battisi baodi

battisi5 (1180)

This stepwell, located to the north-west of the city, is the largest of all stepwells
in Chanderi. It is square in shape, each side being 60 ft in length and 4 storeys
deep. Steps descend from one storey down to the next and at each storey there
are eight ghats. The number of ghats total to 32 which has given this Baodi its
name. The main stairs are on the southern end which proceed through two doorways.
Flanking the stairs are two inscriptions in Arabic and Persian, written in
the Nask script. The inscriptions inform us that work on this baodi was begun
during the reign of Sultan Ghyasuddin Khilji by one Taghi, who was the son of
the then collector or shariq-ul-mulk and the structure was completed in the year
1484. The inscription also tells us that besides the Baodi, a garden, as well as a
mosque, which has been compared to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, was
also built.
Another inscription, to be found above the second gateway, gives the name of
the artist who etched the two inscriptions.
To the right side of the main entrance, are inscribed seventeen couplets of Persian
poetry. Written in the Nask script, the text reads as follows:
In the name of Allah, the beneficent, the merciful
Exalted be Allah, that this step well has now appeared on the earth, through the bounty
and grace of glorified lord, at a happy time and lucky stars,
In the reign of the generous and just king with cloud like hands and ocean like heart, Ghaysuddin,
the just king with Alexander’s dignity and Dara’s glory.
Its building is in the kingdom of one, through whose rule the world endears: from that
faith nourishing king, the title Shariq – ul – Mulk was conferred on him.
He is of the status of an angel and dignified like sky: his order is the decree of fate and his
wish is the command of destiny.
He is Taghi, son of Fakhr, whom god has made famous in the world.
The great, pious and religious minded saint Badi – ul – Haq Shah Madr has assisted him
and made him his select disciple in the world.
No chief like him who commands greatest respect, is gone from the days of Adam till now.
God has conferred upon him all the four great ranks till the day of resurrection.
The eyes of the people of the Shiq have not seen such a compassionate minister: neither in
the west nor in the east, he has any equal worth the name.
How can Ibn Hamid sing his praises as are due? And hence, I should now proceed to describe
the step well.
The limpid water of Khidr was concealed in the world from the eye of man: now this great
chief has produced it in this region.
May allah grant us its drink! How sweet is the water which is sweeter than sugarcane!
Or perhaps, it is the syrup of jujube, since it is as sweet as sugar.
The sugar of Egypt and sugar candy of China are not as sweet. How can sugarcane come
up to its sweetness even though it is sweet?
Near the great stream (that is this step well) he has also constructed a mosque: this (that
is the mosque) is Kaba and that (that is the well) is zam zam, and its enclosure is like the
verdant garden.
All around the sweet smelling garden……flowers on all sides. But perhaps paradise has
appeared in the world for, that is Tuba and this is Kauser.
The whole of this extremely pleasing: up to the brim……extremely well. Such an exhilarating
and beautiful place has come into existence at the request of Yakub.
May the breeze of divine favour permanently blow for the builder. Since the genie, human
beings and animals have derived comfort from that chief.
From the migration of the great messenger, the year was 900 less 10 and 5th of the last
Rabi, when it appeared, that is was founded.
May its depth not appear as long as there is water in the sea! Oh god! Keep it full of sweet
water forever!
Aameen, oh lord of the universe!