Chicago-based journalist Victoria Lautman recently published a series of photographs that document India's abandoned water stepwells. The subterranean structures were originally built to store monsoon rainwater for future use. However, years of disuse and disrepair have left many of these stepwells abandoned.
Despite the fact that they are no longer in use, the neglected stepwells are extremely beautiful. Lautman's photographs capture the beauty of the stepwells and help to raise awareness about how quickly the structures are disappearing. Although some have been protected as heritage sites, others have been filled with urban waste. The pictures display the water stepwells in various states of disrepair, which is telling of India's majestic past and the need to protect its historic structures.
The photo series displays India's remarkable history of water conservation and demonstrates the need for awareness about protecting this rich piece of cultural heritage.