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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Panchkuian derives its name from five wells

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 03, 2013
First Published: 00:50 IST(3/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:51 IST(3/2/2013)

For Delhiites, Panchkuian Road means just two things - a once-upon-a-time bustling furniture market and menacing traffic congestion.



One may or may not have bought any furniture from the market, which has now been shifted to Bhai Veer Singh Marg, but must have wondered: what is 'Panchkuian' in the road's name?

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Not so long ago, when Delhi's underground water table was good enough, there were five wells (paanch kuye in Hindi, corrupted in use as Panchkuian) in the vicinity of what is today's Ramakrishna Ashram Marg Metro station.

On the southwest side of the traffic junction near the Metro station is a fort-like yet very ramshackle entry gate with exposed bricks and peeled of lime plaster.

It has a board indicating entry to the government school for the blind. The ramshackle gate opens to a huge premises that leads to a dargah surrounded by a large graveyard.

Post 1920s, when Connaught Place was being built, the place saw rapid changes, accentuated after Independence.

One well was right inside this fort-like entry gate while another - which still exists but is kept covered - is inside the dargah premises.

Three wells were located near the spot on the narrow road, which has now been turned into a traffic intersection.

The wells, believed to be of the Mughal era, had water till about 1960s but later gave way for road widening.

"My father always told us about the wells. He also remembered having seen the wells when they had ample water," said Dalip Duggal, whose father set up Duggal Motor Service, near the blind school in 1954.

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