Among the several architectural marvels that the Pink City can boast of, the ancient stepwell called Panna Meena ka Kund is quite an important yet unexplored one. Established in the 16th century, the place is also known by many other names locally, some of which are just derivations of the original name in the local language. A baori or a stepwell is a concept solely originating from the Indian subcontinent and were the most popular source of water during the old times. These are mostly man-made pools of water that can be reached by descending a series of stairwells. Panna Meena ka Kund in Jaipur is one of the many famous stepwells that still stand in the western part of India, where they were mostly constructed. The original purpose of this Baori was to supply the locals with water for drinking and other daily needs, especially during the dry summers, as well as crop irrigation.
The kund also served as a community centre for the societies living around the Kund. People would gather and sit on the multiple levels of stairwell, and exchange conversation. Although Panna Meena ka Kund has now stopped being a source of water, it still serves as a place for locals and tourists alike to gather and spend some time chit-chatting. During summer and monsoon, you can see young local boys competing among themselves by jumping into the pool from the edge of the Kund above. Elderlies sit along the many staircases, and it is also a great place for couples to spend some quality time together, dangling their legs off the edge of the stairwells. Clearly, Panna Meena ka Kund is still upholding its heritage by being the community centre it always was.
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