A couple of months ago, I visited a stunning architectural wonder, Chand Baori, an ancient step well from the 9th century. This is situated in Abhaneri village in Alwar District of Rajasthan, India, about 100 kilometers from Jaipur.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about it –
Chand Baori is one of the oldest and most attractive landmarks in Rajasthan. It was built by King Chanda of the Nikumbha Dynasty between 800 and 900 AD and was dedicated to Hashat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness upon completion.
The state of Rajasthan is extremely arid, and the design and final structure of Chand Baori was intended to conserve as much water as possible. At the bottom of the well, the air remains 5-6 degrees cooler than at the surface, and Chand Baori was used as a community gathering place for locals during periods of intense heat. One side of the well has a pavilion and resting room for the royals.
I took a lot of pictures of the gorgeous sculptures in the nearby Harshat Mata temple too. Watch out for the post!