Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023








(PictureSource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gandhak_ki_Baoli,_Mehrauli.jpg)

The Gandak-ki-Baoli in Mehrauli is situated near the tomb of Adam Khan.  Zeenat Begum’s hamam is Gandhak ki Baoli, Delhi’s oldest surviving stepwell. A water monument of sculptured columns and lattice walls, a baoli is a secret world linking light to shade, earth to water. In the monsoon, water comes up to the upper steps.  The baoli near the mahal of Bahadur Shah Zafar in Mehrauli is built in imitation of the well at Gandakh-ki-Baoli and Rajon-ki-Bain. It is believed that the baoli have been built by Sultan Iltutmish in the 13th century.  It is a beautiful otherworldly abyss close to the Qutub Minar in south Delhi.


Agrasen ki Baoli

Near Jantar Mantar, New Delhi



(Picture Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrasen_ki_Baoli )

There is a belief is that this baoli was originally built by Agrasen during the Mahabharata period and it was rebuilt by the Agrawal community. The historical step well consists of three levels which are lined with arched niches.  Based on the architecture, this stepwell was probably rebuilt during the Tughlaq period.   The visible parts of this historical step well consists of three levels. Rebuilding the old Agrasen Ki Baoli would have been within the means of a well established and wealthy Agrawal community during the 14th century AD.



Rajon Ki Baoli

Mehrauli Archaeological Park






(Picturesource: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Top_View_-_Rajon_ki_Baoli.jpg)

Rajon-Ki- Baoli is also known as Rajon Ki Bain.  It is a famous step well situated near Adham Khan’s tomb in the Mehrauli Archaeological Park. It is believed that it was built by Daulat Khan in 1516 AD during the reign of Sikandar Lodi. It is a three-storied step well. For sometime it was used by masons and hence it got the name Rajon Ki Baoli.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajon_ki_baoli)






Built in 1354 AD by Emperor Firuz Shah III (Tughluq) on the western banks of the Yamuna River in the fifth city of Delhi, Ferozabad, the Kotla of Firuz Shah became a sixteenth-century prototype of Mughal city palace architecture. Conforming to an irregular rectangle plan of 2,624'-6" (800m) x 1,312'(400 m) its longer side follows the north-south axis. The entire formation is encased in high solidly fortified walls composed of stones. The northern part of the Kotla still has a baoli (a deep well surrounded by underground rooms) where the atmosphere is fresh even on the hottest day of summer. There are some funerary buildings to the east.



Next to Nizamuddin Police station, New Delhi

Nearby Jangpura


(Picturesource:  http://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/in-search-of-delhis-baolis/article3424909.ece)

The Nizamuddin baoli, still in use, was built in the reign of the founder of the Tughlak dynasty, Ghiyasuddin Tughlak and led to a tiff between the saint and the sultan. It measures 123 ft by 53 ft internally and is enclosed by a wall on the south-east and west. The 14th-century baoli is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Built by Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the baoli is being conserved as part of the 'Humayun's Tomb-Sunder Nursery-Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Urban Renewal project' by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in partnership with the Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Aga Khan Foundation.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hidden-for-over-800-yrs-wonders-of-nizamuddin-ki-baoli-out-in-the-open/450618/


Red Fort Baoli

New Delhi



(Picture source: http://pixels-memories.blogspot.in/2013/02/red-fort-baoli-new-delhi.html )

Built by the Tughlaqs and renovated by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan, during the course of construction of his magnificent Red Fort, the Tughlaq-era baoli exists in the fort complex. Before the construction of the Red Fort, another fortress called Salimgarh existed at the same site, and some historians concede that the baoli might have also been used by the inhabitants of Salimgarh.  The baoli is locked for public entry.  Unlike other baolis that have steps going down to the water-level, this large baoli has two perpendicular staircases descending down and the circular pit holds the water.



Anangtal Baoli

Mehrauli, New Delhi


(Picture source: http://www.sodelhi.com/tombs-baolis/8557-anangtal-baoli-mehrauli-new-delhi )

It was built by the Rajput King Anang Pal II of the Tomar Dynasty and also goes by the name of Yoginipura. It is the oldest step well of Delhi, dating back to the 10th century AD.  Apparently, the queens would hold an annual event for alms-giving next to the baoli, at the behest of the king. This is all that is known about the baoli that has escaped the notice of several plans for renovation and preservation, and lies beyond the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.



Purana Qila Baoli

New Delhi




(Picturesource: http://commons.wikimedia.org/


This fort which is believed to be the capital of the Pandavas has three arched gateways and the Bada Darwaza (Big Gate) facing the west which leads directly to the Baoli. It is situated on the banks of the perennial river Yamuna.   A narrow flight of 89 steps, separated by 8 landings and going down to a depth of 22 meters makes up this step-well. Built in sandstone, the position of each landing is marked by recessed niches on the side walls. A series of gradually receding arches of various sizes form the roof. Today it is the best preserved building the Puana Qila.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/



Tughlaqabad Fort Baolis

NCT, Delhi


(Source: http://www.sodelhi.com/tombs-baolis/8558-tughlaqabad-fort-baolis-tughlaqabad-new-delhi)

Out of the 13 Baolis which were constructed in the 14th century AD on the order of Ghazi Malik, only two survive till date. These are situated on either side of the fort.  In the current scenario, the existing two baolis are situated on either side of the fort. The west Baoli leads to a flight of 30 steps constructed to reach the Baoli, with a rise of 20 cms of each step. The raw stone of the Baoli reflects its resilient nature in the glaring sun while the east baoli is a deep dry ruin, which is not accessible due to its deteriorating condition. The four stonewalls form the Baoli which is not clearly visible.