This post is slightly out of order because I frankly forgot about the chronology here.
Abhaneri (or Abaneri) is not a popular tourist stop which is a pity because the small village houses the oldest step-well in Rajasthan and it is quite impressive. The village doesn’t even have an entry in the India Lonely Planet guide; the only reason we knew about it was because Tim found this town somehow. It certainly pays to have a Tim on every trip.
The step-well is called Chand Baori (the latter word means step-well) and it was built by King Chandra sometime around the end of the 8th century, beginning of the 9th century C.E.
Trivia tidbit, some part of the well or the surrounding buildings show up in the first Batman reboot movie, but I have no recollection of seeing it in the movie.
The entrance is very modest considering the awesome structure behind the modern facade:
Here is the well. I did a bad cropping job on purpose in not removing the two fellows from my group whose legs you can see top right. I kept that in so that you can get a sense of the depth of this well. The spot they are standing on is at street level:
The well has some friezes that are well over a thousand years old. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any closer than this:
About 150 metres away from the entrance to the step-well is the Harshshat Mata Temple that was also built by King Chandra during the same time-period. The fact that this temple is still used for active worship and leaves impressive thousand year old friezes completely unprotected from tourists and locals alike gives you a sense of how easy it is to come by incredibly old art and buildings in India–so much so that no one really bats an eye about thousand year old temples.
The temple and a nearby clay jar used in daily worship:
Close-ups of the impressive friezes on the sides:
The obligatory selfie (I was not as tired as I look, just squinting because of the sun):
And finally, a picture of some friendly kids who camped out near our truck: