Panna-meena-ka-kund - 450 year old step well, Jaipur, a nice monument

Step wells are wells or ponds in which the water is gathered   by descending a set of steps. They may be designed as a multi-storied  structure with provisions to turn a water wheel, using bullocks  to raise the well water to the first or second floor. Commonly found in the semi-arid regions of Western India. they were built from  utilitarian point of view. The ones with impressive  embellishments of architectural significance with geometrically designed steps grab our attention. Many of them are centuries old and classified as national monuments. They go by different names like vav or vaav
bawri, bavdi, boali, etc., in the Western India. 

Step wells are of many types of storage and irrigation tanks constructed  mainly to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. A fundamental  difference between step wells 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.

Ever since I heard and read about ornamental step wells of Gujarat and Rajasthan that are built in semi arid regions, my fascination for them has not yet come down. These step wells bring to light the imagination and artististic talents of the local artisans, and also their ingenuity to tackle the water scarcity problems in these parts of India where it does not rain enough. Panna Meena ka Kund/ step well is close to the famous Amber Fort and this heritage site is roughly 450 years old. Because of poor publicity about this well, it is said, less number of tourists visit this place, 

Jaipur is is a nice royal city steeped in history. The charm and beauty of the Pink  city  can be experienced  only when you make a visit to this city where the palaces and buildings are well- embellished.  Among the many attractions, Panna Meena Ka Kund also known as  Panna Mian Ki Naol is worth a visit.

panna-meena-ka-kund, Jaipur.
Located close to  Anokhi Museum on Jaipur-Amer road, this beautiful  step well was built in the 16 th century to take care of the people's water needs. In those days, it was well a protected water pool -  an important  source of potable water but also a meeting place for the folks  to exchange pleasantries as well as important local news/gossips - sensational or otherwise. This beautiful Kund has a unique architecture and styling. This Kund/ step well- built by the talented craftsmen and workers, was  designed by a Brahmin.
Hindu temple near panna-meena-ka-kund,
One intriguing fact about this unique step well is it is impossible to use the same stairs to get down the well and then climb back, using the same stairs!! Is it not strange? . It means, the same stairs can not be used by the same person to get down and then go up. That why the steps are built either to go down or climb up only is a mystery. For the visitors,  it is a challenge to use the same stairs to climb back.  It is a great feast to our eyes to see the  zigzag geometrical patterns of symmetrical stairs and the workers would have put in lots of hard work to construct this step well whose depth is roughly equal to an eight-story high building and can be accessed by stairs.  The core of the Kund and terrace on two floors seem to be octagonal in plan. Visitors  to to this place can  have a  lovely view of the Amber Fort & Palace and mountains from here.
panna-meena-ka-kund, Jaipur.
The right time to visit is the Monsoon time and in the summer. In the summer, the water in the kund not only keeps the place cool but gives a wonderful and soothing experience to the visitors  who would be willing to take a respite from the searing Sun. 


Chand Baori and Rani Ki va, of course,  are amazing artistically attractive step wells.  Not far from Delhi, you can see very nice step wells in Ramgarh (near Alwar), Jhunjhunu, Dholpur.  In Gujarat, in Sihor, in Bhuj and in Patan, there are nice step wells. In Madhya Pradesh, most beautiful step well are in Chanderi .
There are beautiful step wells in places like  Neemrana, Maheswar and Mandu and also in south Rajasthan near Kota.