Delhi in India is home to several historical monuments and places. One such place is Agrasen or Ugrasen ki Baoli (step-well), located in the Connaught Place, in central Delhi. If you are a history buff and love all things vintage, you must plan your trip here soon. Moreover, if you love photography, the place will offer you ample aesthetic frames and shots. The step-well is easily accessible as it is located close to metro stations such as Rajiv Chowk and Barakhamba Road. You can take an autorickshaw from the metro station or take a 10-minute walk to reach the step-well. Some say it is haunted but till now there is no evidence of the same. Let's explore to find out more.
The baoli is also a protected monument under the 'Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958' of the Indian government agency Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Interestingly, the monument was quite unknown until Hindi film industry actor Aamir Khan shot his film 'PK' here. The actor is shown seated in the stairs of this place (as shown in the above image). The best part is that films like PK and a few others such as Sultaan and Mom have given a new lease of life to the Ugrasen ki Baoli as it has started to attract more visitors post-films release.
The step-well or baoli is open from 9 am to 5 pm, and the entry is free of cost. There were no concrete records when the historical step-well was built but, according to historians, it was built during the Mahabharta period by a king named Maharaja Agrasen. The name of baoli comes from the king's name; however, the sandstone motif outside reads the title as 'Ugrasen ki baaoli', which is quite confusing. The monument has around 103-108 steep steps with several carved arches, where people love getting themselves clicked. Pre-wedding shoots are also quite common here, where groom and bride, come dressed as king and queen to get professional photographs. You can also find young university crowd and some tired souls, who are looking for meaning in life.
In earlier times, the baoli was built to not only serve as a step-well but also as a place where people from different communities could spend time together. Legends say that yesteryear's women assembled at the step-well to relax, away from the scorching heat of Delhi. The arched spaces of the baoli served as spots for religious ceremonies in those times.
A circular well is also present towards the end of the baoli, which remains dry throughout the year except for the monsoons. During the rainy season, water can fill up to 4-5 feet, however, there is an iron grill that shields the well and prevents accidental or conscious falls into the water. Some rumours even say that the bottom part of the well is filled with mystical black water, which hypnotizes people and pushes them to end their lives. When I visited the baoli, it seemed nothing like that but it is often counted as the top haunted places in Delhi.
If you are planning to visit the baoli, you can take along a travel guide along for a better understanding of cultural and historical milieu. Today, the baoli is extremely popular and represents an interesting blend of history, design and architecture. It's also very close to the Janpath Market (1.5 km) and the hugely popular Connaught Place. So make the most of your time, whenever you visit the baoli. Whether the historic Agrasen ki baoli is haunted or not seems more like a rumour, spread by some miscreants.
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