Panna Meena ka Kund.

Panna Meena ka Kund or Panna Mian ki Baoli or Panna Meena Stepwell

Far and far away from that hustle and bustle of the city, hidden in the shadow of the massive pastel colored castle Amber Palace- there lies a beautifully designed step well – known as Panna Meena Ka Kund. Being unaware about the presence of this aesthetic embellishment of the old city of Amber, a number of tourists return visiting only the fort.

However, this is one the best place for the people who may be searching for peace and a beautiful place located between hill valleys, promising  a photogenic view of the surroundings – the fort, the temple to next to it, partly green and partly brown shaded hills all mixed with cool and soothing winds giving immense pleasure to your eyes and your heart. 

Panna Mian Ka Kund or Panna Meena Ki Baori is a 16th century stepwell representing a small replica of the world famous and deepest stepwell –Chand Baori or Abhaneri.

It is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Maharaja Jai Singh. Situated near Anokhi Museum and near the Kheri Gate of Amber town, it is a serene and blissful spot to lounge about after enduring crowds of the nearby city! As we all know, every historic monument or place has a number of fables and legends associated with its history. According to one popular fable ‘Panna Mian’ was a brave Meena king. When Rajputs had an eye over the crown of Amber, and they wanted to conquer the town, Panna Mian died saving the Meenas, and thus, in his commemoration, this stepwell was constructed. 

While some other predict that, that this kund was built under the royal patronage of Panna Mian, a eunuch or courtesan in the royal court of Maharaja Jai Singh of Amber.

The kund although smaller and deserted, it is the only well restored and functional well in Jaipur. Your eyes will dazzle not only by the surroundings but also by looking at its styling and royal ambiance. There are magnificent stairs on three sides and the fourth side has an arched balcony. The most fascinating about this place is that these stairs are not ordinary, but they represent a captivating tessellation of diamond like stairs set in a crisscross way or zig-zag manner. The stairs are designed in such a manner that one can catch up waterlevel as it rises and falls. This 8 storeyed staircase picturizes a perfect symmetry! It has been speculated that it has 1800 steps! The folks there say that these stairs are bizarre! You cannot use the same stairs for going up and down. ‘Recessed Doorway’ like niches at every alternate storey of the stepwell complements its royal ambiance. Two octagonal pavilions sit at the bottom of the pond! The fourth side is constructed as ‘arched balcony’ like structure or a kind of terrace where people could rest, relax and gossip enjoying the cool air along with the gushing sound of water.

But what could have been the reason of constructing such a marvelous stepwell? Probably, the Maharajas had habit of associating every day-to-day activity with grandeur. In that royal era, stepwells were mainly constructed with the purpose of harvesting or collecting rainwater. They were used as a principal source of water. People gathered for bathing, washing clothes or perhaps women came to collect water. No doubt, such baoris became a meeting spot for community or place kind of ‘kitty party’ for women where they could gossip, laugh, share their feelings and also the daily news about each other’s lives! It was also used by many travelers, merchants and saints so as to rest at peaceful and cooling place or maybe they used it to skip a few moments or hours of scorching heat of summers. 

But,  the saddest thing about this place is that, evenafter lying inthe close vicinity of the world famous monument- Amber Fort and being surrounded by such a mesmerizing panorama, this place is one the least visited gem of Jaipur.Probably this is because, this kund is located in an area which is partly secluded from the main suburb of Amber city.

Well, being a golden colored marvel, the edifice deserves a betterspace in ‘pride on our heritage’.This “Hidden gem of Jaipur” still awaits the way of tourists. Take a ride there, feel the serenity in the view, appraise it’s architecture and you will find yourself closer to the soul of Rajasthan, that is, Jaipur. 

Photography by Manav Singhi - Article by Garima Gupta
Panna Meena ka Kund or Panna Mian ki Baoli or Panna Meena Stepwell

Panna Meena ka Kund or Panna Mian ki Baoli or Panna Meena Stepwell

Panna Meena ka Kund or Panna Mian ki Baoli or Panna Meena Stepwell

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