Agrasen Ki Baoli

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Photo of Agrasen Ki Baoli by aditi jain

Agrasen ki Baoli is located in the heart of the capital amidst the jungle of cement marks a stark contrast to the noisy city outside and the peaceful eeriness inside this monument.  Agrasen ki Baoli is Central Delhi's oldest monument and remains the best preserved Baolis of Delhi. The red bricked monument is a protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India. It can be visited between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. absolutely free of cost. It is easy to reach Agrasen ki Baoli as it is easily accessible from metro. The nearest metro station to the monument is the Barakhamba Road or Rajiv Chowk metro station. Not many were aware about the existence of this monument until the Aamir Khan starrer P.K. gave it a new identity. The protagonist is seen sitting at the baoli in the movie. Thus many say that in a way the movie created awareness about the baolis of Delhi. 

The history of Agrasen ki Baoli goes back to 14th century when the legendary Maharaja Agrasen of Haryana constructed the baoli during the Mahabharata era. Interestingly, we find that the name of the baoli stands quite disputable. The red sandstone board outside the monument reads its name as Ugrasen ki Baoli but popular name is Agrasen ki baoli. The National Archives reveal its other names such as Oojer Saini Bowlee. But for us it shall remain as Agrasen ki Baoli. The monument boasts of 103-108 steep steps with a series of carved chambers and passages.  This style is typical of the Baolis of Delhi. The visible parts of this historical step well consist of three levels. Each level is lined with arched niches on both sides. There is the presence of dual arch: - a facade arch and the true arch. It is believed that the monument might have been built during the Tughaq dynasty.

It is not the architecture, history or location which attracts visitors to the Agrasen ki Baoli but rather the hautned story created about this Baoli becomes a point of attraction. It remains top on the most haunted places in Delhi the other being Sanjay Van, Firoz Shah Kotla Fort, Delhi Cantonment, House number W-3, Kamlai Mosque and tomb and so on. The haunted story behind the Agrasen ki baoli revolves around the well. Though the well has dried out yet there are many mysterious stories that still make the Baoli one of the most haunted places in Delhi. While we go deeper in the Baoli, the sound totally vanishes and what only remains is the echo of our own footsteps. As the sound becomes more louder in a complete vacuum silence, the atmosphere turns more uncanny. A strong eerie presence is felt by the visitors in there. Some people assert that the Baoli is a residence of Devils. The screeching of bats and noises of pigeon only adds to its mystery. Before the place lost its shine, the Baoli was filled with black water which would which would call out to people strangely and ask them to sacrifice their lives. In fact it is believed that the water mesmerizes people for jumping into it. This might be the vernacular behind the strangeness felt inside the Baoli but even now it is advised not to visit the Baoli after dark and hence the timing of the Baoli is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As said, the haunted place becomes one of the main reasons that attract people to this forgotten monument suddenly brought to life by the movie. Throughout the day we find group of friends and couples enjoying here and clicking selfies. The Agrasen ki Baoli or Ugrasen ki Baoli shows that heritage of a country can be well preserved not always by its historicity but also with the tales revolving around it!

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