Photographer's Note

Staying on in Bundi....

Baolis or step wells were important social structures in medieval India where people from all walks of life assembled. Outside the old walls of the original town of Bundi is Rani-ji ki Baoli, built in 1699.

Rani Nathavati was the younger queen of the ruling Rao who had two wives. The elder bore him no male issue, so he married again with the hope that his second wife would bear him an heir. Rani Nathavati did give birth to a son and invoked the jealousy of the queen. So she gave the child to the elder queen and retired to a life devoted to serving her subjects. One of the finest projects that she undertook was that of this step well, 165 feet deep and a splendid work of Rajput architecture. Rani-ji ki Baoli is thus called since it is the Stepwell made by the Queen.

The entrance is through a narrow gateway of four pillars, joined at the top by slender arches just under the roof. Stone elephants facing each other stand in small niches in the pillars at the top. Beyond the entrance are broad steps leading down into the well, again through archways. Ogee (S-shaped) brackets play an important role in Rani-ji ki Baoli, and all arches are decorated with intricately carved stone brackets.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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