Baolis are step wells, that dotted the entire length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent, especially along the main highways. A large number of them still exist and many of them are architectural marvels. In Pakistan, too, many have been preserved and are in good condition. But unfortunately, a large majority of them are utterly neglected and either are totally lost to time and destruction, encroaching population, or taking their last breath.
One such baoli which we have lost recently is a Shah Bagh Baoli, It is situated 10 kms to the east of Rawat, on Rawat-Kallar Syedan road. Kindly refer to the map given at the end of this article for the exact location. The name of the nearby town is Shah Bagh, but this locality is called "Raja Market". The baoli exists quite near to the road but it is not very visible.
We found it with a little bit of difficulty because I thought it existed somewhere in the nearby Ghaznabad village. However, all that we found was an old but ordinary looking well, no steps or stairs were visible. On my enquiry, a person told me that it was indeed a complete baoli, but some neighbours filled those steps with a bulldozer as according to them it was posing some kind of danger. To our great disappointment, it was destroyed just two or three months ago. The baoli is located or rather I should say existed at 33°28'25.14"N, 73°17'56.92"E.
All the information I could find about this baoli is the following:
Journal of Asian Civilizations
Preliminary Report on an Archaeological Survey in District Rawalpindi
"Shah Bagh Baoli, Ghazanabad Baoli of Shah Bagh is located in the mid of the Ghazanabad village, left of the road to Kallar Syedan, 10 kIn north of Rawat town. It measures 18 m and it includes a circular well 4 m in diameter and staircase of 35 steps, and it is well preserved. It is rectangular in shape, constructed of brick masonry laid in lime mortar. Traces of lime plaster are still visible. The structure is oriented east west, the well being sunk to west of the stepped access way. The steps are built in dressed schist stone slabs. Its structure is comparable to that of Kenthla Baoli near Shah Allah Ditta Caves in Islamabad, with the only exception that the Kenthla baoli constructed in limestone masonry. It is perfectly preserved. The baoli was used to quench the thirst of the travelers and their animals. Such baolis are frequently found along the ancient routes constructed during the Sher Shah Suri and Mughal periods."
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