-Excerpt- The baoli in the Sufi shrine of Nizamuddin Basti is the only stepwell in Delhi to have an active underground spring that ensures a continuous supply of fresh water. For centuries, pilgrims stopped at the baoli to sip its blessed water. For years, the boys living in Nizamuddin Basti dived into the baoli – especially when it was flooded with monsoon rain – from the roofs, windows and ledges of the surrounding houses and from the top of the baoli wall from the other side.
Over the decades, the water of Hazrat Nizamuddin’s baoli became toxic with decomposed muck. In 2009, a renovation project undertaken by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and ASI managed to reach the well’s foundation.
Today, the water looks clean. A new generation of neighbourhood boys climbs on the roofs, jump into the water, swim and go back to the roofs to jump again.