When I travel, I want to see and explore off the beaten path and thats why my guide Rahul took me to a Baoli on my first day in New Delhi.
A Baoli? Yes, that the exact thing that I ask him. At first I didn’t wanted to go, but he insisted and we end it up at Delhi’s oldest monument, Agrasen ki baoli.
Baoli are stepweels or ponds, they are most common in western India. Ancient Indians used to build water temples as well as earliest forms of step wells and reservoirs. Central Delhi’s oldest monument, remains one the best preserved baolis of Delhi. Agrasen is one of the most easily accessible baolis of Delhi. The monument open from 7 AM to 6 PM and the entry is free!
One of my favorite thing when I travel is getting to a place and not have tourist in the area, and that was the case here. At the Agrasen ki baoli, you only find local people, students, mostly couples that escape to have an “Alone time”
Even though it can be found easily, right next to the street, Agrasen Ki Baoli still hidden between the buildings and the trees. I was surprise that many locals don’t know about this place and if they had heard about it, they don’t know the exact location of the baoli.
The Baoli has 103 steps, is 60 meter long ,15 meter wide and it’s made of Red Stone.
This place was very important for society. Local ladies use it for gathering and get togethers. During summer in the lower levels offered escape from the cruel heat of Delhi’s summer months.
This place was designated a protected monument by the Archeological Survey of India. So far nobody has found records or how to prove who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen ,where it gets his name. The Baoli was rebuilt in the 14th century by a community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen.
As you step down, you feel the air getting colder and a strong mildew smell. You can feel and hear the bats hanging on the ceiling of the stucture.
Some locals tell haunted stories about this place and many mysterious stories has been involved here. They said that many people scarify their lives, jumping to the black waters killing themselves and turning this place to the residence of the devil.
So, if you are in New Delhi, stop by the Agrasen Ki Baoli, is very close to the Jantar Mantar, like a mile away. You don’t need to spent more than 30 minutes here, but definately it’s a very interesting place to see.