Ancient Stepwells of India

I recently stumbled upon a photo of what looked like a reverse temple and had to investigate. It was a stepwell. A stepwell is exactly what it sounds like: steps down to a well. The earliest stepwells date back to about 550 AD and were developed in India as a necessity for areas suffering from torrential seasonal monsoons. Many of these functional structures were commissioned by wealthy or powerful philanthropists (nearly a fourth of whom were said to be women) as spiritual, earthbound bastions built to last for an eternity. I mean, how stunning are these pieces of forgotten architecture? And could you imagine carrying a buckets of water up all those stairs?!

stepwell

victorialautman3

Stepwells

Ancient Stepwells of India

Ancient Stepwells of India

Stepwells

Ancient Stepwells of India

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Ancient Stepwells of India

Ancient Stepwells of India

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Ancient Stepwells of India

Ancient Stepwells of India

Ancient Stepwells of India

(via  CNN, My Modern Met, & 121 Clicks)

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21 Comments

  1. Outi wrote:

    You have to see a movie called THE FALL. It is beautiful fantasy film and they shot some of it in this location. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460791/

    11.22.15
    Reply
  2. glamdevils wrote:

    Looks totally stunning. Haha I don’t won’t to carry buckets of water all the stairs up 😀

    http://www.glamdevils.com

    11.22.15
    Reply
  3. Amazing India….
    xoxo
    Yael Guetta
    http://www.ftwwl.com

    11.22.15
    Reply
  4. Marina wrote:

    Wow! This is the first time I hear of this… they look so awesome.
    http://www.madeinmoments.com

    11.22.15
    Reply
  5. Eugenia wrote:

    These look so beautiful and trippy!

    Eugenia

    http://www.diamondsandspikes.com/
    fashion / lifestyle / beauty / moscow-budapest

    11.22.15
    Reply
  6. Michelle wrote:

    I have actually heard of those stepwells before, but I’m still mesmerized by those photos. Beautiful!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

    11.22.15
    Reply
  7. Susan wrote:

    These are really beautiful but the more I look at them in a practical sense the more my knees ache!

    11.22.15
    Reply
  8. Prudence wrote:

    These stepwells look really majestic and impressive, thanks for sharing!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

    11.22.15
    Reply
  9. Jess wrote:

    So beautiful my jaw has hit the floor – although you wouldn’t want to miss a step – eek!

    11.22.15
    Reply
  10. Shailendra wrote:

    they are centuries old… oldest form of water harvesting / conservation

    11.23.15
    Reply
  11. Mun wrote:

    Pretty insane!

    11.23.15
    Reply
  12. Marie wrote:

    They are also featured in the lovely Bollywood movie Paheli with Sharuck Khan and Rani Mukerji
    See at 12:30: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3NixdyOpj4

    11.23.15
    Reply
  13. Appreciating the dedication you put into your blog and in depth information you provide.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    11.24.15
    Reply
  14. Jennifer wrote:

    They most definitely had to be an inspiration for the “Monument Valley” video game. How beautiful these spaces are!

    12.1.15
    Reply
  15. Hannah wrote:

    One of my favourite structures in India!
    https://www.instagram.com/p/0QgvPBmEUX/?taken-by=hannahmsears

    2.2.16
    Reply
  16. Jay Foy wrote:

    Thanks, Lauren!

    I liked your calling them ‘Reverse Temples”. That fits! I’ll think of them as that from now on.

    Take care!

    7.25.16
    Reply
  17. harmeet kaur wrote:

    great place…

    6.22.17
    Reply