Amer Fort is what brings tourists to the Amer town. Most tourists end up visiting only Amer Fort and thereby missing many other places to explore in this historic town.
Panna Meena Ka Kund is one of the must see places in Amer town especially for the explorers and travelers visiting Jaipur on a lookout for the non-touristy places. It’s one the best-restored step-well or Baori in Jaipur.
Panna Meena Ka Kund is also called Panna Mian Kund, Panna Meena Baori, Panna Meena Bawri. While the Chand Baori on Jaipur- Agra highway gets all the limelight because of its massive size and associated history, however it’s close to 100 km away from Jaipur. Panna Meena Kund is quite accessible being in the Amer town, itself.
What is Stepwell or Baori?
Stepwell or Baori is a type of ancient water storage tank where water can be accessed through a flight of steps.
So what’s special about Panna Meena Kund?
For one, Panna Meena Kund is the only well restored and functional step-well in Jaipur. It belongs to an era before the invention of piped water. These days, it’s not used for the purpose, it was originally built. It has served its purpose for many centuries. The Baori or Bawri was part of the community and society residing around it. It served as a prime source of drinking water especially when the deficient rainfall period. Panna Meena Kund is an eight-story step-well. The step well was designed in such a way that one could reach water at any level using a flight of steps. There are many other stepwells in Rajasthan and Gujarat which are much bigger and ornate than Panna Meena Kund. Despite that, Panna Meena Kund is beautiful in it’s own way.
History of Panna Meena ka Kund
There is no confirmed record on how it came to be called Panna Meena or Panna Mian Kund. During the reign of Maharajah Jai Singh, eunuch named Panna Miah served in the royal court of Amer Fort and some believe that he was instrumental in constructing this Baori. As per the local legend, this Baori dates back to the 16th century. One of the unique aspects of this Baori is its inconspicuous presence.
The steps cover only three sides and there is plenty of space where one can sit, chat or enjoy the views around. There are some niche in between the stair levels which add to the design. It’s possible that they were designed with some utility, in mind. There four octagonal pavilions or Chhatris on all four corners.
This stepwell or Baori was more than merely a source of water. It was a meeting spot for the women; to chit-chat and catch up on each other’s life. Therefore, it’s an important part of our culture & history and not simply a built heritage. By visiting, Panna Meena Kund you can probably visualize how life must have been centuries ago.
Personally, I like the simplicity, symmetry, and architecture of Panna Meena Kund. The number of ancient stepwells in Jaipur runs in double digits. Most of these step-wells are in bad shape barring this one and the one at the Nahargarh Fort. Panna Meena Kund is the most accessible and beautiful stepwell in Jaipur.
This stepwell is not in use anymore, as I mentioned above. However, it serves as a playground for the local boys during the monsoon when they congregate and organize a diving and swimming competition among themselves.
I have written a post earlier last year during the monsoon season. Read all about it here: Jaipur in Sawan/ Fun-WPC
Although, it’s not on a regular tourist itinerary, but some guides and tour operators do take tourists around this stepwell for a tour.
I have heard a story that you can’t use the same flight of stairs while going up and down in Panna Meena Kund. I’m not sure if this is true nor I intend to check on it because sometimes psychology starts playing with you. If you are game…go ahead! I’ll love to hear what you have to say!
TIP! Unlike the famous Chand Baori at Abhaneri, there is no restrictions to walk in and around the Baori. So a visit to Panna Mia Kund or Panna Meena ka Kund, is surely worth it!
Check out other places to visit and explore in Jaipur.