During the last few weeks, there was a cleanup drive in one of the ancient Stepwells in Jaipur by the civic authority, Jaipur Municipal Corporation/ JMC. This was in partnership with the local residents. The aim of the drive was restoration and clean up of ancient Baoris of Jaipur. For uninitiated, a Baori is a Stepwell, a source of water during old times in the semi-arid region.
Stepwell is an ancient system to collect water during rains and ensures the availability of water throughout the year. One can find Baoris stretching across a large geographical area in India; from the state of Gujarat to the capital region of Delhi, as well as in Karnataka 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 an impending factor. I’m posting a few pictures clicked of Stepwell cleanup and restoration drive. Kadam Kund is one of the Baoris in Jaipur. It has three reservoirs. 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 in the nearby hills, the source of water for the Baori.
The local residents were removing dirt and debris from the Kadamb Kund water reservoir during my visit. Some were wearing 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.
This stepwell clean-up drive is a great attempt to clean ancient water storage system before onset of rainy season. 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.