'Kings from Maharashtra were lazy' I announced one day.
'What why !?!?' sang my mother and my wife in unison.
'No exotic palaces, no gigantic forts, no step wells. Seems they lacked imagination' I continued.
'My dear child, do you know that most of the beautiful forts and palaces still preserved in good condition in India were because the local king decided to align with British East India Company rather than fighting for freedom ? That almost all forts built in Maharashtra were in constant state of war with invaders ?' explained my mother.
'Yes. And Maharashtra has always had good rainfalls. So I am sure that step wells were not a necessity for the locals then.' my wife Suchita joined in .
It would have been waste of resources. Why would there be a step well in..... ' suddenly she stopped talking.
I could see from her face that she was trying to recollect something.
'Unlesss....' she mumbled. Out came the smartphone. She typed in something and then smiled.
'Unless there is actually one step well in Maharashtra !!!!' She turned the screen towards me.
'Baramotichi Vihir' I read.
'Yes !!! ' she exclaimed.'And we are going there today'
So we left on our search of this little heard step well of Maharashtra. Entered the destination as - Baramotichi Vihir on the all knowing Google Maps.
Baramotichi vihir is approximately 2 hours drive from Pune. History states that it was constructed between 1641 and 1646 by Virubhai Bhosale. This well was used to water the hundreds of different varieties of Mango trees which locals say were procured by Virubhai Bhosale. This well also served as secret meeting room. There were 12 pulleys (Baramoti) in operation hence the name.
So after 2 hours of continuous drive, we came to a road which seemed to be going to a dead end.
A bit anxious we tried to find people to ask direction but were not able to find any. Just as we were about to give up our search, we saw a signboard which signaled turning right towards Baramotichi Vihir.
We got down out of our car unsure of anything in vicinity. From the ground level, nothing except the periphery of a well is visible.
But as you move closer, a different picture comes up altogether.