So many baolis, so little time: Man on a mission to visit Indian stepwells in a year

A baoli, or a stepwell, was used as storage space for rainwater used in irrigation in ancient India. Also called a baori or vav, stepwells, though seemingly mundane in purpose, stand today as beautiful pieces of architecture.

It then doesn't surprise us that a hospitality consultant, Delhi-based Jatin Chhabra, decided to document these stunning architectural wonders spread over India on his blog. What makes Chhabra's project fun is that he intends to do this by the end of next year.

He has already visited and documented stepwells in New Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat. He plans to visit sites in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka next.

"Chand Baori, Abhaneri was the first stepwell I fell in love, but now it faces competition with Rani Ka Vav in Patan, Gujarat," Chhabra tells Catch, adding, "This site is a living example of water restoration and Indian stone architecture, as Rani Ka Vav has more than 200 statues presenting a diverse aspect of Hindu mythology."

Jatin Chhabra realised he wanted to carry out this project when he visited Chand Baori, which, as he says, "is one of the grandest stepwell sites in India and has been featured in some famous Hollywood movies." Namely, Batman's prison in The Dark Knight Rises.

But why does he do it? As Chhabra puts it, "Blogging is not just for fun, but more of a way to grasp the knowledge of ancient Indian arts and science."

You can see more of his work on his blog at: http://jatinchhabra.com/ and on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/jatintheexplorer/

 
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