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| Last Updated:: 19/04/2016

Bundelkhand home to water conservation marvels





Acute drinking water crisis adversely affecting common life across the country has prompted scientists to formulate principles on surface water management and activists to push 'save water' campaigns. Historians in UP, on the other hand, offer lessons on water conservation from parched Bundelkhand.

"Bundelkhand has had a strong tradition of water conservation. Water bodies in Mahoba are a classic example," said Navratna Kumar Pathak, chief of Archaeological Survey of India's Lucknow circle."Based on the principle of rainwater harvesting, these water bodies were built by the Chandela kings about 800 years ago in public interest," Pathak added.



"The success of the simple effort can be guaged from the fact that one of the five main ponds, the Madan Sagar, supplies drinking water to entire population of Mahoba even today," Pathak said. Some of these bodies are spread across several kilometres and have a huge catchment area to trap every drop of water in its range. Pathak said that to spread awareness on rainwater harvesting, ASI held several events along a pond named Kirat Sagar on the occasion of World Heritage Day on April 18.


Chief patron, Indian Journal of Archaeology, Vijay Kumar said, "Water Sructures in Ajaigarh, Kalinjar Fort, Jhansi" were a perennial source of inspiration for water conservation. Prof Vinod Kumar Singh, archaeologist at Centre for Advance Studies, department of history, Aligarh Muslim University, who has brought out more than 50 publications on water conservation in Bundelkhand, said the ponds amaze researchers in hydrology and history.


"Locals find the ponds miraculous but there is simple science behind the secret. The biggest reason for their perennial character are the extensive topographical studies done before selection of spot for the pond," he said. Citing an example, he said, "The natural flow of water is driven towards a depression from where it is stored."



He added that the Chandela kings promoted conservation and harvesting by associating it with religion. "Temples were constructed to prevent people from misusing the place," he said.





Source: The Times of India