Chand Baori Stepwell, India

A time for enchantment

This ancient stepwell is a legendary and mesmerizingly beautiful work of art intermingling symbolic ornamentation and optical illusions. Located near a temple in Abhaneri, in the state of Rajasthan, it has been a major centre of social life through the centuries. To reach the water, one must descend countless steps spread over several successive levels. The population regards this itinerary as in invitation to meditate.

Steve McCurry: “This place immediately reminded me of the graphic work of the artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, notably expressed through his art of creating optical illusions through playing with lines. The Indian women we met there appeared to be lost amid the vastness of the monument. These are definitely the most beautiful and awe-inspiring staircases I have ever seen. The architects worked miracles in creating a work of pure beauty."

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Published 9th May 2016
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