India is entrenched in history. {Just take a look at our politics, religion, food.} But we sometimes walk right past important fragments of history, even though they stare us right in the face. We took to the streets again in search of… anything new really, and we found ourselves in North Campus, looking for a mysterious Old Baoli {ancient step-well}. We’d heard about it being made in the time of Feroz Shah Tughlaq {1354}. Named after Hindu Rao himself, this was a stepped well that had provided the British water during the war of 1857. What had happened to it? What had happened to the secret tunnel rumoured inside it?

This is what we found. The Baoli from the 14th century has been converted into a locked up heritage site and is almost rubble, though still showing quite significant amounts of its old-timey architecture and supposed chambers that were once around it. Trees and roots have grown through it and it’s ensconced on all sides by large modern buildings. People look at it without seeing a 660 year old draconian structure that coexists with a flourishing hospital around it. There are now talks of recreating and recharging the water inside it.

And more than anything else, it is being preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India. Take a look guys if you happen to be in or around North Campus. It is not the most touristy of attractions so it doesn’t warrant a day trip, but it does well for the imagination to think of how many eras this structure has quietly seen, quietly observed.

Where: Hindu Rao Hospital, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Malka Ganj

How to get there: Enter the hospital and keep walking ahead until you reach the Radiology and Imaging Department on your right. The Baoli lies next to it.


  • SAVE