During last few few weeks, there’s been a Baoris/Bawri (some call it Baolis specially in Delhi region) clean up drive in Jaipur initiated by the civic authority- Jaipur Municipal Corporation or JMC in partnership with the local residents and public. The drive aims at restoration and clean up at all ancient Baoris/Bawri in Jaipur city. For uninitiated, a Baori is a Stepwell. Common water source in this semi arid region. It’s an ancient system that collects water from rainfall to ensure availability of water for the public.One can find Baoris stretching across a large geographical area, right from the state of Gujrat to the capital region of Delhi. The dependence of people on this source continued till the new system of tapped water lines replaced it at the beginning of 20th century. Therefore, people stopped visiting & depending on them resulting in it’s 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. While, it’s not possible for me to document and present the entire drive, I’m posting few pictures which I captured by chance during my city exploration this week.
Kadam Kund is one of the Baoris under clean up & restoration drive. It has three reservoirs & is reasonably big. The source of water in this Baori is water collected from the nearby hills during the rainfall. During the monsoon season (rainy spell in Indian sub-continent) one can experience multiple waterfalls emanating from the nearby hills. I found local residents removing dirt and debris from Kadamb kund water reservoir during my visit. Some were dressed in pre-designated orange t-shirts with a special message printed on it while others chose their regular attire. The JMC provided support by way of resources like vehicles to remove the debris along with other 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, I feel is of utmost importance. A large number of Baoris were built by the royalty in 19th Century which are now in disrepair & bad shape requiring urgent restoration. I hope to do few more write up on such Baoris in Jaipur pretty soon.