If you’ve traveled through North India, chances are you have seen one or more stepwells or water temples as symbols of its rich past. These wells serve as monuments to India’s rich culture. Delhi is home to many stepwells (known as Baoli in Hindi). Unfortunately, most are now unoccupied and remain abandoned and unused. Here you find Top Stepwells in Delhi.
Agrasen Ki Baoli – One of the top Stepwells in Delhi
Agrasen Ki Baoli is one of the longest-lasting stepwells in Delhi and is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. Distinguished by its unique architectural style – evident by 108 stone stairs leading directly into its well – Agrasen Ki Baoli stands the test of time and will remain part of Delhi for generations to come.
Near Connaught Place lies this well which boasts close proximity to important sites such as Jantar Mantar and India Gate. Furthermore, many movies have been shot here over time – many Bollywood productions even took place here! PK, featuring Aamir Khan and Anushka Sharma, is an example of how Baolis have come to be widely recognized across India. A character takes shelter in this ancient structure in this film.
Delhi’s Red Fort should be on any tourist’s itinerary! Open from dawn to dusk, the Red Fort provides the perfect place for taking beautiful photographs as well as taking great souvenirs home with them. Locating Agrasen ki Baoli is simple; just walk from any nearby metro station or take local DTC buses or auto-rickshaws to reach it. Barakhamba Road Metro station on the blue line is near, as are Rajiv Chowk (yellow line) and Janpath metro stops on both yellow lines.
Rajon Ki Baoli
Rajon Ki Baoli is an essential visit when touring Mehrauli Archaeological Park of Delhi. A three-storey structure, its floors narrow as you approach its central well. The Baoli was constructed during Lodhi era and forms an important historical monument located within Mehrauli Archaeological park. Additionally, this enclosure includes a mosque and tomb which are all integral components of this historic park.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it should be visited by tourists visiting Delhi. Furthermore, this popular shooting location serves as inspiration for movies and television shows! There are numerous stories surrounding this stepwell that claim that it is haunted by ghosts. According to legend, when people jump into it they are drawn in by its black water and end up taking their own lives by jumping.
However, no concrete evidence supports these claims; nonetheless it has an eerie yet mesmerizing aura that compels visitors to revisit it! Constructed entirely of stone, Baolis typically consist of three levels – the first being square with steps leading down into an underground well at its base; while on subsequent levels are colonnaded symmetric arcades featuring internal chambers.
Gandhak Ki Baoli – Another top Stepwells in Delhi
Gandhak Ki Baoli can be found in Delhi’s historic Mehrauli Neighbourhood and was constructed by 13th-century Slave dynasty ruler Iltutmish as part of his efforts to provide constant water access and act as an area for recreation for residents in nearby neighborhoods. It was originally designed as an underground water source that provided round-the-year water provision and recreation.
This step well is an unadorned monument protected from damage by Delhi Archaeological Survey of India as part of their Preservation Initiatives program. Though without embellishments, its delicate stone pillars and narrow walkways make up its five tiers to the well, ensuring it stands the test of time and remains an iconic site worth saving. Book Delhi Tour Packages
It descends five levels beneath ground level and is one of Delhi’s deepest ravines, with four lower levels containing water throughout the year. It provides much-needed respite in an overcrowded neighborhood and sometimes serves as a swimming pool for local boys.
Stepwells like the one here are powerful reminders of medieval life, yet they are under threat by urbanization pressures and risk becoming extinct over time. To safeguard such ancient monuments, municipal authorities must take precautions against construction activity in and around them.
Red Fort Baoli – One of the top Stepwells in Delhi
Red Fort Complex in Delhi is an absolute must-see. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site houses the Mumtaz Mahal and Rang Mahal palaces as well as several others of architectural beauty. One of the most striking features of Red Fort is its Baoli, which is 300 years older than the fort itself and served as its source of water supply. Configured as an octagonal well with multiple levels and two flights of stairs, its design dates back to ancient India.
Shah Jahan renovated the Baoli during Mughal rule, using it as an important source of water supply to Red Fort. Additionally, during British rule it served as a place to imprison rebels and imprisoning people charged with rebellion. After India achieved independence, this fort changed hands several times before finally being acquired by the Archeological Survey of India and transformed into a museum showcasing its rich history. The Baoli of Red Fort can easily be reached by metro from Red Fort Metro Station along the Violet Line. Furthermore, Chandni Chowk market and Jama Masjid can both be found nearby.
Hazrat Nizamuddin Baoli
Nizamuddin Baoli is an ASI-protected monument constructed by Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya nearly 800 years ago and now serves as an ASI monument and tourist spot, situated next to his shrine and offering pilgrimage services for both Hindus and Muslims alike. The site has undergone significant restoration work and renovation projects are currently being carried out, however its beauty still stands out as something worth seeing. Book Maharajas Express
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah, an exquisite marble shrine visited by thousands of pilgrims annually from all across India and abroad, serves as the final resting place of Mughal royalty and poets such as Amir Khusrau, Jahanara Begum, and Muhammad Shah. Baolis have an intriguing history. During medieval Delhi was home to numerous kingdoms. At this time, nobles and saints built many stepwells as water storage solutions; some even provided shelter and comfort to travelers and vagrants passing through Delhi.
Baoli at Feroz Shah Kotla
Feroz Shah Kotla can be found beneath the walls of Delhi’s popular cricket stadium and was built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq during his 1354 reign, making it one of the oldest ruined citadels in India. This fort was both an administration center and place of worship; residents could visit to resolve their problems. People also used it as an altar where they offered prayers. Feroz Shah Kotla stood apart from its counterparts by being built directly on Yamuna river banks; local citizens would enter via stairs leading directly into its environs.
At the foot of the pyramid is a stepwell known locally as Baoli, an important source of water for both the central citadel and its gardens. Although not open for public access, a beautiful photograph can be found on signage outside the ruins. The Baoli is a circular structure with an inward-sloping reservoir approximately 9 meters in diameter. Delhi’s only circular Baoli and considered one of its oldest structures, during Tughlaq period it served as an essential water source for both citadel and gardens in its surroundings.
Dwarka’s stepwell was built for residents of Loharheri village (a small settlement of iron-smiths) by Sultans from the Lodi Dynasty during the early 16th century and features 22 rubble masonry steps leading down to an octagonal tank at its base. Recently discovered by heritage enthusiast Vikramjit Singh Rooprai and now conserved by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), this site has since been renovated to collect rainwater within its complex to help meet water demands in Delhi. The baoli was also modified so as to collect it more effectively for reuse within it.
Step wells were once vital sources of water for local residents and served as meeting points for traders from across India. Speaking Archaeologically Delhi Research Wing members noticed certain issues at Rajon ki Baoli and Gandhak ki Baoli that, left unattended, would put both sites into irrelevance forever. To rescue them from this fate, the Baolis of Delhi project was initiated, in an effort to document history, architecture, current state issues at these step wells so their story could reach wider audiences.