Abhaneri Stepwell Tours & Holidays
The Chand Baori stepwell in Abhaneri is one of northern India's most spectacular sights.
Once used to provide year-round access to water in the dry Rajasthan climate, it has also been historically used for swimming and religious rituals. The construction of the stepwell dates back to the eighth century, although it was the extensions and additions made by the Mughals in the 18th century that made it into the ornate structure we see today. With 3,500 narrow steps to the bottom of the well, the 13th-storey structure is one of India's deepest stepwells.
Today, the Abhaneri Stepwell is an important architectural site, drawing visitors from far and wide who come to marvel at its ornate carvings, perfect symmetry and 30-metre drop to the bottom. It has also been used as a filming location for a myriad of Bollywood films, as well as the 2012 Batman instalment, The Dark Knight Rises. Discover this extraordinary destination for yourself on one of our escorted tours of India, as well as other cultural and historical gems such as the nearby Harshat Mata Temple and the Taj Mahal.
Things to do at Abhaneri Stepwell
While India is home to a number of ancient stepwells, the Abhaneri Stepwell is arguably the most impressive. If you're visiting the state of Rajasthan, a visit to this famed location is certainly worthy of your time. Be it exploring the stepwell or venturing to other nearby attractions, here are our highlights of the local area.
Snap photos at the Abhaneri Stepwell
You may be somewhat relieved to learn that visitors are no longer allowed to climb the site's 3,500 steps. However, the view of the meticulously designed well begs to be captured on camera and there are still side rooms, complete with ancient statues, to explore.
Visit the Harshat Mata Temple
In addition to the Chand Baori stepwell, Abhaneri village is home to another historical relic - Harshat Mata Temple. The ninth-century Hindu temple was built by the same king that constructed the stepwell, and is dedicated to Harshat Mata, the goddess of joy. While the temple is largely in a ruinous state, its beautifully hand-carved stonework and peaceful atmosphere make it worthy of a stop.
Spot tigers in Sariska Tiger Reserve
Located around one hour's drive from the Abhaneri Stepwell, Sariska Tiger Reserve covers an area of more than 880 kilometres squared. Once a popular hunting site, today the area is protected and offers a safe refuge for wild animals including Bengal tigers, hyenas, wild dogs, langurs and rhesus monkeys.
Food and drink at Abhaneri Stepwell
During your stay in Rajasthan, you can try a wide range of delicious local dishes. Whether you opt for fine dining, trendy cafes or sampling the aromatic street food, you can be sure of a flavourful meal. Those with a plant-based diet will be spoilt for choice, with vegetarian dishes forming the majority of Rajasthani cuisine. However, meat eaters will also find plenty of mouth watering delicacies on offer.
Generally speaking, the state's cuisine is relatively spicy, but there is also an array of milder dishes on the menu. Rajasthan cuisine is often famed for its wide variety of tempting sweets, which are often eaten at the start of the meal or as an accompaniment to the main course. Among the most popular sweet dishes are churma, a fried dish made from flour, semolina, ghee and sugar, and kalakand, a dessert made from sweet, solidified milk.
When it comes to the main course, one of the most Rajasthani dishes is dal baati churma, a trio of fried bread, spicy dal and sweet wheat balls. Other delights include gatta curry, chickpea flour dumplings served in a spicy sauce, and panchmel dal, a curry made using five different types of lentils. Non-vegetarians can opt for one of the state's most-loved dishes - laal maans, a mutton-based curry packed with heat and served with chapatis. A slightly less spicy option is jungli maas, a 100-year-old delicacy that was traditionally enjoyed by royalty. Made with mutton, lamb or goat, along with ghee, chilli and garlic, it is traditionally slow cooked, resulting in a rich, wonderfully flavourful curry.
Rajasthan has its fair share of tempting beverages, too, which are especially welcome in the summer heat. Among the best known are gulab sarbat, a mix of lemon, sugar, cardamom and rose petals, and makhaniya lassi, a thick, creamy drink made by blending yoghurt with nuts, sugar and ice.
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