Where old meets new in Delhi; Agrasen Ki Baoli

Located near the fairly new Connaught Place is something centuries older. However, while it is old, Agrasen Ki Baoli is not the oldest stepwell in Delhi. It is however, one of the last step wells in Delhi. Built during the Mahabharat era, this centuries old step well was constructed by Maharaja Agrasen, and later rebuilt by the Agrawal community during the 14th century.

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A picture of the arches lining the stairs

Descending down into the red stone step well are roughly 103 steps with small arches lining the stairs. At the bottom of the stairs is a small room with a hallway leading further into the step well. The hallway is blocked off, as is the rest of the well farther in the building. However, the stairs and the room at the beginning of the hallway are open to visitors. An interesting fact about this old baoli is that it is believed to be the home of ghosts. However, when my family visited this baoli, the only inhabitants we found were hundreds of shrieking bats.

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These are the stairs leading down to the hallway

I’ve seen bats before, but normally it’s at night, and so all I see is some black shadows flitting around in the dark. When I first heard the bats, I thought they were birds. But when my dad and I went closer, we saw that the “birds” were actually hundreds, maybe thousands, of screeching bats hanging from the roof. Bats that also tended to leave their droppings in places where people were likely to step. That was something I didn’t expect.

Something that was fascinating to me was that Agrasen Ki Baoli had been built in the 14th century, so about 700 years ago, and it is still in pretty good condition. I thought it would be more run down. But the gate, courtyard, and stairs looked in good condition despite having been built hundreds of years before. It was really cool seeing something so old right in the middle of something so new.

All in all, it was a interesting place. Sure, it was crowded. But my family had a good time there. I thought it was fascinating that Agrasen ki Baoli was built in the 14th century and is still in pretty good condition. I was able to shoot some pretty good pictures of the step well too. My family and I enjoyed our visit there, and if you go, I hope you have a good time. Agrasen Ki Baoli is an fascinating place. Just avoid the bat poop!

The oldest historical site in Delhi

The street in front of the Red Fort is one of the most chaotic streets I have ever seen. This was because the Red Fort is probably one of the most famous tourist sites in Delhi. I went there a couple months ago, and the area out front was loud and a little chaotic. The taxi had dropped my dad, my brother and I on the opposite side of the street which meant that we had to cross the extremely busy street to get into the Red Fort. Indian streets are usually very crowded and busy, but this street, being in front of one the oldest historical sites in Delhi, was especially so. And because of that, we not only had to dodge the many vehicles quickly driving toward us, we also had to deal with the many rickshaw wallas (guys who drive the rickshaws) and salesmen. And on top of all that, Dad also warned us that pickpockets were also very active there. I wasn’t feeling very well at the time either, so that made it even more difficult. When we finally made it across, Dad then had to find out where the driver of the second taxi had dropped off Mom and our Indian friends Dilara and her children Sultana and Shahanur. Those first few minutes at Lal Qila (Red Fort in Hindi) were definitely very tumultuous.

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When we had bought tickets, we walked through the giant door and then proceeded down the long lane of stalls selling souvenirs like scarves, jewelry, toys, magnets, and even little snow globes! After that, there was a large white gate you walked through to enter the area with the gardens and palaces. The back of it was a brownish red color.

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The part past that gate wasn’t quite what I expected. I guess what I thought there would be lots of beautiful palaces right inside the gate, but my mom and dad told me that they were farther into the fort. Another thing that surprised me was how big some of the fountains were. I’m at least 5’5, and I think that if I stood up on the bottom of the fountain, the walls might have either been close to my height, or above it. However, the depth of the fountains wasn’t the only way they were huge. They were also really long and really wide. The emperor must have been really fond of huge fountains.

2017 12 28 11 51 10 HDRThe first pavilion we came across was one of the largest, and in my opinion the prettiest, because while the others were pretty much all made out of marble or some other type of white stone and were all similarly designed, this one was built from a red type of stone and was different from all the others. The rows of columns were intricately carved, and in the middle of the pavilion there was a large display surrounded by plastic walls. However, the plastic walls were slightly dirty, so I wasn’t able to see what was inside the walls.

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The others were pretty much all alike, meaning they were all white, except for one other one, and they were all carved with similar looking designs. A lot of the pavilions and even the white gate had flowers carved into the walls or pillars.

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The other red colored pavilion I mentioned was among the other white pavilions and looked like there had once been a fountain where the building was standing. It was smaller than all the others, and closer to the palaces too.

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We never actually got to see the palaces, we left before we saw them, but the rest of the fort was really cool. Another cool part is that in front of every building, there was a sign that explained what it was and when it was built. I learned a lot about the history of the Lal Qila. If you like history, then you will definitely like the oldest historical site in delhi.