A stepped-well (Baoli, Vav, Vapi) is generally a rectangular structure containing a draw well, constructed below the ground level. It is approached by a long stepped corridor which leads from the ground level to the water of the well. Building stepped-wells especially in arid regions was a common practice in the Indian subcontinent. Mostly placed on travel routes, these not only served to quench thirst of the travellers, the space created several levels below the surface of these elaborate wells provided cool resting places. Besides the well these used to have additional tanks for bathing and washing purposes. The Center for Art and Archaeology's image collection of stepped-wells include documentation from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.
Rani ki Vav, Patan, Gujarat
Rani ki Vav, The Queen's Step Well, was built in the last decades of the eleventh century by Queen Udayamati as a memorial to her husband Bhimadeva I of the Chauhukya or Solanki dynasty. Measuring more than sixty-five metres in length, it is among the largest in Gujarat, and in terms of its sculptures which number several hundred, surpasses all other examples. Adorned with exquisitely carved sculptures arranged in panelled niches, it is actually a temple well.
Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi, Rajasthan