One little known contribution to architecture made by India are called
stepwells. These architectural wonders are built deep into the
ground. With fluctuating rain in the desert communities of Rajasthan
and Gujarat, these were built as far back as 600 A.D. to conserve the
water for the community. The construction of these stepwells are
unique to other wells and tanks in that you have direct access to the
water, without having to send a bucket or other vessel down to retrieve
the water.

They also served as community meeting places, at the base, where the
water is - they provided cool relief from the desert sun. Some of them
are also built with alcoves in between the series of steps, where people could take a break from the work and the heat - relax & chat. To stand this test of time as

this community meeting place, they
were built to stand the test of time, both functionally and
aesthetically. Beautifully carved and constructed, they are a wondrous
sight to behold.

They are built with series of steps several stories high, surrounding the well. There are several of these surviving ancient stepwells in
Gujarat and Rajasthan. One of the largest, Chand Baori, is 13 stories
high, has 3500 steps and is 100 feet deep. It truly is a marvelous
sight to wonder. The amazing architecture of the Rajput era is a sight
to behold. This is located in the
small village of Abhineri, one of the stops included on Global Tastes
& Travels 2011 Culinary Tour to India. Whether or not you are able
to come on our tour next year, this is one stop that must be included
on any tour to India.

Contact me for details on the tour - culinarytours@globaltastesinc.com

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