Step wells are common in the state of Rajasthan as it is prone to fewer water resources and huge deserts. Hence, many kings who ruled various places of Rajasthan has constructed many step wells deeply at different places. In North India, you can find step wells in many places, especially in Rajasthan. Under the supervision of Maharajas, these step wells got constructed to store the water during rainy seasons and people used to use these as water sources for the remaining seasons.
Due to the depth, the architects planned in such a way that the people can reach the water through steps and hence, the "Baori" or the step-wells got evolved in those centuries and they are still maintained by the government of Rajasthan. People aren't allowed to most of the step wells now. Fortunately, I have visited one of such step wells, which was a rare construction indeed.
After visiting the City Palace of Jaipur and the Amber Palace of Amer, my cab driver has suggested me to visit this place called "Panna Meena ka Kund", as it is very nearer to the Amber fort. This place is around eleven kilometers away from the Pink city, Jaipur. A person can reach this place through a cab or car or tuk-tuk (autos). But, you must plan as an add on to the 'Amber fort' visit, because it is nearer and also you can check on one more beautiful place or to just relax after the tiring visit of Amber fort. Because I have visited like that.
I have visited in the late afternoon around 3:30 pm. It was a hot winter afternoon indeed and the place was very calm. There were very few visitors at the time of my visit. The best thing was, there was no entry ticket to visit this step well. And a person needs to walk to reach the place because cabs can reach up to some extent and it is always good to explore any place by walk. In that hot sun, after walking a few steps, I have found this huge and unique stepwell, which was constructed in the 16th century when Maharaja Jai Singh was ruling the kingdom of Amer.
It was constructed to store rainwater. It's one of a kind structure attracts the tourists to visit this step well. Normally, wells are constructed circularly but the geometry of this stepwell is different. It is a large square step well with its criss-cross mannered steps. The steps are quite engaging and also confusing too. Constructed symmetrically and a person can feel the blocks of the steps as diamond shapes spread around the square sides of the whole place.
At the four corners, the signature Rajputi style architectural rooms are constructed. There are a northern gate and a place where the women used to change clothes inside of it. There are many stories revolve around this place and I have heard a few of them. In the initial days of construction, the queens and the royal women of Amber palace used to visit this place as a relaxing spot and to have a private bath with the security of Transgenders on the four corners of the well. Isn't it engaging enough to have a bath in such deep wells?
And also, after a few centuries, all the women from Amer used to come and collect the rainwater which used to be stored in this step well to use for various purposes. The local people here tell the tales of such women, who used to come and have a good natter with other women, which was kind of a relaxation spot for all women after they were done with their household chores.
These step wells were meant for women to collect water because they were the ones who used to take care of their households and arrange everything for their men. Hence, for the wellness of people and a relaxing spot, this place was constructed. This stepwell is purely dedicated to Amer. As I went to visit Amer, I felt this place as enticing. I wanted to get down but I was not allowed to even step on the first step of this amazingly constructed stepwell.
I stood there for more than fifteen minutes in that hot sun and I felt, the construction was quite a puzzle. And also, it was kind of dangerous because the steps were so narrow and the well was so deep. All I could do is, just breathe and click a few photos with the whole view.
The view here is exquisite and royal enough. Imagine, a lot of royal women step in that step well to collect water and to take baths, wouldn't it be the best portrait to paint? I didn't want to leave the place, but I had to because it was very hot. And the place was so vast, so that the breeze was kind of cool.
You can find a huge courtyard kind of place if you go around the Panna Meena ka Kund. The whole architecture is just royal enough. You will feel those ancient vibes if you visit this place and you will surely feel surprised to view such a place that has constructed ages ago. Trust me, this place hardly needs a renovation. The paints got a little disturbed by the moss, else the whole construction is still strong enough to welcome all visitors around the globe. Somehow, they are no more allowing visitors to step inside. But, you can still sit at the place spread around the four sides of the stepwell and there are some rock benches, you can sit and relax for a while to take the whole place and fill some memories in your brain
If you are a lover of ancient architecture and also a lover of depths, you should visit this unique step well in the town of Amer. Add to your travel list, when you visit Jaipur and feel the way how I exactly felt, just amazing!