Stepwells are wells or ponds in which the water is reached by descending a set of steps. They may be multi-storied with a bullock turning a water wheel to raise the well water to the first or second floor. They are most common in western India and are also found in the other more arid regions of the Indian subcontinent, extending into Pakistan. The construction of stepwells is mainly utilitarian, though they may include embellishments of architectural significance, and be temple tanks.
Stepwells are examples of the many types of storage and irrigation tanks that were developed in India, mainly to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. A basic difference between stepwells on the one hand, and tanks and wells on the other, is to make it easier for people to reach the ground water and to maintain and manage the well.
The builders dug deep trenches into the earth for dependable, year-round groundwater. They lined the walls of these trenches with blocks of stone, without mortar, and created stairs leading down to the water. The majority of surviving stepwells originally served a leisure purpose as well as providing water. This was because the base of the well provided relief from daytime heat, and this was increased if the well was covered. Stepwells also served as a place for social gatherings and religious ceremonies. Usually, women were more associated with these wells because they were the ones who collected the water. Also, it was they who prayed and offered gifts to the goddess of the well for her blessings. This led to the building of some significant ornamental and architectural features, often associated with dwellings and in urban areas. It also ensured their survival as monuments.
As per records, this village was established in 9th century A.D by King Raja Chand of Gurjar kingdom. The initial name of Abhaneri was 'Abha Nagri' or the 'city of brightness' which led to its present name, 'Abhaneri'. Legend has it that Goddess Harshat Mata, in a joyous mood, spread brightness all over the village and hence, the name.
How To Reach
Abhaneri is located on NH-11 or the Jaipur-Agra road. The village is well connected by air, train and road to various parts of the country through the cities of Jaipur and Dausa which are 90 and 30.9 km from Abhaneri, respectively. The nearest airport to Abhaneri is the Jaipur Sanganer Airport from where you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach your destination. Abhaneri is also well connected by road as both government and private buses ply regularly between Abhaneri and Dausa, Agra, Jaipur, Ajmer, Alwar, Bharatpur and Bikaner. Abhaneri is well connected by rail through Dausa railway station which has an excellent connectivity with various major cities of the state and the country.