For this issue of MyLiveableCity themed Engineering the City, writing about the stepwells of Rajasthan was an obvious choice. Locally known as baoris or bawaldis, these traditional water structures were not only examples of fine engineering, art and architecture, but were also successful spaces for recreation, leisure and community life. Here, I don’t discuss their construction techniques or the art and architectural details. Instead I choose to tell a story about their rise and fall from being centres of public or community life to being merely sites for dumping waste. I term them in-between spaces, both literally and otherwise, because these water structures were:
• Neither on ground nor above (Underground,descends towards the sacred water)
• Neither a temple nor a mosque (Sacred and 50 | MY LIVEABLE CITY
• Jan-Mar 2018 Reviving the traditional community water spaces in hot-arid regions of India. Urban designer Shruti Hemani reviews the case of Bundi, Rajasthan secular, belongs to all)
• Neither a town square nor a market place (Community space, satisfies everyday social and functional needs).