Hundreds of years ago, magnificent stepwells were build in the parched zones of the country to collect rainwater during the monsoon and keep it accessible for all round the year. Constructed in multi-storeys with symmetrically aligned steps leading to the water level, these steps have elaborately ornamented columns, platforms, niches, sculptures and intricate cravings, which reflect their exceptional engineering and architectural excellence.
As with all step wells, in Toorji ka Jhalra, the steps follow the fluctuating water table down to provide easy all-year round access.
Interestingly this well was submerged and full of debris for decades. Only recently has it been drained, cleaned up and restored.
In the process, the excavations went down over two hundred feet to expose hand carved treasures in Jodhpur’s famous rose-red sandstone; including intricate carvings of dancing elephants, medieval lions as well as niches housing deities long gone.
Old is gold they say?