Some of the best kept secrets of Delhi till the turn of 21st Century were the many boalis or the step wells which exist in various corners of the city. Rajon ki Baoli is one such historical step well located inside Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
Rajon ki Baoli is one of the grandest of other baolis of Delhi which include Agrasen ki Baoli, Khari Baoli and Gandhak ki Baoli etc. Rajon ki Baoli is believed to have been constructed during the reign of Sikander Lodi by Daulat Khan.
The name Rajon ki Baoli is attributed to the assumption that this step well was used for sometimes by the masons or the raj mistris hence the name rajon.
Baolis in India are wells or ponds which were constructed as source of dependable source of ground water throughout the year. These were dug deep and reached by descending a set of stairs leading down to water.
These step wells were not just used as source of drinking water but for leisure purpose and as a refuge from the scorching heat of summer. Some step wells also served as place for social gatherings and religious ceremony.
These historic step wells generally consist of two parts. A vertical shaft to draw water from the well and the cavernous passageways chambers for resting purpose and staircase to reach the ground water.
If you are happening to visit one of these medieval baolis of India, you’ll also notice elaborately carved niches and galleries making them a rich depositary of Indian architectural heritage.
Rajon ki Baoli
Rajon ki Baoli is located inside Mehrauli Archaeological Park. It is located close to the famous Qutub Minar Complex. This step well is designed in such a way that from the surface you wouldn’t even comprehend the scale or the grandness of its construction. The entire complex is subterranean and the entire structure unfolds itself as you walk towards it stairs leading down to the ground water.
Rajon ki Baoli consists of 5 levels. Each level of this baoli is lined with arched niches with carvings and rooms to accommodate perhaps the masons, locals and caravan traders during those times.
The baoli complex also houses a 12 pillared tomb typical of Lodi era architecture along with a mosque which could be reached through flight up stairs from Rajon ki Baoli.
Delhi is often referred to as City of Djinns. As with the city many old monuments, step wells are also associated with presence of djinns albeit the benevolent ones. It was believed that if you throw coin and ask for a wish from the resident djinns, your wish was often fulfilled if asked with sincere heart.
Why should you visit Rajon ki Baoli
This one is a gem of step well in Delhi and also the grandest when it comes to the scale of architecture. Next to it is Agrasen ki Baoli near Connaught Place but miniscule when compared to Rajon ki Baoli. This baoli also happen to be off the beaten path in Delhi when it comes to travel.
It is located in Mehrauli Achaeological Park which is home to over 70 monuments dating back from Sultanate to the times of Mughal and British Raj. Along with Rajon ki Baoli, you should also visit Gandhak ki Baoli, Metcalfe’s Follies, Tomb of Quli Khan and the awesome tomb of Jamali Kamali which are inside Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
Nearby at a walking distance, you could visit Adham Khan’s Tomb or the Bhool Bhulaiya and the renowned Qutub Minar Complex; a UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site.
How to reach Rajon ki Baoli
You could easily reach Mehrauli Archaological Park through Bus, Metro and Private Vehicle. If it’s the bus you can get down at Mehrauli Bus Terminus and walk to the park. If its Delhi Metro get down at Mehrauli Merto Station and walk to this ASI Park. If you are traveling on a private vehicle, you may drive inside the park and park your vehicle near Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb.
The entry to this park is free. If you are a female avoid traveling alone especially in late hours as the park is often deserted. Only a few visitors come to this park and mostly foreigners in group as there is not much awareness about this archeological site among Indian masses.
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