Vavs/ Baoris aka Stepped Wells are well-like structures that were designed to store water in olden days. These wells were often designed to be deep so that more & more water could be stored; the water was made accessible with a flight of stairs directly descending into water. In India, there are about 2500 stairwells built around different centuries, under the influence of different empires.
During drought or extreme summers, when the rivers or local ponds would dry up, these stepped stairwells would come to the rescue. Built in a way, that Sunlight couldn’t enter the deep parts of the well, where water was stored, these stepped wells provided water for daily activities for locals and hence remained popular.
But then, some of these stepped wells turned rouge over the centuries. Something sinister possessed them…the same stepped wells that provided relief to the communities during the day became dangerous and scary at night.
Welcome to Blog #2 of this month’s theme:
“Haunted places in India that turn touristy during the day”.
To access the previous blog of this theme, click here
1. Ugrasen/ Agrasen ki Baoli, New Delhi
Situated in the heart of Delhi, Ugrasen ki Baoli is a narrow stepped well with some 104 stairs that descend directly into water.
It’s believed that this Baoli was built around 14th century by a certain Maharaja Agrasen, however, there are no historical records that can ascertain who built this Baoli, when was it built and how?
In 1958, it was designated a protected monument by ASI. Open to tourists, college students & lovebirds between 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, this stepped well has featured in big banner movies such as Rang de Basanti & PK. But then, this touristy business remains touristy only during the day.
At night, the Baoli gets closed for humans. And those who have trespassed have reported a paranormal presence at this place. They felt being followed, as if they are in the presence of an energy that is not easily seen by human eyes…until the energy wants to be seen.
Find it hard to believe? Hear this:
Until a few decades back, this Baoli was filled with dark, black water. Many people in those days felt strangely drawn to the water, almost feeling suicidal. Unfortunately, the Baoli claimed many lives when a few human being decided to jump into the water & leave the mortal world.
How about now? Still don’t believe it?
How about paying a visit to Agrasen ki Baoli & deciding for yourself.
Also read: 104 steps leading to the darkest waters of History: Agrasen ki Baoli, Delhi
2. Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan
Situated at a distance of 100 kms. from Jaipur, Abhaneri is a small village that’s popular for two things: Harshat Mata Temple & Chand Baori, the stepped well.
We want to talk about the more famous of the two: Chand Baori, the stepped well that featured in one of my most favourite movies of all time – the Dark Knight Rises. Yes, it did! 🙂 and that’s not it. It has featured in many other Bollywood & Hollywood movies.
Extending upto 100 ft. deep into the ground, Chand Baori is one of the deepest & the largest stepped wells in India. The oldest structure of the well dates back to the 8th century while the most recent part of the well was built in the 18th century. Built across 13 stories, there are about 3500 steps in the Baori that leads you to the water.
You know it’s said that no one treads the same step twice in Chand Baori, and part of this structure was built overnight. Curious?
It’s amazing that these tourist spots that attract crowds in huge numbers & at cheaply priced tickets, become so silent & eerie at night that no human dares to enter after sundown. Is it nature’s way of bringing in some balance? Or is it that humans have become so exceptionally brilliant at damage & destruction that non-humans have to intervene to offer some protection to these monuments & structures.
Or are these just stories?
Intriguing stories that are purposely twisted to catch our fancy.
Well, you can only know for sure if you visit these places. I have checked them off my bucket list. Are you ready to do that too?
Also read: The Bhool Bhulaiyaa that figured in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’: Chand Baori, Abhaneri
Four weeks back, we designed this campaign, ‘Rediscover India, Incredible India’. As part of this campaign, we will have 10 themes, each lasting for a month. Each of these themes will focus on one unique, incredible aspect of India and take you through a succinct journey of its incredibleness, each week, one blogpost at a time.
Know more about this campaign here, and about Theme 1 here.
Note: All images used on this blog are clicked by us. Please share credit if you decide to use these images.
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