“Kahan jana hai madam”
“Agrasen ki Baoli”
“Kya? Connaught Place?”
“Nahin, Agrasen ki Baoli. Aapko nahin pata kya? Mandi house ke paas hai”
“150 lagenge warna rehne do”
With a long face, I checked for an Ola & booked a micro in exactly 2 minutes. The same story repeated. The Ola cabbie didn’t know ‘Agrasen ki Baoli’ either. How’s that even possible? Didn’t these guys watch PK? Like thousands of Indians, I also discovered the place in early January of 2015 & have been thinking to visit the place since then.
I quickly resorted to Google Maps for the directions to the Baoli after making myself comfortable in the white Santro. The cabbie wasn’t very sure either. He continued asking, “where do you want to go madam?”. I asked him to follow the maps while I scanned the surroundings.
Neatly maintained lawns, fresh cut green grass, huge round-abouts & India Gate. Wait a minute! Am I going in the right direction? This doesn’t look like the area. And then, the cabbie once again asked in his shrill voice, “Yahan se right turn dikha riya hai madam. Le le?”
I asked him to follow the turn. And to our surprise – in the middle of high rise buildings & the most posh area of Delhi – Agrasen ki Baoli is located – hidden from all the glamour of the world.
The Baoli knows nothing about the development that the place has seen. It’s still hooked on to the past, hiding the mysteries in its darkest waters & unwilling to be discovered by the public.
Those who wish to look will discover – Agrasen ki Baoli:
One of the most famous India photographers, Raghu Rai, once clicked a glorious picture of Agrasen ki Baoli which garnered great attention in newspapers, in 1971. Even then, we hardly hear of the place. The blockbuster movie, PK, shot an entire scene here in Agrasen ki Baoli in 2015. But the autos clearly deny the existence of this place- at a mere 3 kms. distance from the Baoli.
One might wonder – why is it so. Why does the Baoli attract so less crowd. Why do we not know about the place even though the site is claimed by ASI. In spite of an impressive architecture, there’s not much written or known about the place. In the middle of the most known places of the country, the Baoli exists invisibly. Only those who wish to discover the place, find it. Only those who walk their way through the glamorous lanes of Central Delhi to spot this old, rustic stepped well, locate it. Only those who wish to look beyond the obvious will unearth it.
104 steps to the darkest, black water that claimed many lives:
As you continue to step down the Baoli, you see nothing but dark. The bats start to squeak loudly & the dark starts to get stronger even in broad daylight. The last steps leading to the dark, black water are oddly silent. The only voice – heard to ears – is the loud squeaks of bats echoing against the walls of the Baoli. The silence is by no means peaceful; it’s unsettling.
They say that the water, in olden times, attracted the onlookers towards itself. Many a people jumped in the black water & lost their lives. After claiming hundreds of lives, the water has receded mysteriously & sit quietly at the lowest steps of the Baoli where no one goes.
About Agrasen ki Baoli:
Agrasen ki Baoli is a stepped well – originally built to conserve water like many of the other Baolis in Rajasthan & parts of South India. There are various references about who built this Baoli, but nothing can be ascertained. The Baoli is 60 meter long and 15 meter wide, rectangular step well with 104 steps, consisting of a series of superimposed arches supported on piers or columns.
Agrasen ki Baoli is often called the Baoli of the unseen. So, you might want to watch your timing before you visit this place. After all, the place is ranked in the top 10 haunted places of India.