Delhi is perhaps one of the most ancient cities in the world with continuous in-habitation since at least 6th century BC.Over the ages, Delhi has been invaded innumerable times, burnt to ashes only to rise again. And when you have such an ancient city with continuous in-habitation, you invariably have lots of old buildings of immense historical significance.
Since my sister and brother-in-law reside in Delhi, I usually visit them once a year around October/ November. During my last visit in November 2013, I had a specific request. I wanted to visit as many historical monuments as possible, because I wanted to take as many photos as possible for my blog.I should point out that Delhi has so many monuments, that it probably requires a month to visit all of them! I will try to cover the ones I visited during my 3 day visit, in the next few posts.
Today I want to share photographs of one such architectural structure, not that well-known, but beautiful nonetheless.
Agrasen ki Baoli is a historical step-well on Hailey Road, very near to Connaught Place in New Delhi (referred to as CP, by those familiar with the city). It is believed to have been first built by the legendary king, Agrasen during the period of the epic, Mahabharat. The present structure is assumed to have been rebuilt by the Agarwal community, which traces its links back to Maharaja Agrasen, around the 14th century. Baoli is a hindi word, meaning step-well. Hence, Agrasen ki Baoli means, Agrasen’s Step-Well.
Step-wells were made usually in the northern and north-western parts of modern day India, mainly as reservoirs to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. They also served as places where people could rest, as the wells provided relief from the daytime heat. The steps ensured that people could easily access the water, when the water level was low. These step-wells usually also acted as places of religious and social gatherings, which led to the building of significant ornamental and architectural features. It also ensured their survival as monuments.
The well is 60 meters in length and 15 meters wide. It has 103 steps. Earlier, the lower steps used to be submerged in water, but presently, it is absolutely dry, and one can go to the very bottom of the well.
If you are in New Delhi, it’s a place you must visit.
This post is also posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Perspective. Hope you liked the tour. 🙂