“A vast sheet of water, covered with lotus flowers, amid which thousands of aquatic birds and animals live, at the shores of which bathers washed, surrounded by jungle greenery.”
Louis Rousselet, 1894.
Visually the stepwells have little presence above ground, a low masonry wall or pavilion. These are excavations that often descend down five to seven stories. An encounter with it generates both a sense of surprise and a feeling of utter displacement, descending into the earth has a particularly powerful impact. Once inside, the mind takes in the intelligent configurations of stairs, landings, galleries, interior balconies and underground chambers; the telescoping views, towering pavilions and the powerful dance of light and shadow is absolutely captivating.
Accustomed to looking up at architecture, rarely do we see structures with sublime engineering, craftsmanship and masonry going downwards. These magnificent structures have been an indispensable part of several Indian civilisations. Built by members of the ruling class, wealthy merchants or landowners, these were designed to store and replenish groundwater. During their glory days there would be peacocks dancing on the walls, noises of laughing children playing in abandon by the steps, and singing women as they went to collect water, creating a beautiful sanctum of happiness away from the scorching heat of the tropical landscapes.
The Agrasen ki Baoli serves the same purpose even today, though without water. At any given time, the baoli welcomes visitors giving them a quiet and cool escape from the bustling city of Delhi. This majestic water monument measures 58.52 meters X 13.71 meters at ground level. It is divided into four levels with a flight of 108 steep steps leading down. While descending into the well you come across numerous arcades, niches and projections of different sizes and depths creating an intricate pattern of shadows on the walls and steps.
Stepwells as a building typology is completely unique to India. As a design studio, we are absolutely captivated by these magnificent subterranean structures that are essentially stages for the orchestra of light and shadow.
We invite you to experience these breath taking structures in miniature form complete with its play of light and shadow.
Agrasen ki Baoli (Limited Edition)
Dimensions (WxDxH) : 448 x 55.8 x 204.5 mm
Weight : 8.18 kg
Material : Concrete
Note : The product is made to order and ships in 2-3 weeks on conformation of order.