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A well-planned water harvesting system

Pradeepkumar Kadkol
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The finest water works taken up during the Adil Shahi rule in Bijapur district stand testimony to the sophistication of engineers of that period. These works are classic examples of how the wells were constructed to provide drinking water to the people.

During the time of Adil Shahi rule Bawadi's or wells were the main sources of water. Depending on the requirement, they had constructed several wells on all the four directions of the city. Among them major ones are Chand Bawadi and Taj Bawadi.

Constructed in 1620 AD by Ibrahim Adil Shah-I in honour of his wife Taj Sultana, Taj Bawadi is a good example of water harvesting. A majestic arch with 35-ft span flanked by two octagonal towers forms the front entrance of the monument. The tetragonal-shaped well with an area of 223 sq. ft is 52-ft. deep. The eastern and western wings of the towers have spacious rest houses. A small platform from the archway leads one to the well

Earlier, there was a bus terminal on the bawadi premises and people used to consume water from the well. In 1981-82 efforts were made to clean the well and supply water from it to residents of Bijapur city. However, little progress was made in this regard. No steps have been taken since then to clean the well.

Chand Bawadi

Chand Bawadi is located at south of the Shahapur gate and is named after famous Chand Bibi, wife of Ali Adil Shah-I. It is almost similar to Taj Bawadi. The well has a storage capacity of 20 million litres and there is also a four feet wide passage that runs along four sides of the well. Rooms with windows facing the well can also be seen.

Some of the historians and the experts opine that the water stored in these tanks was supplied to lakhs of people residing in Bijapur fort and the place never faced shortage of water.

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