剑桥雅思10Test1阅读Passage1原文翻译 stepwells 印度阶梯井
剑桥雅思10 Test1 Passage1阅读原文翻译
During the sixth and seventh centuries, the inhabitants of the modern-day states of Gujarat and Rajasthan in north-western India developed a method of gaining access to clean, fresh groundwater during the dry season for drinking, bathing, watering animals and irrigation. However, the significance of this invention – the stepwell – goes beyond its utilitarian application.
Unique to this region, stepwells are often architecturally complex and vary widely in size and shape. During their heyday, they were places of gathering, of leisure and relaxation and of worship for villagers of all but the lowest classes. Most stepwells are found dotted round the desert areas of Gujarat (where they are called vav) and Rajasthan (where they are called baori), while a few also survive in Delhi. Some were located in or near villages as public spaces for the community; others were positioned beside roads as resting places for travellers.
As their name suggests, stepwells comprise a series of stone steps descending from ground level to the water source (normally an underground aquifer) as it recedes following the rains. When the water level was high, the user needed only to descend a few steps to reach it; when it was low, several levels would have to be negotiated.
Some wells are vast, open craters with hundreds of steps paving each sloping side, often in tiers. Others are more elaborate, with long stepped passages leading to the water via several storeys. Built from stone and supported by pillars, they also included pavilions that sheltered visitors from the relentless heat. But perhaps the most impressive features are the intricate decorative sculptures that embellish many step wells, showing activities from fighting and dancing to everyday acts such as women combing their hair or churning butter.
Down the centuries, thousands of wells were constructed throughout northwestern India, but the majority have now fallen into disuse; many are derelict and dry, as groundwater has been diverted for industrial use and the wells no longer reach the water table. Their condition hasn’t been helped by recent dry spells: southern Rajasthan suffered an eight-year drought between 1996 and 2004.
However, some important sites in Gujarat have recently undergone major restoration, and the state government announced in June last year that it plans to restore the stepwells throughout the state.
In Patan, the state’s ancient capital, the stepwell of Rani Ki Vav (Queen’s Stepwell) is perhaps the finest current example. It was built by Queen Udayamati during the late 11th century, but became silted up following a flood during the 13th century. But the Archaeological Survey of India began restoring it in the 1960s, and today it is in pristine condition. At 65 metres long, 20 metres wide and 27 metres deep, Rani Ki Vav features 500 sculptures carved into niches throughout the monument. Incredibly, in January 2001, this ancient structure survived an earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.
在该州的古都帕坦（Patan），Rani Ki Vav（Queen’s Stepwell）的阶梯井也许是目前最好的例子。它是由乌达亚马蒂女王（Queen Udayamati）在11世纪后期建造的，但在13世纪的洪水之后就被淤塞了。但是印度考古调查局于20世纪60年代开始对其进行修复，如今它已恢复到原始状态。Rani Ki Vav长65米，宽20米，深27米。整个遗迹中拥有500座雕塑。令人难以置信的是，2001年1月，这座古建筑在里氏7.6级地震中幸存了下来。
Another example is the Surya Kund in Modhera, northern Gujarat, next to the Sun Temple, built by King Bhima I in 1026 to honour the sun god Surya. It actually resembles a tank (kund means reservoir or pond) rather than a well, but displays the hallmarks of stepwell architecture, including four sides of steps that descend to the bottom in a stunning geometrical formation. The terraces house 108 small, intricately carved shrines between the sets of steps.
Rajasthan also has a wealth of wells. The ancient city of Bundi, 200 kilometres south of Jaipur, is renowned for its architecture, including its stepwells. One of the larger examples is Raniji Ki Baori, which was built by the queen of the region, Nathavatji, in 1699. At 46 meters deep, 20 metres wide and 40 metres long, the intricately carved monument is one of 21 baoris commissioned in the Bundi area by Nathavatji.
拉贾斯坦邦也有丰富的水井。Jaipur南面200公里处的古城Bundi因其建筑而闻名，这其中就包括阶梯井。一个较大的例子是Raniji Ki Baori。它由该地区的女王Nathavatji在1699年修建的。深46米，宽20米，长40米，它是Nathavatji在Bundi所修建的21个精致的建筑物之一。
In the old ruined town of Abhaneri, about 95 kilometers east of Jaipur, is Chand Baori, one of India’s oldest and deepest wells; aesthetically it’s perhaps one of the most dramatic. Built in around 850 AD next to the temple of Harshat Mata, the baori comprises hundreds of zigzagging steps that run along three of its sides, steeply descending 11 storeys, resulting in a striking pattern when seen from afar. On the fourth side, verandas which are supported by ornate pillars overlook the steps.
在Japipur以东约95公里处的古老废墟小镇阿布哈内里内（Abhaneri），坐落着印度最古老最深的水井之一，Chand Baori；从美学上讲，它可能是最引人注目的一个。建于公元850年左右，位于Harshat Mata寺庙旁边，该水井在三面分布着数百个曲折的台阶，下降11层的高度。从远处看构成令人惊讶的图像。在第四面，由华丽支柱支撑的阳台俯瞰着这些台阶。
Still in public use is Neemrana Ki Baoriy located just off the Jaipur-Delhi highway. Constructed in around 1700, it is nine storeys deep, with the last two being underwater. At ground level, there are 86 colonnaded openings from where the visitor descends 170 steps to the deepest water source.
Neemrana Ki Baoriy仍被公众使用，就位于 Jaipur-Delhi的高速公路旁。它建于1700年左右，深9层，最后两层位于水下。在地面上，有86个柱廊开口，游客从那里可以向下走过170个台阶到达最深的水源。
Today, following years of neglect, many of these monuments to medieval engineering have been saved by the Archaeological Survey of India, which has recognised the importance of preserving them as part of the country’s rich history. Tourists flock to wells in far-flung corners of northwestern India to gaze in wonder at these architectural marvels from hundreds of years ago, which serve as a reminder of both the ingenuity and artistry of ancient civilisations and of the value of water to human existence.