 million Devtas are in this cave lying as Shaligrams and Pindis.

Around Shivkhori

Around Shivkhori one can visit the shrine, Dera Baba Banda Bahadur, the army commander of Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji about 20 kms from here on the banks of River Chenab.

Nau Pindian, this is about 9 kms from Katra on same road to Reasi, there is a natural formation dedicated to the Nine incarnations (Avatars) of Maa Shakti in the form of Pindi.

Dhansar Baba, this place is about 10 kms from Katra , 17 kms before Reasi , off the main road trek for 1 km, it is a natural formation of Shiva Lingam and natural dropping of water on the lingam.

River Chenab and The Bridge over it near Reasi Village
[quote]River Chenab and The Bridge over it near Reasi Village[/quote]

Other Places

Siar Baba situated on the banks of River Chenab near Talwara about 6 kms from Reasi, famous for its beautiful waterfall.

Kalka mandir is just near the bus stand of Reasi.

Bhimgarh Fort, it is also known as Reasi Fort, originally constructed of clay but later it was reconstructed using stone, the main entry gate is having Rajasthani carvings, there is a statue of Goddess Maha Kali and Lord Hanuman Ji, there is a water pond and a temple in the fort and rooms. This fort though small in size was built by Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1817 when he was the commander of Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh under the supervision of General Zoravar Singh who was responsible for driving the Chinese out of Ladakh.

For more details contact 09810506646 or email at  promark@promarktravels.com

About the Author

[author]
[author_image timthumb=’on’]wp-content/uploads/authors/anil-rajput.jpg[/author_image] Anil Kumar Rajput – Managing Director Promark Travel , is in the travel trade since 1980, 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)
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Some Shots on The Way

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