Why in news?
- The Delhi government’s calendar for 2017 celebrates the history of Baolis in Delhi.
- As per the ASI, there are 16 baolis in the Delhi and most of them are in a very poor state.
- Step wells are wells or ponds in which the water may be reached by descending a set of steps.
- All forms of step wells are examples of many types of storage and irrigation tanks that were developed to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability.
- These are of architectural significance.
- They are most common in western India and are found in the other more arid regions of South Asia, extending into Pakistan.
- A basic difference between step wells and tanks and wells was to make it easier for people to reach the ground water, and to maintain and manage the wells better.
A brief History about Step wells
- Step wells can be traced back in the sites of Indus Valley Civilization such as Dholavira and Mohenjo-daro.
- Mohenjo-daro has cylindrical brick lined wells which may be the predecessors of the step well.
- The first rock-cut step wells in India date from 200-400 AD.
- The earliest example of bath-like pond reached by steps is found at Uperkot caves in Junagadh.
- These wells at Dhank in Rajkot district are dated to 550-625 AD.
- The stepped ponds at Bhinmal (Rajasthan) are dated to 850-950 AD.
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