Mauth Ka Kuan – India’s Well of Death

Circus shows have been getting censored, simplified and overall less exciting just about everywhere. Not in India though, that’s the place where the infamous phrase “death defying stunt” lives on through Mauth Ka Kuan, or the Well of Death.

Though originally performed all over the world, riding a bike on a vertical wall can now only be seen live in the “Land of contrasts” and it makes visiting the place even more tempting. The stunt is old so you’d imagine India’s bike riders have honed and perfected it to the highest level. Actually, the Well of Death – as the arena is referred to – isn’t just a marketing ploy.Riding on incredibly old bikes that haven’t seen maintenance since they left the factory, the Indian bikers ride with absolutely no safety gear at break neck speeds. The walls on which they ride are vertical and built from salvaged wood.

Photo by Lakshman

The structure is far from strong, safe or reliable, but it doesn’t seem to be phasing the death defying stuntmen. The “Well of Death” showmen ride their bikes in tandem, sideways, with no hands and other such dangerous feats. And as if those stunts weren’t crazy enough and the wall not rickety enough, the stuntmen have managed to include cars in the show. Everything is fast, loud and incredibly dangerous. This simply makes the show one of the breathtaking experiences you can have as a spectator.

Photo by Lakshman

If just watching a well of death show gets your heart pumping, actually doing it must be an explosion of adrenaline.