Diving 5 Storeys Into India’s 300-Year-old Toorji Step Well

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series went to India in November, where world champions Orlando Duque and Rhiannan Iffland dived into the historic Toorji Step Well to mark the end of another exciting year for the sport. 

Colombian legend Duque called time on a fantastic competitive career, while Australian Iffland produced a superb, unbeaten season for her fourth title in a row. The duo traveled to India to cap off another exciting season and explored the ‘Sun City’ or ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur in Rajasthan to dive at an amazing, historic spot.

The exceptional venue of Toorji Step Well was built almost 300 years ago by Queen Maharaja Abhay Singh’s Consort, with a recent restoration process uncovering over 200 feet of beautiful, intricate carvings of cow waterspouts, dancing elephants and medieval lions.

Rhiannan Iffland of Australia dives into the Toorji Ka Jhalra stepwell in Jodhpur, India. Photo: Dean Treml / Red Bull Content Pool.

The Toorji Step Well now serves as Jodhpur’s unofficial local swimming pool with Duque and Iffland unveiling their freefalls from up to 20 meters down into the water.

With the first-ever professional cliff diving event to be held on this subcontinent, the experienced pair rounded their unique years out in style to herald a new cliff diving era.

Rhiannan Iffland of Australia dives into the Toorji Ka Jhalra stepwell in Jodhpur, India. Photo: Dean Treml / Red Bull Content Pool.

Duque, 45, the only person who has dived from locations in all seven continents, revealed: “This is my first time in India, and I’m excited about the location. It combines a little bit of history, a beautiful location, and it’s tricky, too. It’s a really tiny area for landing — amazing! It’s one of the best locations I’ve seen so far.”

Rhiannan Iffland of Australia, warms up prior to diving. Photo: Dean Treml / Red Bull Content Pool.

Iffland, 28, added: “I have not experienced anything like India. It’s got its own flavor — it’s so busy, but the people are incredibly peaceful at the same time. It was such an awesome experience to dive there. My second dive shook off the nerves, and it was so much fun. I’m keen to go back and do it again.”

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returns in May 2020 at a brand new location in Indonesia with the champions crowned after eight stops around the world on Iffland’s home soil in Sydney for the first time.

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