Toorji Ka Jhalra (Toorji’s Stepwell) was built in the 1740s by the Queen (Maharaja Abhay Singh’s Consort). Interestingly, this Tanwar (Toor) Rajput Princess hailed from Patan in Gujarat, home to perhaps the finest Stepwell in the country. It was an age-old tradition that Royal women would build public water works. Indeed, for women, fetching and storing water was, and remains for many, one of the principal house-hold chores.
The construction of a Stepwell never really stopped; as the steps follow the fluctuating water table down, to provide easy all-year round access. Submerged for decades, its recent drainage, clean-up and restoration has uncovered over two hundred feet of hand carved treasure in Jodhpur’s famous rose-red sandstone; intricate carvings of dancing elephants, medieval lions and cow water-spouts, as well as niches housing deities long gone. The well’s original system consisted of a Persian Wheel driven by a pair of bullocks circling the platform on top, which drew water up to two different access levels and a separate tank. Toorji Ka Jhalra formed a part of the Walled City’s complex system of water collection, now sadly most of which is in a state of disrepair and neglect.