|Delhi Rajon ki Baoli en.wikipedia org|
|Delhi:Gandhak Ki Baoli, one of the three baolis in Mehrauli, en.wikipedia org|
Tourists visiting Delhi prefer seeing reputed monuments and do not set aside time to see other unique places of great antiquity taking us back to medieval time. One being Gandhak ki baoli whose name suggests a strong smell of sulphur. The smell does not come from the step well rather, it is said, from the near-by areas where they make freshly baked tandoori rotis from Pehelwan Dhaba. The smell reaches as far as Mehrauli bus depot and past Adham Khan's tomb.
This step well was built by 13th-century Slave dynasty ruler Iltutmish, the early Muslim ruler of Delhi Sultanate. This step well that once served the needs of the people of this area is dry now. No trace of water. Thanks to the vast urbanization of Delhi and adjacent areas. Simple in its design, with thin stone pillars and narrow walkways at each of its five tiers that lead to the well and back, it does not have embellishments. Located at walking distance from the Qutab Minar and on the road leading to the dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki and Gurdwara Banda Bahadur, the structure, is not dilapidated, however, it does need repair and conservation,. This may make the baoli good enough to last for a long time. The stairway here is about 40 meters (130 ft) long and 12 meters (39 ft) wide. At each level there are ornate pillared passages. Way back ASI undertook desilting of the well.
Rajon ki baoli, a 16th century baoli located behind Gandhak ki baoli is yet another step well larger in size and more ornate. In the 16th century, this step well was exclusively used by the rajmistries or masons.; hence the name. Both these step wells offer a nice ambiance in the midst of greenery. From inscription on the near-by mosque, we understand that these monuments were built by Daulat Khan in 1506 during the reign of Sikandar Lodhi. The step well, etc were constructed by Daulat Khan with a view serving the people of this area.
Rajon ki baoli has a colonnaded arcade running along three sides of the step well. Rectangular in shape, the symmetrical arches of the arcade and the incised plaster work make it impressive. With four levels, each narrowing as you descend toward the well, there are rooms in the inner part of the arcade. Centuries ago, they provided a cool retreat to the people to relax and it must have seen water up to the 3rd level. In the past it was almost dry. ASI undertook cleaning of the baoli and desilting work up to a depth of 20 feet in the past and now the baoli has considerable water; the water level had risen by 20 feet
Tourists coming to Delhi. must visit these sites that once served as a rain-water harvesting system, especially useful in the scorching Delhi summer heat.