Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Q) Indian ancient architecture is much more than what they are. What lessons one can draw from India's ancient inscription and temple in conserving water and fighting drought today? Examine.
India since ages of Harappan Civilization have invented and practiced many water conserving techniques like reservoirs, baolis, percolation, recharge tank and Dam.
Ancient inscriptions and temples have records of water conservation.
It can be exemplifying as follows -
The chaste Sanskrit inscription of Rudraraman in Saurashtra Gujarat talks about Sudarshana Lake build by him. This lake is repaired many times and provides water in the region.
Inscription of eighth century Chola period through light on Shiva Ganga tank. It was built by Raja Raja Chola, was actually rainwater harvesting system to collect water for famous big temples at Thanjavur.
An inscription over 1000 years old, was found in Arunachaleswara temple in Tiruvannamalai. It talks about maintaining water storage for exchange of 20 gold coins.
Lessons to be learn:
Importance and respect for water- Today we treat water as a matter of right. But in olden days it was treated as god and people where duty bound to protect and conserve it.
Responsibility of local- In Pandya Empire, water was completely local affair and they were responsible for its conservation. Entire community through elected Temple Mahasabha, Managed it. All the system and process where connected through emotional fabrics.
Peaceful resolution of dispute- Inscriptions also talk about disputes related to water sharing and taxes, fight over excess of water etc. But they were resolved collectively and quickly.
Care and maintenance of local terrain- Tanks were built according to terrain. This insured flow of excess water for irrigation effectively. Maintenance of such water bodies, desilting was periodic affair.
Today, we may have best technology but we can pick some best practices from long ago. History always teaches lesson, we can ensure bright and prosperous future by learning from these lessons and same applies for the case of water conservation.