“Step Back in Time: Spectacular Restoration of The Historic Bansilalpet Stepwell!”
Stepwells are an example of the storage and irrigation tanks developed in India to address seasonal water shortages. These structures were built to store and manage water during times of fluctuating water availability. Stepwells help maintain groundwater levels and guarantee a continual supply of water throughout the year.
A stepwell typically has a corridor of steps that go downward, making it easier for people to access the groundwater, as well as to maintain and manage the well.
Telangana boasts of many such step wells, built by local rulers to store and regulate water supply. As time progressed, people began to neglect the step wells, leaving many of them to become disused and fall into disrepair.
About Bansilalpet Stepwell:
One such stepwell was the Bansilalpet stepwell built in the 17th century.
The Bansilalpet Stepwell, locally known as Naganna Kunta, was documented on an 1854 map. It is believed that Bansilal Seth funded the development of a model village around the stepwell, featuring plenty of space and amenities for its residents.
However, over the past 50 years, the stepwell had been transformed into a dump yard with the locals dumping trash and the place slowly getting filled with rubbish and debris.
More than 2000 tonnes of waste had accumulated in this six-level stepwell.
Thanks to the efforts of Kalpana Ramesh of The Rainwater Project, Kshetra Consultants, and the support of the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department of Telangana, this stepwell was revived and renovated, giving it a new lease of life.
The very first step was to remove this waste and debris accumulated over the last 40-45 years. Then the stepwell had to be cleaned and de-silted. The walls and mandapams were strengthened and the broken ones were reconstructed.
This entire project of reviving this 18th-century stepwell in Bansilalpet, Secunderabad took more than 18 months involving more than 100 professionals and 1,000 workers working on the site.
This project happened thanks to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU signed between the Rain Water Project and the Telangana government in the year 2021.
The architectural firm Kshetra Consultants carried out the project, with The Rain Water Project executing it, and receiving support from Gandipet Welfare Society and the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department of Telangana.
The stepwell today is almost unrecognizable, with a cobblestone-paved pathway and elegant light poles installed by the government.
The ancient edifice has been revamped into a tourist plaza, featuring a viewing gallery, a history interpretation centre, an amphitheatre, a jogging path, and a garden with stone benches around.
The restoration of the stepwell came at a cost of 2.6 crores, offering far-reaching advantages. The stepwell now has the capacity to harvest up to 25 lakh litres of rainwater each year and has also helped to increase the groundwater level in Bansilalpet area.
The restoration of this stepwell is a great example of how we can preserve our heritage and pass it on to future generations. And thanks to its unique design, the stepwell is capable of providing access to water even during the driest of times, making it an invaluable resource for local communities.
We hope that the Telangana Government takes up the restoration of all the step wells in the city making these structures a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage and its ability to preserve its traditions for generations to come.
The Bansilalpet stepwell project was awarded the Big 5 Construction Impact Award in Dubai on the same day the premises were opened to the public.
Morning: 10 a.m to 1 p.m
Evening: 4 p.m to 8 p.m
Note: Tickets will be issued only till 7p.m in the evening
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Check out my blog on 41 amazing places to visit in Hyderabad
1 thought on “Restoring an Ancient Wonder: The Revival of The Bansilalpet Stepwell”
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