Inspiration and Solitude in the Heart of Delhi


Once an “inspirational place” is defined, it’s time to pull off the veil from the “Well of Solitude”. It’s a place is located in the heart of Delhi amid the city’s busiest lanes yet offering serenity to its visitors. This inspiring destination is known as Agrasen Ki Baoli (“baoli” means step well) often referred to as “Well of Solitude” by few due to scanty number of visitors. It’s an ancient step well built in 14th century to save the populous from the scorching Indian summers.

It’s a wisely carved out 60 m wide and 15 m deep piece of architecture with three levels and around 100 steps running deep down into its medieval soul. However, massive construction around the area has left it dehydrated but it still proffers solitude and solace to people like me. I came across it while hunting for some offbeat destinations during the initial days of my blog and found it to be a perfect retreat from the hustle-bustle of the capital city of India.

When I first entered the baoli, I was a traveller searching for unplumbed places to explore but when I left I was a lover, admirer, follower, addict and much more. I had seen several pictures before the first encounter but it appeared more riveting and ravishing in reality. It was the love at first sight akin to the romantic novels and I clearly knew in my heart that this is just a start to many more such frequent future encounters with the place. I was completely absorbed by its simplicity, elegance, architecture, stillness and quietude.

The step well does not expect much crowd as it’s identity has faded with depleting water levels; therefore, it appeared to be a coal mine of peace and tranquility to me. I sat on one of the steps gazing my newly discovered love and slowly thoughts pertaining to my nascent dream of being a traveller began to pour in.

The quietude in the zone promoted some rationale thought process and aided me to focus and strive hard for my dream. The flapping sound made by the pigeons who has nestled themselves in small cavities of walls of the baoli added more charm and further enhanced the surrounding. I saw many squabs learning to fly in the precincts of the baoli, they fall, try, fall, again try, and the process continue until they finally master the art. It made me realize life does not come with candies, one has to struggle and make real, genuine and consistent efforts to soar high with their dreams.

It made me introspect and question myself- Have I sweated enough to achieve and bring my dreams to reality? The question left me stumped as deep down, my heart whispered in negative. It was the day for self-realization and reckoning for me. Every human is aware of the universal truth that he/she has to battle hard to reach epitome of success, but, sometimes we require extra push which could come in any form. I discovered mine in the solitude of this ancient step well and squabs in its precincts’.

I spent around 3 hours at the baoli and really had no idea how time flew away. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that seconds turned into minutes and minutes turned into hours. Ever since my first encounter with the baoli, I am a regular and frequent visitor to my love. I often come here to celebrate “no responses” and sweet rejections from the editors whom I submit my travelogues for publication. It makes me realize that the efforts were not right enough to accomplish the goals which I have weaved for myself. Here I feel like a squab learning to master the art and the place motivates and encourages me to unfold my wings to try once more until I succeed.

Kaushal Mathpal
Kaushal Mathpal is an Advocate practicing in Delhi Courts in India but also has a flair for travelling. When he's not in a courtroom, he enjoys exploring various parts of India and the surrounding region. He also writes on his blog and you can follow him on Twitter @KaushalMathpal.
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