When I started in the morning I had no plans to go to the Agrasen Ki Baoli today. But I still ended up there. I was coming home in the Metro, it was before 10.00 am. The train was so crowded that I gave up at Rajeev Chowk and sat in CCD at the metro station to avoid the crowds. However, even after coffee the station was crowded so I walked out. Eventually I took an auto to Agrasen ki Baoli purely on a whim! I knew that by the time I would come back, the office hour rush would be over!
This was my second visit to the monument. Agrasen ki Baoli is said to be built by Maharaja Ugrasen, the forefather of the Agrawal community, in the ancient times. The stepwell is supposed to have been rebuilt by the Agrawals later in the late Tughlaq or Lodhi period. There are many stepwells across India which were used for water management in the olden times. Apart from performing a necessary function the baolis are a thing of beauty too.
Agrasen ki Baoli measures 60 meters long and 15 meters wide. There is a long flight of uneven steps that takes you down to the well. Along the steps there are arches on the walls. You can see that there are many levels to the stepwell.
If you Goolge for the monument you will find some references to the place being haunted. I was not even aware of the fact till I searched today. On both my trips I did not feel even in the slightest that the place was haunted. But then, that is just me.
The place is popular with school and college students and couples. In that sense I was the odd person out, being a lone visitor. There was one family too, you can see the lady climbing down the steps.
Everyone, except the security guard, is interested in taking pictures at the monument. I was no exception, only I was not taking my pictures!
I had a chat with the security guard. He is also from UP so that was the icebreaker. He said if things went out of hand with the college kids they simply call the police control room. When I was there, only one all boys group was loud. When no one paid them any attention, they too quietened down.
Agrasen ki Baoli has been featured in two popular Bollywood movies PK and Sultan. There were not many people today as it was a weekday. I am told the place gets crowded on the weekends. There is no entry fee to the monument. It is an ASI protected monument.
I am happy that I decided to walk back to the nearest metro station, Barahkamba Road. Google Maps showed that it was a 11 minute walk and I was game. When you walk out of the narrow ally do take note of the graffiti done by Harsh Raman and others.
By the time I reached back to Barakhamba Road Metro Station, there was no trace of the rush hour. I had been a part of the hurrying crowd for so long. It feels good that I can now sidestep it sometimes! Since the trip was unplanned i only had my cell phone with me to click the pictures.
I knew of Agrasen Ki Baoli for quite sometime now. Sometimes I made elaborate plans to go there. But I never succeeded till yesterday! And when I went, I was not even carrying my camera, I used my cell phone to take pictures!
Agrasen Ki Baoli, New Delhi
About its history I am quoting from Wikipedia–
Although there are no known historical records to prove who built Agrasen ki Baoli, it is believed that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen during the Mahabharat epic era and rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen.
This description corresponds with the ASI inscription stone outside the monument. I had actually gone to meet my old friend from school and while we were having coffee at CP, she asked if there was a historical monument around. And I (or rather the auto driver) took her to Agrasen Ki Baoli.
College Students at Agrasen Ki Baoli
In the present times it seems to be a popular hangout with college students! I could spot only a few tourists but many SLRs. I could see a lot of chairs piled high in a corner but no operation cafe on this day.
Agrasen Ki Baoli
We walked to the bottom of the step well but saw no water. There were stairs going further down but two people were sitting there and when we asked them what was there, they discouraged us to go any further. I am sure they didn’t want to move from there perch.
Ancient and Modern at Agrasen Ki Baoli, New Delhi
I was quite amazed at the view that the top of the steps presented. I could see the modern buildings of CP as well as this fascinating monument at the same time! I hope the next time I end there I would have my main camera as well.
PS. If you want to go, the nearest metro station is Barahkhamba Road. The auto guy will charge you 20-30 rupees from there.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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