Thursday, 30 April 2015

Places to visit in Delhi: Ugrasen ki Baoli

Baoli (a stepwell) were a very common feature as a means of water harvesting and conservation system in north India in the earlier times as the rains are seasonal and therefore storage of water for leaner periods were essential.

Ugrasen ki Baoli with modern buildings of central Delhi in the background

Even in Delhi there used to be several stepwells and but most of them have either vanished are or in utter state of disrepair. However, the Ugrasen ki Baoli (also pronounced sometimes as Agrasen ki Baoli) has survived and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) right in the central Delhi very close to the Connaught Place.

The arches of Agrasen ki Baoli

I have been to the Max Mueller Bhavan several times but was not aware that from there this stepwell is less than five minute walk away! It is kind of hidden as it is on a side road on the Hailey Road with tall multi-storied buildings of Central Delhi forming a backdrop. The entrance is very ordinary but the moment you step in the place really amazes you with its beauty.

The reflection of author, Baoli & the modern buildings

This 60 meter long and 15 meter wide stepwell is said to have been built by King Ugrasen who was an Agarwal leader. The architecture is late Tughlak and Lodhi period. It has very thick side walls and has arched corridors. There is an ancient mosque on the same premises but I could not go in as it was undergoing maintenance at the time I had visited it. Even the stepwell was under maintenance due to which I could not go down and had to content myself with seeing it from top.

The mosque at the Agrasen Stepwell complex

Now stepwells are not made as with technology people have other means of storage and supply of water. But I have had the opportunity to visit a modern stepwell in Jodhpur made recently. It is very beautiful and is able to supply all the water required the year round to the beautifully maintained gardens.

The baoli has very thick side walls

Also Read:
Ali Gosh Khan Baoli in Farrukhnagar
Umaid Heritage:Water Conservation with Beauty

2 comments:

ladyfi said...

What an amazing place!

Anil Yadav said...

To have survived in the modern era in central Delhi yes it is amazing.