Journalist Spent Four Years Traveling India to Record Deteriorating Subterranean Stepwells Before they Banish
Ancient structures called stepwells that were built in India beginning in 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. have been crumbling for years, which is leading to their extinction. Chicago journalist Victoria Lautman’s first trip to the country prompted the discovery of the ruins. During her trip, Lautman decided to record the ancient beauties and give it a permanent stance through photography.
The impressive stepwells are large subterranean structures, which run deep into the ground up to 10 stories.They were built as a means to access the water tables in regions where climate was the most dry with few monsoons during the spring. By the 11th century, these stunning structures were commissioned by wealthy and powerful citizens as monuments. During the last thousand years, most stepwells have remained dried and neglected, except for those near tourist areas.
For this reason, for the last 30 years Lautman has spent her career capturing the beauty of engineering and art of the ancient world before it banishes.