Chand Baori is an ancient step well in Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. It was built by King Chanda back in the 9th century for storage of water to be used during harsh drought and times of water scarcity. The amazing step well architecture is seen in its beautiful geometry and symmetrical steps, built in perfect proportion and alignment.
The pavilions and jharokhas have intricate carvings. Chand Baoli descends 30 m under the ground, making it one of the deepest and largest step wells of India. The step well is a visual delight and a marvel of architecture and science. They are locally called ‘baolis’ or ‘vavs’, and are normally found in desert regions of north west states of India.
So visually attractive is the structure of Chand Baori, that not even Bollywood, but Hollywood movies were shot here. Chand Baoli was used for shooting songs and climaxes in quite a number of blockbuster movies. It’s used for its exotic Rajasthani architecture that brings an ethnic appeal to the movie scene. Let’s look at some movies that captured the beauty of Chand Baori.
The Dark Knight Rises
Out of the two locations that were used in India to shoot “The Dark Knight Rises”, one of Mehrangarh Fort, and the other was Chand Baori. The prison scene in which Bruce Wayne is trying to climb a circular wall uses Chand Baori as its backdrop.
This Hollywood fantasy film used many Indian locales for filming their movie scenes, out of which one was Chand Baori. The highly emotional scene, where the monkey Wallace is shot, and Charles Darwin mourns his loss, is shot at Chand Baori step well. The scene uses the step well for taking magnificent panoramic shots, and the symmetry of the step wells, too, is brought into focus. And when Charles Darwin, himself is shot at, he fells in the waters of the step well.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
This critically acclaimed comedy drama was extensively shot in Udaipur, Jodhpur, and bazaars of Jaipur, and even contained scenes shot in Chand Baori.
This Akshay Kumar starrer psychological thriller had a song that was shot in Chand Baori. In the song ‘Sakhiya’, Ameesha Patel is seen singing in the pavilions of Chand Baori, and there are many other dancers dancing on the steps of Chand Baori.
Sanjay Dutt starred in this action drama, and Chand Baori was used for shooting a number of fight scenes at the climax of the movie. The symmetrical steps were shot in such a way, that even when the audience is glued to the fight scene, they are treated to some striking visuals of the step well, amidst all the action.
This emotional drama had Rani Mukherjee and Shah Rukh Khan in lead roles. There are many scenes shot in different locations of Rajasthan, and Chand Baori step well is one of them. The step well serves as a meeting point for the two characters to meet at important cross roads of their lives.