In the scorching heat of summer, imagine an age when there were no ACs to cool you… Horrible thought? But what if you could simply step down into a deep baoli and relax within its cool recesses? Or say, enter one of the arched rooms lining the step-well for an afternoon chat with friends?
If you haven’t seen one of these yet, hurry! Delhi has some beautiful old step-wells: the Gandhak ki Baoli and Rajon ki Baoli in Meherauli and the Agrasen ki Baoli (see picture) in central Delhi are the best known. This ornate one you see in the pic was believed to be built by Maharaja Agrasen, founder of the Agarwal community in India during the age of the Mahabharata. The current structure was probably rebuilt during the 14th century.
Thanks to Bipasha Sarkar for this beautiful picture!
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4 Comments Add yours
I think it is time to reinvent the baolis of Delhi as systems for rainwater harvesting.Since these step-wells are almost always connected to a series of aquifers, it would be relatively easy to install channels and pits to recharge them directly. Currently, we let precious rainwater flow away into the nallahs and out on the roads as ‘dirty water’.
Very interesting! I have spent many years in Delhi…but, hae never seen these Baolis before. Time Jal Board starts using them to ease out Delhi’s water shortage.
You are another person who has blogged about this place…very few know it…will follow your blog from now 🙂
Hey, thanks a lot Sugandha 🙂 You are right, many people haven’t really heard about the baolis of Delhi…but they are so beautiful they deserve to be written about and conserved.