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Meham Rohtak

Meham is a historical city in the Haryana state. Situated about thirty two kilometers from Rohtak, this city has been in the center of upheaval events of ancient times. And even connected with Mahabharata era, Mahottha (महोत्थ) was a Janapada mentioned in Mahabharata. The chief of this place, Akrosha was conquered by Nakula during his victory march. It is a variant of Mahettha (महेत्थ) which may probably be identified with Meham city in Rohtak district of Haryana.

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Image Credit: Dr Subhash Parihar; Circa 1983

Haryana, the gateway to India from the Middle East Asia, has witnessed several invasions and its administration has changed several hands, over time. Every ruler, in a bid to destroy the legacy of their predecessors, modified the city in such a way that there remains little evidence of the past. However, today Haryana is home to some outstanding forts, palaces, religious structures, memorials and civic buildings, a study of which may reveal the different layers of history associated with the city. Water structures, such as bawdis (stepwells), kunds(reservoir or tank), talabs(pond), ducts, dams and jheels (pool or lake), also form an essential part of the built heritage of Haryana. Bawdis commonly known as Step wells, as its name suggests are wells with steps that consist of steps which lead to water at its end. These structures are usually found in the arid regions where there is shortage of water, thus are thus used for ground water as well as rainwater harvesting.

History of Meham Baoli



This step well (baoli) is well known as 'choron ki baoli'/'Janni Chor ki Bawdi'. It is located approximately half a kilometer from Meham on the Bhiwani-Meham road in Mohalla Kishangarh. It is one of the finest and the best preserved step-wells in Haryana. Later, the step-well became a safe haven for unscrupulous elements/miscreants and came to be known as ‘Jani Chor ki baoli’ after a thief, who was believed to have hidden the stolen valuables worth a fortune in this monument.

The finest and the best preserved baoli all over the punjab and Haryana is the one at Meham which according to the inscription it bears, was erected by Saidu Kalal, in the year 1069 A.H/ 1658-59 A.D. This person is said to have been mace bearer to Shah Jahan. It is a magnificent structure, so much so that General Mundy has appraised it as " a monument of public utility worthy of munificence of a Roman emperor". The complete inscription reads :

"In the reign of the king of kings, conqueror of the world, This spring of paradise was dug by Daidu When I searched for its date from the sage He replied, 'The water of charity flowth ever', A.H.1069"


The brick and kankar structure descends in three stages. The first stage is reached by traversing a flight of 16 steps. From here an equal number of steps leads to the second stage. Hence a flight of 27 steps leads down to an arched gateway, with rectangular recesses in its sides. Four steps more and one reaches the third stage. Hence forward all has been submerged. All the previous levels are rectangular in shape whereas the last one is a 6.7 m.square. Adjoining it is the round shaft of the well, forming the south end of the structure. Close to the well are said to have been suites of rooms. It is with these rooms that one canrealize the great achievement of the Mughals which were to transform the furnace heat of India into a cool paradise. A raised platform with a tank on either of its eatern and western sides marks the well on the ground level. The step-well is currently surrounded by local dwellings.

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The brick and kankar structure descends in three stages. The first stage is reached by traversing a flight of 16 steps. From here an equal number of steps leads to the second stage. Hence a flight of 27 steps leads down to an arched gateway, with rectangular recesses in its sides. Four steps more and one reaches the third stage. Hence forward all has been submerged. All the previous levels are rectangular in shape whereas the last one is a 6.7 m.square. Adjoining it is the round shaft of the well, forming the south end of the structure. Close to the well are said to have been suites of rooms. It is with these rooms that one canrealize the great achievement of the Mughals which were to transform the furnace heat of India into a cool paradise. A raised platform with a tank on either of its eatern and western sides marks the well on the ground level. The step-well is currently surrounded by local dwellings.

The baoli was damaged during the floods of 1995 as its wall collapsed. Repair and maintenance work was taken up to protect and preserve this ancient structure. It was handed over to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) for the purpose. However, the historical monument does not seem to have got the attention it deserves and has not been developed as a site of tourist attraction despite its archaeological significance.

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360 Virtual Tour



Panoromic 360 view of Meham Baoli.
Panoromic 360 aerial view of Meham Baoli.
Panoromic 360 view of Meham Baoli.