One of the most important needs for person to survive is Water. Due to this reason, since time immemorial, people have dug up the earth to source out the groundwater and structures have been constructed across various places to store rainwater and making it accessible to the masses. Beginning from wells, tanks and stepwells some of these water storing structures have been considered as fine examples of architecture.
We have heard from history lessons, that several kings and left their original capitals in search of new ones simply due to the factor that there is no water for them to avial. Akbar shifted his capital to Fathepur Sikri from Agra not only as an honor to the Sufi Saint but also due to the lack of water. Most of the rulers had setup their capitals at the banks of rivers due to ample avialabilty of water.
The region in and around Delhi was very popular amongst many as the river Yamuna flows through it. Due to this reason the city had a large number of stepwell constructed at various parts, out of which only a few have a remained with many of them lost over the years.
Gandhak Ki Baoli
Located in the premises of the Mehrauli ArchaeologicalPark is one of the oldest stepwells of Delhi. Constructed by IItutmish for the a Sufi saint, this baoli is named as Gandhak ki Baoli as the water of this well smells like sulphur.
Baoli At Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah
Located in the premises of the Nizamuddin Dargah, the structure is covered by walls on three sides and has steps which would take one down to waters.
The construction of this baoli took place under the supervision of Nizamuddin Auliya himself; hence, its water is considered sacred and believed to have curative powers.
The structure was the victim of disagreement between the saint and the then ruler of Delhi, who had prohibited workers in Delhi not work at any other site other than Tughlagabad. It is believed that the construction of this well was completed by the workers under the moonlight.
Firoz Shah Kotla
Located in front of the Pyramid of Cells but separated from it by a long stretch of lawn is the baoli of Firoz Shah Kotla. The outer walls of this structure exhibits arched attachments which are set back into the walls and is three-storeys deep, which a stairway descending down to the water level from the western end.
The stepwell at present is off limits to the public, due to past accidents where visitors have accidentally fallen in. A tall fence circles the entire structure and one must obtain permission to have a closer look.
Agrasen Ki Baoli
PC: Supreet Sethi
Amongst the buildings which already existed in the region when New Delhi was formed is the 15th century baoli of Agrasen. According to legends, the structure is believed to have been built by a king, Raja Agrasen.
The structure was renovated in the 14th century by the wealthy Agrawal community, who are said to be descendants of Agrasen. The Agrawal merchants donated in both cash and kind towards the renovation of the structure, which stands near the present day Connaught Place and attracts a large number of visitors.
Rajon Ki Baoli
Located close to the Gandhak Ki Baoli in the premises of the Mehrauli Archaeological Park is the Rajon Ki Baoli, which was built during the Lodi dynasty.
Built as a four-level rectangular tank has a stairway at one end and a circular well on the other, the structure was used by masons for quite some time; they drew water here for cooking and drinking purposes.
The baoli showcases long corridors along its sides and arches decorated with limestone carvings and rooms which provided shelter for the visitors.