Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. ~ Lawrence Block
I first saw the step-well on my way to the hotel from Lonar bus stand from the auto rickshaw.
A sunken structure in black basalt, I think I was lucky to notice it in the first place as the step-well is not on the road itself, but a little inside. I also think I noticed it because of the sudden break between the rather drab looking houses on the road and because it was so different from everything around it. From the quick look that I had in a passing rickshaw, I guessed it to be a water body of some sort. Maybe a step-well or at least an old water tank?
I immediately asked the driver of the auto rickshaw I was travelling in. “What’s that place we passed just now?”
“The place with the black coloured stone and the one that looks really old.” (Yeah, I know, a very clever and lucid description indeed :-P).
“That thing? It’s a water tank. Nobody uses it or goes there.” These words were uttered with such a tone of finality that I didn’t dare ask him anything more.
Later that evening, after a day spent exploring Lonar, I told the guide about the step-well / water tank that I had seen earlier that day. The guide was equally dismissive saying that it was a broken down structure, and not really interesting and why should I want to see something as boring as that?
That did it. The word “boring”. I decided that I wouldn’t leave Lonar till I had paid a visit to the step-well / water tank. So next morning, before I left for Aurangabad (my next destination), that’s what I did.
And the first thing I realised when I saw it is that it was not a water tank, but a step-well. Not an elaborate one, but a step-well nevertheless.