Do you think you’ve seen enough of Rajasthan?
Are you looking for some less touristy spots to explore in this state? But can you care for a setting that doesn’t have a reputation for flair and flamboyance?
In that case, we are sure that Abhaneri will win your heart.
What makes Abhaneri perfect for you?
Abhaneri has the romance of history, amazement of engineering and a tint of horror to it. And, that is basically what everyone expects from a trip to Rajasthan, right?
Still not convinced?
Read the blog to the very end to know why you should take a detour to Abhaneri on your Golden Triangle Trip. Also, with this blog, we are planning to give you enough reasons to add Abhaneri to your Rajasthan itinerary.
Meanwhile, request a quote for Rajasthan. Just ping us, you’ll get a customized quote in no time. Try it, it’s free!
Let’s begin from the beginning
Abhaneri is a 9th Century village in Dausa district of Rajasthan. It is 95 km from Jaipur and is on the Jaipur-Agra highway, making it very accessible on a North India trip.
Let us give you a little back story about this village here.
Abhaneri historic place was originally named “Abha Nagri” morning is which translates to “the City of Brightness”.
However, with the ravages of time, and the evolution of dialect, the name transformed to Abhaneri.
Abhaneri is very quintessential Rajasthani. However, it has an additional eerie feel to it, we will talk about this later in the blog.
Now, let’s address the elephant in the room.
Why choose Abhaneri for your next Rajasthan off the beaten path adventure?
Out of all the destinations in Rajasthan, why Abhaneri? Well, we have plenty of reasons to justify why this hamlet is a must-have bucket-list item for Rajasthan.
Number one, Abhaneri is home to the most unusual sight in Rajasthan, which is famous for its 13 levels and zig-zagging steps.
Yes, we are talking about Chand Baori, the largest and deepest stepwell in India.
Side note: Wondering what a stepwell is? Stepwells were structures (man-made ponds with steps) constructed in the past to cope with the seasonal fluctuations of water availability. Some stepwells were temple ponds, while some dealt with irrigation and community water requirements. Chand Baori is believed to be a temple pond, where one would wash hands and feet to get to Harshat Mata Temple. Capeesh?
Number two, this tiny hamlet is also home to the Harshat Mata Temple – a shrine dedicated to the Goddess of Happiness.
The aura of this temple is worth witnessing.
Despite having been plundered many times in the past, the temple stands tall.
Thus, keeping the heritage of this village intact with hand-carved sculptures and murals inside of it.
Last but not the least, visit Abhaneri because of its colossal culture. This village is popular for various Indian folk dances like Ghoomar, Kalbeliya and Bhavai.
Step up your travel game at Chand Baori in Abhaneri
Chand Baori or say the moon well, is hands down, Abhaneri’s most priceless asset.
It’s one of the oldest living stepwell in India, which is the very first of its kind.
Believed to be hidden at a location not many knew about, this place was famous as the “hidden treasures of India”. (PS: This was in the past, now Google Maps can do the work for you ;))
We know Chand Baori as a treasure trove of stories that also has amazing architecture.
However, many others recognise it as a backdrop for movies like “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.
So, needless to say, if you happen to love stories and own a camera, this place will be no less than heaven for you.
Built during the 8th and the 9th century, this unique structure was far ahead of its time.
That’s because building symmetry in structures was hard to find in that era.
Other than that, this stepwell was/is famous as a host for community gatherings, of commoners and royals alike.
It was and is a spectacle, all thanks to its exquisite geometry and cascades of intricate pattern that creates a play of light and shadows.
Chand Baori Architecture – What to expect?
History plastered all over the area!
As you enter the premises of Chand Baori, you are welcomed by a square courtyard with Jharokhas.
The filtered light through these ancient meshes creates a mirage of mystery and magic, which is worth noticing.
Three sides of this courtyard have arrays of steps leading to the bottom.
The fourth, however, has pavilions and intricately carved galleries and balconies ( mainly for the royal family).
If you peek from any of these balconies you’ll see a pool of green water at the very end.
As you start descending to the bottom, the Baori keeps narrowing.
So much so that you’ll start to feel a little trapped.
Also, once you go down you can’t climb the same path.
That’s because the structure is constructed as a maze where figuring out the same path to climb back is next to
PS: Feeling adventurous? Accept this challenge and try it for yourself!
Not impressed yet? Read the facts and tell us that you feel the same.
Chand Baori Facts
- Chand Baori has more than 3500 steps.
- It has 13 stories all carved and embellished to perfection.
- There are figurines of Hindu gods and goddesses sprinkled in and around this amazing structure.
- The bottom portion of the well always remains 5-6 degree cooler than the surface.
- You’ll find no shops, no vendors or children heckling you in this area. So, exploring and clicking pictures is quite peaceful here.
- Lastly, some people consider this place haunted. There are a lot of myths and legends attached to this place. If you are interested to read about them, here is everything you need to know.
But before that, request a customized quote for Golden Triangle Trip plus Abhaneri adventure here.
Stories about Chand Baori
The biggest enigma around Chand Baori is the many legends that are associated with it.
And, unlike other haunted places to visit in India, one cannot confirm which of these stories are true and which ones are false.
So, we are leaving it to you. Choose whichever story you like more.
- It was built overnight by ghosts.
Locals believe that this structure was built overnight by ghosts.
If you happen to book a trip ( by us hopefully ;)), you’ll marvel at this story for sure, seeing the intricacies and designs.
- You cannot walk on the same step twice
There is another popular legend that this moon stepwell is haunted by the Djinn. For all of you that are not familiar with this term, Djinn is a spiritual being without a human origin.
According to the legend, Djinn prevents you from walking on the same step twice. So you can never ascend or descend in the same way.
Chand Baori Ticket Price
Despite being an architectural spectacle under the Archaeological Survey of India, Chand Baori has no entry fee yet.
This means no vendors selling mementoes or guides to overwhelm you. Isn’t that a win already?
Chand Baori Timings
Chand Baori is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. It is only close in the case of major holidays.
Harshat Mata temple in Abhaneri
Chand Baori isn’t the only attraction that Abhaneri offers.
There is yet another 8th-century structure that’s famous among travellers – the Harshat Mata Temple.
A relatively small temple compared to Chand Baori, Harshat Mata temple is the memento of the ravages of time.
It’s been plundered so many times in the past, yet defying all the odds it stands sturdy.
Devotees still flock here, so if you want an interactive session with them, ask them politely.
Otherwise, you can always enjoy the intricate carvings (mostly in ruins) here.
When to visit Abhaneri?
The best time to visit Abhaneri is between October and March. The weather remains relatively pleasant in this period.
How to reach Abhaneri?
The best way to reach Abhaneri is by hailing a cab.
Get on a shared cab or board a roadways bus to reach Abhaneri from Jaipur. The Jaipur to Abhaneri distance is about 95 km.
Need more information?
This village is a convenient detour on the Jaipur Agra highway.
Located in the Dausa district, reaching Abhaneri is easier if you hire a cab/ share cab. However, that will be a little hard on your pocket.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option and considering the journey by bus, then, let us inform you that there are no direct bus lines to Abhaneri.
From Jaipur, you can go to Sikandra (it will cost you 20 INR/0.26 USD) and take a taxi from there ( this will cost you around 250 INR/ 3.31 USD).
You can also go to Gular by bus and then walk around one hour to Abhaneri. It’s just an option, we recommend not to follow this.
If you are planning a rail journey, then, you can stop at the Dausa Railway Station and travel further by road for 35 km to reach Abhaneri.