Located close to the famed Amer Fort in Jaipur (India), Panna Meena ka Kund is a 16th century stepwell originally built as a source of water and place of recreation for the local community.
When I visited with a photographer friend in August 2016, the place was buzzing with the energy of some local guys enjoying a cooling swim. They were completely relaxed about us photographing them and gave no suggestion we were intruding.
This stepwell is famed for its strict geometry . Three identical sides of octagonal steps with recessed alcoves. The fourth side has a stone shelter with three arches.
Photographically, the obvious temptation is to concentrate on the repeating patterns of stone steps. However, when we visited the overriding impression was of energy, fun and friends hanging out. Consequently, I tried to document the experience the guys were having rather than the architecture.
The locals were keen I should have a swim. I declined, using the camera as an excuse. They decided I – and the camera – should get a good soaking anyway and proceeded to dive bomb me. Thanks goodness for weather sealed gear!
Text and images © John Meehan 2016