Monday, November 6, 2017

Vishnutirtha, the beautiful step well of Savanur

Savanur albeit a small town has a rich history ruled by Nawabs and later bone of contention between the Maratha's and Tippu Sultan, The town ended up in the British suzerainty. All that remains today is this Fort wall and the Nawabs residency, which houses the government offices.
The town had three main entrances, which are the only remains of the fort. These entrances are located at Gadak Horalikoppa road, near Bunkapura cross and near Ganpathi temple, which are still intact and the only remains of the fortified town. The walls are decorated with art and Islamic inscriptions.
There is a beautiful step well located hidden somewhere in the agricultural fields near Savanur town known as Vishnu Teertha. It is a hidden gem which cannot be found on the tourist map, hidden from the crowds but it is a haven for history and architecture enthusiasts. The construction style is simple and similar to the stepped tank at Lakshmeshvara. 
Stepwells also called stepped ponds built between the 5th and 19th centuries are common in North Karnataka. It suggests it was built in 15th century there is no inscription in VishnuThirtha to ascertain its age.  Such step wells were once integral to the semi arid regions of as they provided water for drinking, washing and bathing. These tanks are constructed in different forms, plans and structures and designs with steps leading to the water level. In the modern wells, a brick parapet wall surrounds the well shaft. Water is drawn by a pulley system. These step wells not only fulfilled the need for water but also acted as cool retreats. 
Stepwells are also found in more arid regions of the subcontinent to collect rain water during seasonal monsoons. While many such structures are utilitarian in construction, they sometimes include significant architectural embellishments as in the Vishnutirtha stepwell.