During the last few weeks, there’s a cleanup drive in one of the ancient Stepwells in Jaipur initiated by the civic authority, Jaipur Municipal Corporation/ JMC. This is in partnership with the public & local residents of the area. The aim of the drive aims is restoration and clean up at all ancient Baoris of Jaipur. For uninitiated, a Baori is a Stepwell, a common source of water during ancient times in the local semi-arid region.
Stepwell is an ancient system that collects water during rains and ensures the availability of water for the public throughout the year. One can find Baoris stretching across a large geographical area in India; from the state of Gujrat to the capital region of Delhi, as well as in Karanataka The dependence of people on this source continued until the new system of tapped water lines replaced it at the beginning of the 20th century. Thereafter, locals stopped using Stepwells resulting in its deterioration.
Of late, a drive to restore this important part of our culture and heritage is gaining ground. With Al-Nino effect in full swing, there’s been a major push to clean & restore these water sources. Water conservation is another impending factor. I cannot document and showcase the entire Stepwell cleanup and restoration drive. I’m posting a few pictures clicked by me during my chance visit to the Kadam Kund area.
Kadam Kund is one of the Baoris being cleaned up & restored. It has three reservoirs & is reasonably big. The source of water of this Baori is water collected from the nearby hills during the rainfall. During the monsoon season, one can witness multiple waterfalls from the nearby hills. I found local residents removing dirt and debris from the Kadamb Kund water reservoir during my visit. Some of them were even dressed in the pre-designated uniform – orange t-shirts with a special message printed on it. The JMC provided logistical support. It’s great to see people coming forward for the cause.
The current drive is a great attempt to clean ancient water sources before the onset of rains. Preserving our heritage is important. A large number of Baoris were built by royalty over the last few Centuries which are now in disrepair requiring urgent restoration.