The forgotten Stepwell of Lingampet in Telangana

#1 Apr 14th, 2018, 19:44
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#1
Sitting in the 100 year old home of my grandfather's sister in my ancestral village,I gazed at the wrinkled lines on her face as she excitedly told me a tale about the days gone by. I was in Lingampet,a small village in Telangana, with my dad to spend the weekend.We used to spend our holidays here during our childhood. All our cousins would be there too and the house resonated with the festivities and noise of the family. But as we grew up the visits declined and after the death of my grandparents the visits totally dried up. Our home there, lay empty save for the occasional visits by my dad's brothers.Last weekend I decided to spend the days there and as I am a history fan I thought of meeting up old timers and extracting some info about the history of the village and of our family itself.

So we paid a visit to my grandather's sister. As the conversation turned from present day to the past her husband casually mentioned about an old stepwell. He mentioned that the local queen long ago used to arrive there with all her cavalcade which included elephants. This piqued my interest and after returning to home I asked my dad if we could make a visit there the next day. He agreed to take me there if we start early the next day.

And so we did.Early morning we reached the place which is just opposite to the police station on the main road. The weather was cool and there was no sign of the sun. We started off on our walk among the barren land lying on one side of the Kamareddy road. Here we had to search for a bit as even my dad was coming here after a long time. At one point we spotted a long boundary wall. We assumed that to be the well and quickly reached there but to our dismay it was just a wall with nothing on the other side. We moved along to check out another low wall a little bit ahead. With my dad ahead I followed him taking pics of the surrounding walls. A couple of minutes later my dad exclaimed with delight that he had spotted the well. I quickened my steps and followed him.Reaching there I saw a wall totally covered with shrubs and foliage. In a clearing between the foliage I finally got a good view of the well. It was majestic.Better than anything I expected. From the clearing I could look down at 6 arches on the opposite side.Built of rocks it looked pretty stable and solid. We couldn't see more of the well, so we hurried along the perimeter looking for a way in. All the sides were covered by the trees and shrubs. At last we found a way in. My father led the way down. Before descending he cautioned me not to come down unless he specifically asks me too. This took me right back to my childhood when dad used to take us around to old monuments and structures and gave us the same instructions. It was a long time since I heard them.

We descended through the dusty and cob web filled steps. They opened in one corner of the well. The sight was spectacular. Like the ruins of a castle, the walls looked beautiful. As I made sense of the structure I found that we were on level 1, below which extended 3 more levels. The base was in the fifth level. The last level was filled with so much garbage on the surface that it was difficult to tell if there was water below or if it was all only garbage. The layout of the well was something like this. At one side, which was the entrance there was gradual slope from the ground level leading to the well. This was all broken up with only the stones remaining scattered all over.. Just at the end of this slope are three grand arches of almost 5 mtrs height. These arches overlook the well. On the opposite side were six arches, three above and three below offering an excellent place to sit and view the proceedings below. The other two sides were split into the 5 levels that I mentioned before. The whole structure still looked stable and we were tempted to explore further but we stayed put in our position. Reason being that the place was covered with decaying leaves and it was very slippery. It was a risk not worth taking.

At the top of the arches near the entrance we spotted some carvings on the wall.They were partly covered by the foliage and I couldn't get a clear picture. There was a lady saluting someone or something. Then there were some animals and other designs of which I couldn't make much sense.I clicked some pics of the carvings as I intend to find out more about them.I wonder who built this well and why. Stepwells are rare in south of India and even rarer in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The only other stepwell I saw is in the Qutub Shahi Tombs complex in Hyderabad.


Soon we clambered back to the top and left after taking some more pics. This place in my opinion has immense potential for a tourist spot. All that needs to be done is clean it up and maybe build a small park around it.

Heritage of Hyderabad - http://heritagehyderabad.blogspot.in/
My Travels - http://razzwashere.blogspot.in/
#2 Apr 15th, 2018, 01:10
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  • edwardseco is offline
#2
What a fantastic job this was, a great adventure and result. Its one of those lost treasures in rural India. Do record some detailed notes as to the location. It could be lost again otherwise. Thank you for an exceptional post..

Last thought, great websites! Hyderabad, et al is fascinating and understudied. Have you obtained that wonderful book written by a retired member of the ASI in Hyderabad? It includes the all important directions to sites in and around Hyderabad. I was able to visit four although the Gun Foundry is so neglected it hardly counts. Grand just to seek these out. Great to see someone adventurous in the old fashioned romantic sense..
#3 Apr 15th, 2018, 15:28
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#3
It's a great story, with beautiful photographs. Thank you!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#4 Apr 15th, 2018, 17:41
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post What a fantastic job this was, a great adventure and result. Its one of those lost treasures in rural India. Do record some detailed notes as to the location. It could be lost again otherwise. Thank you for an exceptional post..

Last thought, great websites! Hyderabad, et al is fascinating and understudied. Have you obtained that wonderful book written by a retired member of the ASI in Hyderabad? It includes the all important directions to sites in and around Hyderabad. I was able to visit four although the Gun Foundry is so neglected it hardly counts. Grand just to seek these out. Great to see someone adventurous in the old fashioned romantic sense..
Thank You !!
Yes I have noted the location.

No I did not. I will check out the book. I remember back when I was studying in Hyderabad I seeked out the lost Malwala Palace only to find out that the place was pulled down by a Milk company and only a wall remained.

''Great to see someone adventurous in the old fashioned romantic sense'' that is the greatest compliment that I ever got!! Thank You !!
#5 Apr 15th, 2018, 18:44
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#5
What a story! Loved reading it and the photos are a delight - like being there almost. We have lost so much of our precious history and culture chasing mirages. May be one day you can publish a book of such quaint places!
#6 Apr 15th, 2018, 18:57
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#6
//My father led the way down. Before descending he cautioned me not to come down unless he specifically asks me too. This took me right back to my childhood when dad used to take us around to old monuments and structures and gave us the same instructions. //

Brought a smile and memories of my grandfather! Our elders are the greatest - the way they care remains the same even after we have grown up!
#7 Apr 15th, 2018, 22:05
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There is a Gazette Repository for the State of Telengana:

http://tsgazette.cgg.gov.in/eGazetteSearch.do

I can't access it from abroad but OP could do that from India. Nizamabad District existed in the days of Hyderabad State so all you have to do is look up past district gazettes for Nizamabad.
#8 Apr 16th, 2018, 02:28
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#8
Quote:
n Hyderabad I seeked out the lost Malwala Palace only to find out that the place was pulled down by a Milk company and only a wall remained.
There was a dancing platform that I located in the book. However, it was located in a company compound for which I could not get permission to enter. My auto driver was a unique young soul with a sense of history and adventure. He drove around the exterior wall for the platform and told me, camera ready. We drove slowly but steadily to the entrance. At the last minute he gunned it as much as an auto can be done. We had a trail of guards chasing and I had only several seconds to take a pic and jump back in when he resumed the circuit around the compound and out the gate. We roared with laughter and he would not take a tip. When you meet people like that you really love India..
#9 Apr 16th, 2018, 07:35
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  • spud is offline
#9
This was a great write up Razzaqfccf, thank you! The stepwell is beautiful, even though like most, it needs a bit of a clean up. I note it is also listed on the Stepwell Atlas website, but there are no photographs of it, perhaps you could upload a few if you didn't mind sharing?
#10 Apr 16th, 2018, 12:14
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#10
Fantastic post! Need to visit.

I'd also suggest you to add the pics on the Stepwell Atlas. The well is listed there, but there are no pics as yet.

Edit: Sorry spud!
#11 Apr 16th, 2018, 12:25
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Marvellous post, Razz. And I just discovered your blog* (what took me so long?).... brilliant writing.



* The Digha expedition made me laugh a lot, though it was no fun for you at all.
#12 Apr 16th, 2018, 21:47
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravichandar View Post What a story! Loved reading it and the photos are a delight - like being there almost. We have lost so much of our precious history and culture chasing mirages. May be one day you can publish a book of such quaint places!
Thank you! In India we don't give much importance to our past.
Oh !! You are so kind!! Yes someday I hope that I can publish a book of my own!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravichandar View Post //My father led the way down. Before descending he cautioned me not to come down unless he specifically asks me too. This took me right back to my childhood when dad used to take us around to old monuments and structures and gave us the same instructions. //

Brought a smile and memories of my grandfather! Our elders are the greatest - the way they care remains the same even after we have grown up!
Yes absolutely!
#13 Apr 16th, 2018, 21:49
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golghar View Post There is a Gazette Repository for the State of Telengana:

http://tsgazette.cgg.gov.in/eGazetteSearch.do

I can't access it from abroad but OP could do that from India. Nizamabad District existed in the days of Hyderabad State so all you have to do is look up past district gazettes for Nizamabad.
Thanks a lot for this! Never knew this facility existed!
#14 Apr 16th, 2018, 21:50
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post There was a dancing platform that I located in the book. However, it was located in a company compound for which I could not get permission to enter. My auto driver was a unique young soul with a sense of history and adventure. He drove around the exterior wall for the platform and told me, camera ready. We drove slowly but steadily to the entrance. At the last minute he gunned it as much as an auto can be done. We had a trail of guards chasing and I had only several seconds to take a pic and jump back in when he resumed the circuit around the compound and out the gate. We roared with laughter and he would not take a tip. When you meet people like that you really love India..
Haha!! Lovely! It is only by sheer luck that you meet such persons!
#15 Apr 16th, 2018, 21:52
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud View Post This was a great write up Razzaqfccf, thank you! The stepwell is beautiful, even though like most, it needs a bit of a clean up. I note it is also listed on the Stepwell Atlas website, but there are no photographs of it, perhaps you could upload a few if you didn't mind sharing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by kapilankar View Post Fantastic post! Need to visit.

I'd also suggest you to add the pics on the Stepwell Atlas. The well is listed there, but there are no pics as yet.

Edit: Sorry spud!
Thank you both of you!
It got listed after I posted a pic of it on Instagram and one of the admins of Stepwell atlas saw it. I will add a couple of pics.

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