When ancient Indians built stepwells for water harvesting, they constructed them as stunning pieces of architecture, with ornately crafted cultural and religious embellishments. These life-saving sources were subject to abandonment over time and unfortunately, only a few stepwells exist today. While some well-preserved ones like Rani Ki Vav in Gujarat have made it to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list and subsequently were recognized as some of the most famous tourist spots in India, there are still several forsaken stepwells yet to be rediscovered and renovated to bring back their previous glory.
Stepwells in Telangana:
When it comes to Telangana’s heritage sites, stepwells are most underrated, if not completely forgotten. In recent years, a team of architects (Hyderabad Design Forum) on a mission discovered more than 100 stepwells by traveling across the length and breadth of the state. They still believe that this is not the final number and that there are many more to be discovered. One of the least-known yet splendid stepwells in Telangana is Naganna Bavi, also called Elagandula stepwell.
About Naganna Bavi/Elagandula Stepwell:
Constructed during the Kakatiya Rule, this ancient stepwell dates back to the 18th century and is still a sturdy structure despite being neglected and not taken care of. According to historians, Naganna Bavi is 100 feet deep and was built by Lingamma Desai to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of the area. While Naganna Bavi was named after Jaksani Naganna who supervised the construction of this stepwell, Lingampet village was named in honor of Lingamma Desai.
Its interesting architecture is something worth exploring. Owing to its historical and architectural significance, Naganna Bavi has already seen a rise in visitors, especially history buffs and architecture enthusiasts traveling from nearby places.
The stepwell consists of three levels, with each level at least 20 feet high. There are small room-like spaces on both sides of the well at each level, said to be built for the purpose of changing clothes after taking a bath here. It is also said that the stairs on the west side of the well are comparatively wider so that it is convenient for animals like horses and elephants to access drinking water in the well. A series of stairs on all eight sides of the well facilitate visitors in exploring this beautiful 18th-century stepwell in Telangana. However, take extreme care while descending the stairs as this abandoned stepwell remains shrouded in thick foliage.
Where is this 18th-century stepwell situated in Telangana?
Naganna Bavi is located between Yellareddy and Lingampet villages in Kamareddy district, on the outskirts of Karimnagar. It is roughly 16 km away from Hyderabad, so you can easily plan your upcoming weekend getaway to this charming stepwell or visit it on your next trip to the city. Looking for cheap flights to Hyderabad? Grab Indian Eagle’s incredible flight deals and book your tickets now!
Are there any tourist attractions near Naganna Bavi?
Elgandal Fort is one of the must-visit places when you are visiting Naganna Bavi. This Kakatiya-era fort perched on a hillock near the stepwell is almost abandoned, yet attracts a significant number of history-loving travelers. One can enjoy beautiful views of the surroundings, including the panoramic view of Naganna Bavi/Elgandal stepwell, from the top of this fort.