Location: Stepwell of Borsad, Gujarat
Object Type: Architectural Element
Two souls decided to give their curiosity, wings as they roamed through a dramatically lit ruin, sinking gradually into darkness. The idea of this haunted monument was to announce to everyone about the force that stays hidden in the abyss. This is ironic. Maybe that is the reason that over time people left it like an old lady. The lady, the queen who climbed her way down to see something that was only colorless and transparent. Distortion of surfaces and volume it covered identified its presence, a fluid indeed. It was boon to people, no wonder they have to dig deeper to find it. It was their devotion towards the free-flowing spirit that they decided to make spaces for recreation than just hang a bucket above it to draws the elixir up. The stacking of floors made the maker, the owner, the ruin and the water, majestic. Maybe that was the reason the two souls found their inquisitiveness trapped deep beneath the water surface. Their concerns were most of the surfaces that they clicked and attempted to recreate to let others know about the existence of a holy thing that represents the shrine itself. Or maybe the elements, the niches that they trapped in their camera, were the depiction. Either way, the significance of these niches was the intricate carving showing the life blooming, definitely not the life of ruin but its pride in itself that nothing such can ever come in the minds of today’s fools. For one of the niche, the structure of life was detangled as if the frame provided to it wasn’t sufficient. Whereas, for another one, the ornamentation grew as tree and birds sat on it pleasantly. But the common thing that both donned was the equally detailed crown. The thriving twigs were framed using columns, each with their own crown, and one on each side equally unique.
God forbid if the shrine does die one day just like the old lady it would be the two souls or many from the realm of the fool to talk about it again and again. That is the difference between the devotion of the old King towards the ruin or the lady and the devotion of the fools towards the same. Kings created the glory but fools were the ones who said that it was glorious.
The stepwell of Borsad was built in 1497 by Vasu Soma and his family. It is a seven story stepwell and has 13 arches and many decorative niches, including these ones.
Scanned by: Neel Mewada & Divyarajsinh Rana
Narrative by: Vishwa Undaviya