In 2016, on my last day in Delhi I take my host’s advice and head in an unlikely direction. I turn left out of their apartment building instead of right – which would have brought me to the metro station. Instead, I head in to the village and turn right at a small field where a few pigs were rooting through some bushes and a small brush fire smouldered. I pass a small Masjid and despite my being in a city of around 20 million people, there’s nobody else around. I’m in a forest. I’m not sure if I’m going the right way and am a little unnerved to be alone after being surrounded by people for so long. But then I see a clue that I’m on the right track and just about to the Mehrauli Archaeological Park.
In Toronto even these couple of things would be considered amazing. There would be a monument set up and admission charged. But Delhi has a long history and with so many places like this it’s impossible to keep them all up to the degree they should be. And so, they look a little neglected. All of this adds to the feeling that I’m discovering some long lost place that nobody has ever been to.
There were so many monuments and amazing places in the park and the nearby Qutub Minar area that I don’t remember specifically where these arches were. The photo below, though, is unmistakable.
This is Rajon ki Baoli – built in the early 1500’s. From what I can find about it it was used by masons who moved in to a nearby abandoned mosque. As you can see, it collects rainwater which is its primary purpose. But with that much cool water they can also serve as a place to gather and relax in the shade on a hot day. Niches are also in the walls which could have been used for holding lamps allowing for people to gather there at night.
This was one of my favourite finds of the trip.
Inspired by this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Arch, Dome or Half Circle.