Step-wells, subterranean aqua-structures, were integral part of communities uptil the end of 19th century India. The last step-well was probably built almost a century ago, after which the very concept was abandoned and forgotten. A city located at the fringe of the Thar Desert, Jodhpur, is perennially starved for water, be it rainwater, groundwater or state supplied water.

Birkha Bawari is a 21st century step-well, that can conserve over 17.5 million litres of rain-water. It was conceived by architect Anu Mridul and built in the Umaid Heritage Housing Township in Jodhpur. It acquires all the more importance as it is entirely built of natural stone, without use of mechanical and electrical means. The project has won several national and international awards. 


It is now a global imperative that a world trying to discover life and water in other planets sustains that of its own. This step-well calls to end the hiatus in the construction of such aqua structures that collected and conserved natural water without exploiting aquifers.  

Participants will be taken for a tour to this unique structure with the architect himself, getting first-hand insight into its design, construction and its environmental and socio-economic impact.