Baolis or step-wells were constructed throughout India during medieval times for the purposes of pleasure as well as daily use. They were used as an escape from the city’s sweltering heat. The Red Fort Baoli is one of the few remaining baolis in Delhi.
|Description||It is belived that the baoli dates back to Tughlaq-era. Some historians concede that it might have also been used by the inhabitants of Salimgarh Fort that pre-dates the Red Fort and was integrated with the Red Fort itself as a garrison by Shahjahan. Shahjahan extensively renovated the baoli to suit his fine tastes.|
|History||The British when they occupied the fort converted the chambers into jail rooms. Officers P.K. Sehgal, Shah Nawaz Khan & G.S. Dhillon – the heroes of the Indian National Army (INA) were incarcerated here in 1945-46 during the course of their trial.After the British left, the baoli came under the control of Indian Army and then the CRPF. It was allowed to be reclaimed by vegetation and weeds and put to use as a dump yard.|
|Construction||The baoli is built of Delhi Quartzite stone and there exist two perpendicular staircases descending down at the intersection of which is a tank that holds the water. The staircases are lined with chambers on both sides. A passageway leads to the deep, dark reservoir adjacent to the tank.|
|Protection||Red Fort Baoli is today a protected monument under the aegis of the Archaeological Survey of India.|
|Ownership||Archaeological Survey of India|
|Location||Inside the Red Fort Complex in Shahjahanabad.|
|Remark||The CRPF handed over the baoli to ASI in 2002. ASI dismantled the toilets and other additions built within the baoli by the British. A 2002 Times of India report noted that it would be converted into a tourist-cum-cultural spot, honoring the heroes of the INA and the freedom struggle. 10 years later, no action has been taken so far!! Entry is prohibited on the context that it is heavily snake infested.For a detailed write up on the gate click more!|
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