New calendar puts spotlight on Delhi’s age-old baolis

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jan 2017 11:26:48


Jan 4,


SEEKING to bring attention to centuries-old baolis in the city and celebrate their architectural and cultural legacy, Delhi Assembly and heritage activists have joined hands to bring out a thematic calendar. Delhi is home to over 20 baolis (step-wells), many of which lie buried under earth or obscured by modern constructions around it.

Spread across the capital city from central to south Delhi, many baolis have for ages stoked the curiosity of residents, but several of them have also slipped into oblivion due to lack of awareness or preservation.

“Delhi Assembly wanted to come up with a heritage-themed calendar for 2017. And, so, I suggested baolis as a theme. We finally selected 12 baolis for it, from Ugrasen ki Baoli near Connaught Place to Rajon ki Baoli in Mehrauali.
“The idea is also to bring our youth closer to our heritage, many of whom now just flock to malls and multiplexes, or visit baolis without understanding their significance,” noted heritage activist Sohail Hashmi told PTI.

While Hashmi conceptualised and provided text for the calendar, city-based young heritage campaigner and photographer Vikramjit Singh Rooprai contributed the photographs.“Some of the photographs were taken in 2016, while a few other a year before that. Some of them were taken even earlier, in different seasons. Baolis is how our ancestors used to store water.

“And, though, it would be a great idea to revive these water storage mechanism, measure must be taken to make sure they remain in use, otherwise, they will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” he said.