Abhaneri Village is located between Jaipur and Agra. It is known of Chand Baori; one of the oldest stepwells in India. It is also considered now as the biggest stepwell discovered in Rajasthan state. While browsing photos, this was one of the places I wanted to see personally in India.
How did I get there? I asked my hostel if they can book me a cab going to Abhaneri Village. The manager of my hostel called some of his friends who are taxi drivers too. The initial price I got was for 2,700 Rupees. I bargained down to 1, 500 Rupees! 😛
They said they can go to 2,000 Rupees only. It will be 2 hour drive from Jaipur plus toll way fees and parking. This was the most reasonable price they can give me. I sealed the deal then. I asked my Receptionist to pick me up by 6 AM. My plan was to visit Chand Baori on the morning and return to my hostel before traveling to Agra.
On the next day, I woke up by 4 AM to prepare and have breakfast. I was a bit worried since it was already 6:10 AM and my driver was not yet there. I asked the receptionist on duty to call his manager or the driver. No one is picking up the phone. I was a bit annoyed. I already noticed that Indians also has this “Filipino Time” culture. They are always late, from having breakfast to opening establishments. I waited for more than 40 minutes. I don’t want to ruin my timetable because of this. I was on the verge to cancel my trip to Chand Baori.
By 6:50 AM, my driver arrived!!! He kept on apologizing to me. He said that he needs to fix the tires of his taxi. It was flat. There were no vulcanizing shops open on that morning. My annoyance easily turned to gratefulness. Who wants to travel with a flat tire then? 🙂 Since I have lost almost an hour, I got all my bags. I asked my taxi driver if he can drop me off the train station in Jaipur after we visit Chand Baori. We left Jaipur by 7 AM.
If you have plenty of time, you can also commute from Jaipur to Abhaneri Village. I found this forum from Quora.Com. I always wanted to use local transportation while traveling but it changed when I arrived in India. Plus, I have to watch my time or else I will be screwed. I need to plan to save time (my OCD level increase when my plans are ruined, actually) but sometimes you also need to plan to be comfortable and safe.
Where I have been? By 9 AM, we arrived at Abhaneri Village. From what I saw, it seems commuting will take time. My taxi driver dropped me off exactly at Harshshat Mata Temple across the Chand Baori.
Harshshat Mata Temple
It was built by Kind Chand or Chandra who rules the Chahamana Dynasty on 8th to 9th century AD. This small temple faces the East on a raised platform. Each notch has beautiful Brahamanical details.
The main attraction of the temple is its deep carved sculptures. I can probably compare these carvings form what I saw in Siem Reap temples in Cambodia. Each carves were complexly exquisitely done.
When I entered the temple, there was a group of young Indian men. I think their age ranges from 18 to 21 years old. They are asking where I am from; they also asked to take a picture with me. One of them asked me if I have a boyfriend. I said I am married for 5 years. I left my husband in the Philippines since he needs to go to work. This is one of the dangers of being a solo female traveler; you have to lie in some points to be safe.
Across the temple is the Chand Baori. Baori means stepwell in Hindi. It is named after King Chand. This 19.5 meter deep baori is shaped to be in perfect square. It is provided with double steps on three sides. The northern side consists of a multi-storey corridor supported on pillars and two balconies.
My driver said that only few Indians know the location of Chand Baori since Abhaneri Village is not famous in Rajasthan state. I may conclude that this is true because there is no entrance fee to go inside the baori.
On the entrance, an old man told me that he is the caretaker of the baori. He let me walk around it and told me the history of Chand Baori. As expected, I know he will ask for payment or tip. I already asked him how much I will pay.
I was astonished how these stepwells constructed in perfect symmetry. Your eyes might be cheated but it was real! They said that it is used before by royals as a swimming pool to relieve hot temperature. It is used by the villagers too as water storage. It was another moment to be grateful for. ❤
When I paid my guide, the group of boys was there again. It was the same boy who asked me if I am married. This time, he insisted to be my boyfriend for a day. I said no! I am annoyed with them. They kept on following me. I went on the corner where there are some people, the boy still asking me to be his girlfriend for a day.
He even said that I have “nice boobs”! Like WTF! Yes, I have! I know it! But these boys are maniac! I told them to stay away from me! I repeated that twice in high note. At last, they left me alone.
I wanted to spend more time in Chand Baori but I am thinking these boys might go back. So after taking more photos, I looked for my driver and left Abhaneri Village.
Grateful that I am safe, I just thought that it was a different experience. This was not the first time that I encountered verbal harassment while traveling. I know it is annoying yet you need to think wisely to be out of troubles. I am very thankful that God made me safe again.
The fact that Chand Baori gave me a different vibe, I will still remember this place as perfect as the symmetry of what I saw. Early Indians manage to create useful structures with magnificent details. Chand Baori may not be that famous but it was one of the best tourist spots I see in India. ❤
Here was my total expenses in visiting Abhaneri Village,
To follow my adventure in Agra, click here.