From the time of the Pyramids, monuments have reached for the sky in an effort to impress, while the step wells of India are monuments to introspection. They are inverted pyramids, reaching into the earth, to find water, the source of life. The abstract qualities of the architecture impart an awesome sense of purity, stillness and sacredness.
The top two images are of Chand Baori in Rajasthan, while the lower three are of the recently excavated stepped tank at the ruins of the Vijayanagara capital at Hampi in Karnataka. Hampi is identified with the historical Kishkindha, the Vanara (monkey) kingdom mentioned in the Ramayana.