Its a stepwell located on Hailey Road near Connaught Place, Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical stepwell, once upon a time played a crucial role in the metropolis’ water supply. Now it is declared a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958. When India has so many stepwells, why this one is so important?
This stepwell is evidence to the fact that rainwater harvesting was known and was practiced in India since ancient times. No one knows when this well was built. Legend has it that it was originally built by the legendary king Agrasen. King Agrasen was a legendary king of Agroha, a city of traders. The Agrawal and Rajvanshi communities claim descent from him. And the well was rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community.
The well was built to capture precious water in the dry climate of the North India. Its basically a stepwell which allowed local communities to access subterranean water supplies. Well was built to ensure that any subterranean water available was utilized in as efficient manner as possible. The steps were built next to the shafts of wells so that whatever the level of the ground water, residents could always access some.
This Baoli, with 108 steps, is a rare structure, at least in and around Delhi. The visible parts of this historical stepwell consist of three levels. Each level is lined with arched niches on both sides. From an architectural perspective, this step well was probably rebuilt during the Tughlaq period.
However, presently it is more of a tourist attraction than anything else. Many popular films like PK and Sultan were shot here. Now the stepwell is considered one of the most haunted places in town thus, driving away the crowd during night.
However, one need to be proud of the fact that our ancestors too were aware of and practiced green technologies.