Raniji ki Baori, artistic step well (1699 AD), Rajasthan

Raniji Ki Baori - Bundi, Rajasthan..www.mouthshut.com
 Step wells are deep wells or water storage tanks  from which the water may be accessed through  descending  set of steps. Often referred to as Baoris in local language, they  may be covered and protected and often  exhibit an architectural geometric patterns. Such wells may have  a ramp (for cattle to move  down and up))  and water wheels (rehat) to gather water with the help of bullocks from deeper part to higher levels.  Such wells are also  irrigation tanks to manage  erratic seasons and  paucity of water in certain period. The eye-catching wells are commonly found in the desert state of  Rajasthan, Western India where the temperature goes up way high during the summer season.

Rani Ji Ki Baori, Bundi, Hadoti Region, Rajasthan, India | by pavangupta.www.flickr.com
In Bundi Raniji ki Baori (step well), which is 46 meter deep, displays a remarkable architectural style. Also  called "Queen's step well, it is a multi- storied structure with places of worship on each floor. It has a narrow entrance marked by four pillars with small carved stone images of elephants facing each other at four corners.. The steps leading down in the well are relatively wider.

Raniji ki Baori,  built  in 1699 by Rani Nathavati, the youngest queen   of the ruling  Rao Raja Anirudh Singh of Bundi is an ornate, stone carved deep step well of artistic beauty -  a remarkable architectural style of the Rajputs.  Rani Nathavati, it is believed,  had built 21 wells at her initiative. This  step well  was built during the period of her  son Maharao Raja Budh Singh who ruled Bundi from 1695 AD to 1729  AD. The  step  wells may  be  utilitarian, but many of them exhibit  significant architectural embellishments.
Rani Ji Ki Baori, Bundi, Hadoti Region, Rajasthan, India | by pavangupta
 Bundi is a small town in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan state in northwest India. It is known for well decorated  forts, palaces, and step well reservoirs. It is the administrative headquarters of Bundi District.  Baoris played an important role during medieval India, and they were counted as vital  social  structures and were sources of water in that region where village folks  used to gather and  collect  water  deep down in the  well  in the cool shadows  of dry Rajasthan desert and indulge in village gossip and fun. In the olden days centuries ago in the  medieval period in Rajasthan, there were many step wells  in Bundi where people from near by places after a long walk in the hot sun came here  to draw water. Accessing water in the step well was  easier and after a brief break, women folks would resume their return journey back to their place. The advantage of step wells is in the deeper parts the structure the  air  is cooler and chances  of water evaporation  due to heat are  greatly reduced. Such wells can be maintained easily.
In and around Bundi more than fifty baoris exist and are a marvel of craftsmanship