Moon and Church in Abhaneri

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
The Chand Baori stepwell, situated in the small village of Abhaneri (meaning the city of brightness), was our main reason to travel to this countryside of Rajasthan. Chand Baori means Moon Stepwell, because supposedly the water at the bottom of the well reflects the light from a full moon.

Chand Baori in Abhaneri, India
More than 1200 years old, this stepwell is one of the largest and oldest in India. Built by King Chanda and dedicated to Hashat Mata, Goddess of Joy and Happiness. The hot and dry state of Rajasthan was the main reason for the completion of the well. Meant to hold as much water as possible and cool it down in the same process. One side of the well has a summer pavillon for royals, a newer addition to the structure (built roughly 300 years ago). During rainy season the water would rise as high as the lowest parts of the pavilion. Cooling the room temperature, perhaps the first aircondition in the world?

Pavilion of Chand Baori in Abhaneri, India
You might also recognized this place as the film location of the Batman movie; The Dark Knight Rises. Right next to Chand Baori lies the ruins of the Harshad Mata Temple. It was a ritual to wash hands and feet at Chand Baori before visiting the temple.

Hashat Mata Temple in Abhaneri, India
To reach Abhaneri and Chand Baori we had to catch a train to Bandikui. From there we hired a tuk-tuk driver to take us to Abhaneri and back. In Bandikui we found another, even more mysterious place than Chand Baori; the Old Church. Beautiful and surely constructed by the British.

Front of the Old Church in Bandikui, India
The church seemed to be located on privat grounds and had a big lock on the front door. We tipped off a few local guys to let us onto the grounds. And luckily for us, they had a key for the lock as well. The church was visibly abandoned years ago. Ceiling planks had let go of the roof and lay all over the church floor. Only lizards and pigeons was still using this magnificent building. The baptistery was still there, along with a few church benches, a note holder for the priest and many other church artifacts. A very cool place for people who like mystic places. Just like me.

Abandoned Old Church in Bandikui, India
After filling the thrills and chills at the Old Church. Head a little further up the road, where the new St. Francis R. C. Church lies. Also a beautiful designed building, with surrounding gardens, which hasn't been abandoned like the Old Church.

St. Francis R. C. Church in Bandikui, India

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