ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

h

Nominate now the Building of the Year 2017 »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. News
  3. Is there a Future for India's Stepwells?

Is there a Future for India's Stepwells?

Is there a Future for India's Stepwells?

Tourists in India dutifully make the rounds, visiting the spectacular temples, palaces, and forts the country has to offer. But, even when they're practically under their feet, people often forget about stepwells, the massive subterranean (up to ten stories) structures that dot the Indian landscape. 

As this video explains, stepwells, first constructed around 300 CE, were born out of a need to dependably collect and store water. They boast highly complex circulation and ornamentation, and over the years have evolved to function also as community centres and temples. But, as architecture journalist Victoria Lautman has pointed out, with the spread of industrialisation and drought (not to mention widespread demolition), stepwells are slowly becoming derelict. 

But the outlook isn't completely bleak: some are being renovated, and others have served as inspiration for contemporary architects and filmmakers (the prison scenes in "The Dark Knight Rises" were actually filmed in Indian stepwells). With luck, these magnificent historic structures may yet have a future. 

Cite: Katherine Allen. "Is there a Future for India's Stepwells?" 29 Sep 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/433046/is-there-a-future-for-india-s-stepwells/>
Read comments