Delhi’s underground summer retreat.

Dug deep into the earth to tap subterranean ground water, the stepwells of India were once a popular retreat for the common man to escape the blistering summer heat.

A FILM BY WILDERNESS FILMS INDIA.

Stepwells of India.

Simple architectural sense made the stepwell a favorite refuge for the ancient residents of Delhi, during the dry and intense heat of summers. Dug deep into the earth to tap subterranean ground water, the stepwells were built in levels (usually with a series of steps descending down and occasionally ramps and underground open chambers) to be a reservoir of year round fresh water, rainwater harvesting and a great hangout spot to cool off during hot afternoons.

Men gathered around on its banks to relax, chat, talk business, and snooze. Women used them to fetch water for daily use, bathing and washing. Children played on their steps. Important ceremonies took place near them. Funded by kings and rich communities, the wells locally known as Baolis, were for centuries an integral part of the life of ancient Delhi. Now, they are an indispensable part of the five thousand year old city’s unforgettable heritage.

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