I have professed my love for Delhi time and again. It’s the hub of different cultures and the perfect amalgamation of history and technology. There is a new place to discover in Delhi everyday. So whenever I and my husband are free, we select a new location to explore. Its usually my job to do the research and guide him to a new historical site.
But miracles do happen!! It was a winter afternoon when I was doing my post grad. My classes got over at 3pm when suddenly hubby called for a surprise visit. Usually he is very busy at this time of the day so I never expect him to call let alone a visit!! He dropped by my institute and made me walk kms to Old Hailey Road after a quick meal!! Yes, for once, he had done the research and there existed a place which I had never heard of … ‘ Ugrasen Ki Baoli’ !!
Baoli means stepped well. This was built in the 14 th century by Raja Ugrasen, forefather of the Agarwal community. However, the architectural features resemble the late Tuglaq period.
This 14th century structure is believed to be among the 'finest' baolis in Delhi because of its innovative designs. Built with rubble and dressed stone, it measures 60 meters long, from north to south and 15 meters wide at ground level. The main feature of the structure is the long flight of steps flanked by a thick wall with two series of arched structures, the lower ones submerged under water and the upper ones just above the surface of the water. These steps between the walls lead down to the water level.
This baoli, which is named after Raja Ugrasen has a legend that any Aggarwal new to the area could call on his fellow Aggarwals for help. Every person of the community would help him by donating a brick and a small sum of rupees. Likewise he would help the next person of the community in need.
Situated amidst the modern high rise buildings, the entrance of the baoli has vanished by now but the baoli still serves as a pool in the summer and one can see washing spread out to dry over its arched walls. Ugrasen's Baoli is a fascinating remnant of Delhi's history in the midst of the modern heart of the city.