Ugrasen ki Baoli: The Veiled Beauty

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Me To Paanwala: Bhaiya ye auranzeb ki baoli kahan padegi? (could you direct me to auranzeb ki baoli?)

Paanwala: Hain? (What?)

Me To Paanwala: “Auranzeb ki baoli” suna hai yahin kahin aas paas hai. (“Auranzeb ki baoli”, I was told that it was somewhere nearby.)

Paanwala: Saahab Auranzeb ne koi banayi to pata nahi!, par ugrasen ki paas mein hi padegi. Wo gali se andar ho jao phir pehla right. Seedha wahin pahochoge. (I dont know if Aurangzeb made one, but there is one in close vicinity created by Ugrasen. Go through that lane and then take first right, it will take you to your destination.)

Me: Thank You bhaiyaji.

Paanwala: Akele jaoge kya? (Going there alone?)

Me: Haan ji bahiya (Yes)

Paanwala : with a smirk on his face.. Phir kya faayda (You might not enjoy it then!)

Speechless & confused I walked to where I was directed. Must me a few hundred yards of walk and I reached the gate. Conveniently located among residential colonies, the red walls will large blocks of stones spoke a language of medieval times sufficient to hint that I had reached my destination.
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Ugrasen Ki Baoli also known as Agrasen Ki Baoli is a stepwell which must have been created in pre-lodhi era which delhi witnessed and signifies the time when water was respected and efforts were made to search & preserve it. In fact on my conversation with the guard, there was water in the step-well till 2010.

Even though various residential settlements & buildings hover around it and it is located at heart of Delhi yet it is surprisingly peaceful and a perfect place if you are searching for withdrawal for frenzied city crowd. A solitude which was mostly broken by the flutters of pigeon’s wings.

I observed that it was mostly couple which occupied the human crowd inside the monument and and the monument windows give shelter to their desire for being close together away from preying eyes of people around them.

The compound also have a mosque inside but for some reason beyond my understanding, guard did not permit me to get close to it! :(.

Meanwhile for your reference the stepwell which is now an ASI protected site has more than 110 steps, so you know that it does run deep. It’s length is 60 meters (north to south) and is 15 meters wide.

It is within walking distance from barakhamba metro station and is located on Hailey Road, Connaught Place. Timings are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

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Auntyji Please!

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This one if for neighborhood auntijies who are too busy peeping inside my house than their’s

Inspired By My Cousin Nayan .
It’s 2 PM, scorching hot and I am done with my exams, how abnormal do you think it would be to have friend’s over at my place? Well I just opened a bottle of coke and started with James Bond movie, when out of blue the doorbell rang. It was a little odd time to be expecting visitors so under impression that another of my friend might have arrived, I opened the door with a smile just to get it snatched away. It was the auntyji from the other side of the park and before I could open my mouth, with her eyes prowling behind my shoulder she popped up her question “What are you doing with your friends?” and I was like “How the fuck does it matter to you?” (obviously inside my head).

I am sure that this is not just one incident but all of us in Delhi have such auntiji’s but such sneaky eyes, probing brain and interfering nose as our neighbor. It;s not just Nayan (my cousin) but even my patience & politeness has been tested on numerous occasions by similar characters the only activity during their slothful housewife day is to sit on their window and gather intel about their surrounding. This intel is later shared & distributed among their sisterhood during their routine gatherings.

BBC : Bhenji (sisterhood) Broadcasting Corporation.
The network is generally strongly connected to different parts of the colony you reside in and they ensure that the sisterhood covers nearly all corners of the block you reside in. This way all the houses remain under their surveillance and it gets impossible to break their code “NO ONE ESCAPES”.

BBC : Creative ways to counter BBC Agents.

1. Ignorance : Well we all know this one. The best way to defeat their advances is to ignore their presence.

2. Sarcasm : This one is not meant for everyone, sarcasm is a weapon to be used on opponents with above average intellect. You surely would not like to speak golden and then elaborate the same in simple language. It just takes the charm out of kill.

3. Delude : Use some diversion, come up with spicy topic or cook up some hot gossip to ensure that her empty mind is occupied with something else. Send her on a wild goose chase (test your skills and try it multiple times :P)

4. Play Tit-for-Tat: Yes, how about giving her a taste of her own medicine. Keep an eye on her house for a few days and on every possible opportunity ring their bell to ask the questions she asks from you.

5. Be Straightforward : Well even though this is the lamest and tasteless of all possible alternates but works pretty well. Tell her to Shut Up And Mind her Own Business!! (little politely). Though the best thing about point 5 way is that it will save you a lot of effort but be warned that this will keep your wit unused.

So, Best of luck and feel free to share your experiences and ideas to counter the BBC

Qutub Minar

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It stands nearly 238 feet tall and standing at the base I always wonder how Delhi would look. This 8 centuries old structure has patiently seen face of Delhi changing, even though the minaret itself has experienced quite a few tribulations over it’s history.

It was built in year 1192 by ruler Qutab-ud-din Aibak it takes 372 steps to to reach it’s top. Over course of history Qutub Minar has been hit by lightning a few times but the damages were repaired by subsequent kings Firoz Shah Tughluq and Sikander Lodi. Qutub Minar has been carved out of red sandstone & marble and verses from holy Quran have been inscribed on the building.

It is said that the grounds of the complex, were homes for about 27 Hindu & Jain temples which were destroyed by muslim invaders. The riches of these temples were looted and buildings were destroyed so that the rubbles can be used for construction of Islamic monuments like mosques.

The Tragedy : Till December 1981 the gates of Qutub Minar were open for public till a stampede inside the premises caused death of 45, many of the deceased were children. The stampede was caused as the public inside the minar got panic struck by darkness in passageway owing to electricity failure.

The complex gives a very relaxing feeling with a view of lush green open gardens and historical structures impending over visitors. One can enjoy the complexity of Mugal Architecture as well as magnificence of Hindu-Jain temple sculpting.

Walking in shadow of Qutub Minar and then through ruins of old palaces & mosques fills you with so many emotions that this place nearly grips you and compels you not to leave. With the picturesque view & breathtaking buildings, this place will leave your legs tired but your heart hungry for more delight.

No Doubt this is among the top destinations for tourists visiting Delhi.

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ABOVE : IMPORTANT MONUMENTS & LANDMARKS IN QUTUB MINAR COMPLEX

The Enrapture At Bangla Sahib

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Personally I have always admired Sikh community not only because of the chivalry in their history but because of their approach toward religion as well. I have always known their Gurudwaras (house of worship) to extend a helping hand to the community and treat people humanly irrespective of their social standing or dress up or income or religion. This to me reflects what an ideal religion needs to be!

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Bangla Sahib Gurudwara has always been a talk among my friends and has always been popular as a destination to disengage from complications. So let me take you along in what it is like being there.

Situated on Ashoka Road (walking distance from Connaught Place), this Gurudwara is devoted to the earth Sikh guru – Guru Harkrishan Ji. Built out of marble and with golden dome, it has a stunning architecture which homes a Holy Sarovar (holy water pond), library, museum, school and a kitchen.

It was 6:00 AM when I drove into the Gurudwara complex, while getting into the basement parking a attendant handed me a parking slip. I asked “How much for parking?” and I was advised that it is free. It is not permitted to wear shoes inside the Gurudwara premises so you can get your shoes deposited at the shoe locker, running water has been arranged to wash your feet before you take a step inside Gurudwara complex. Also, it is required to cover your hair while inside the Gurudwara. You can use your handkerchief or free head scarves kept in Gurudwara for this purpose.

The complex is filled with positive soothing vibes of Gurbani and other sikh recitals being conducted. Think about how liberating it would feel when you calmly sit at the holy water sarovar with your eyes closed allowing all these holy chants to touch your heart and get absorbed it. Yes it is true that you might not understand a word of it but you don’t have to be a botany expert to allow aroma of a rose to assimilate in your heart.

One of the other inspiring aspects of the Gurudwara is the kar-sewa. The real path to god is to serve humanity, so you can see kar-sewaks (volunteers) from all walks of life extending a helping hand. And then you are always welcome at the langar and have food cooked at Gurudwara’s kitchen and served by the volunteers. Trust me the food here is really delicious and you can indulge till your belly gives up.

So be it if you are alone or with group of friends or with your family, Bangla Sahib is the place where you can slip into a cocoon covered with almighty’s blessings.

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HISTORY : Banga Sahib Gurudwara is built in year 1783 on a palace of Raja Jai Singh. The bungalow of Jai Singh was converted into a Gurudwara by by Sardar Baghel Singh who was a sikh general. It is believed that eighth Sikh Guru – Guru Harkrishan Ji had stayed at this bungalow in 1664 when he has 8 years old. Then when a small pox epidemic had plagued Delhi, Guru Harkrishan Ji dipped his feet in water to make charanamrit (Holy Water) and this sacred water was then mixed in a water tank. All those who took a bath in the blessed water of the tank were cured and thus a city was saved by his blessings.

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