India’s Death Defying ‘Maut ka Kuaa’ or ‘Well of Death’

‘Maut ka Kuaa’, which translates to the ‘Well of Death’ in English, also sometimes called the ‘Wall of Death’, is a death defying and gravity defying stunt that one often gets to see in various carnivals or ‘melas’ across India. The stunt features an wooden cylinder shaped like a barrel or an inverted cone about 30 feet to 50 feet in diameter. Inside this cone daredevils on motorcycles or occasionally on cars drive at break neck speeds along the vertical wall – the car or the motorcycle held in place by sheer centrifugal force.

The audience views from a platform built around the circumference of the structure at the top and gaze down into the well where the motorcyclists or cars drive. The riders start at the bottom of the drum, usually in a counter-clockwise direction, and ascend an initial ramped section until they gain enough speed to drive horizontally to the floor. While in the act, the riders would perform other crazy stunts like no-hands as seen in the picture below. Sometimes the riders would collect a little cash along the way like a Las Vegas showgirl.

A lot of good videos of this on Youtube.