Located near one of the busiest places in Delhi, Connaught Place, Agrasen ki Baoli (also known as Ugrasen ki baoli or Agar Sain ki Baoli) is an ancient Water Temple monument which is allegedly said to be built by Agrasan, the legendary king who belonged to the epic era of Mahabharata, and later reconstructed by the Agrawal community in the 14th century most likely during the the Tughlaq period . The community traces its roots back to Maharaja Agrasen.
Agrasen ki Baoli is a 15 metre wide and 60 metre long steep well, which is protected by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958.
The word Baoli (also bawdi, baori or baori) is a Hindi word meaning step well. As the name goes, Agrasen ki baoli has a total of 103 steps which are made of red sandstones (or bricks). The impressive architecture of the Baoli symbolises the brilliant design and planning which existed in the country centuries ago. Some parts of the Baoli are totally immersed in water but what remains is three storeys or levels of the baoli which are lined with arched cubbyholes on either sides. The old rooms that were perhaps once used for worshipping and prayer rituals stay guarded by gates now to prevent any mishaps (we will get to this in some time).
The historical monument is now home to pigeons, bats, and occasionally “love birds”. As you walk down the stairs to the bottom levels, the skyline starts reducing and the place gets darker and creepy.
Having said that, Agrasen ki Baoli is known to be one of the top ten haunted places in India. It is said that the Baoli was once filled with black water, due to filth, animal remains, and garbage, and the black waters were a mystical lure to those depressed and disheartened, so much so, that many were hypnotized with the inexplicable charm of the waters and jumped to their death. Rumors have it that the black water or the “Baoli of the unseen” called for such weak minded people so they would jump in it and raise the level of water. Some visitors claim to have been followed by an unseen ‘something’ inside the Baoli. The faster your pace, the intense that presence becomes! There is no recorded proof for any of these events so it has never been proved that the place is haunted yet the fact that it is an old dilapidated monument which has a history as old as Mahabharata, the shrill sound of bats fluttering in and around the vicinity, echoing of even a small sound, the dark interiors and the receding skyline, and the half-true-half-false stories make up for quite a spooky experience. Care to try, anyone?
This historical monument was recently featured in a Bollywood Movie, PK (2015), which stars the celebrated Bollywood Actor Aamir Khan, and the promising Bollywood Actress Anushka Sharma.
Agrasen ki Baoli is close to both Janpath Metro Station and Barakhamba Metro Station. You can also hire a cab, book a radio taxi, or take a bus. Ask the locals or your hotel staff for bus route numbers.