Over the centuries, there have been many Delhis which served as the capital of various empires. Stepwells or baolisplayed an important role in meeting the water requirements of the residents of these cities.
The baolis were built in interesting shapes; many were three or four stories deep. Some were richly decorated. Some had secret tunnels leading from them. And all of them carried fascinating stories – about kings and saints and ordinary citizens.
For example, do you know that:
- The waters of a particular baoli was said to be so miraculous that you could light lamps with it?
- A baoli served as a jail to the top commanders of Netaji Subhas Bose’ Indian National Army?
- A popular baoli - featured in Aamir Khan’s movie PK - has an origin legend that dates back to the Mahabharata? - At a certain baoli, people even today light lamps to worship djinns?
Vikramjit S Rooprai has written a book Delhi Heritage Top 10: Baolis, a fascinating account of a handful of Delhi’s numerous stepwells. The book is based on over five years of research. It stayed in the Top 10 on Amazon (Travel Illustrated Category) for long after the launch and went into reprint within 2 months of release, turning him into a Bestselling Debut Author.
In his talk, he plans to introduce us to the concept of the stepwells and then take us on a grand journey through the centuries as we visit some of the bestbaolis in the city. We will learn of the architecture, the formal history, the folklore associated with them and the current state of each of thesebaolis.
About the Speaker
Vikramjit S Rooprai is an Author, Educator and Historian and Activist, who has developed creative ways to teach conventional subjects. He started researching Delhi’s Heritage in 2009 while he was still an IT professional and entrepreneur. He founded ‘The Heritage Photography Club’ to promote Indian heritage through travel & photography. In 2015, he left his digital marketing career and turned into an Educator. He established 'Heritageshaala', where his team sets up Heritage Labs in schools and develops programs for Corporates, Teachers and Students to learn through events from history. He has been instrumental in setting up and managing www.monumentsofdelhi.com.
He has been an Auditor for UNESCO and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Education Quality Foundation of India. He has delivered 5 TEDx talks so far, 3 of which revolve around the education system of India. He has been invited to speak at events in IIT and IIM and is currently a visiting faculty at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi.
Vikramjit was listed by India Today Magazine as Changemaker of Delhi. Hindustan Times & Outlook Traveller ranked his portal on Delhi’s monuments and his Twitter/Instagram handle in top 10 sources of Delhi’s Heritage. Times Now and Economic times titled him as a Good Crusader and featured him in their series of Whistle-blowers.
You can read more about him and his wide range of initiatives and achievements at www.vikramjits.com.
Tamil Heritage Trust Contact: T Ravishankar 9500074247
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