The sacred and the mundane

The spring or the ‘Jhira’ flows continuously, carries sweet water and fills in a pond where pilgrims take a dip at Bidar, says S.Vishwanath

January 03, 2014 05:19 pm | Updated May 13, 2016 08:37 am IST

Bidar is a lovely town with a salubrious climate. Closer to Hyderabad than to Bangalore it is a remote yet beautiful outpost of the State. In this land over 500 years ago Guru Nanakji set foot. At the request of the local people it is said, he created a spring which flows to this day with sweet water. The Gurudwara Shri Nanak Jhira Saheb, two kms from the bus stand, was established at this site in a nice valley, surrounded by laterite hills on three sides.

Continuous flow

The spring or the ‘Jhira’ flows continuously, carries sweet water and fills in a pond where pilgrims take a dip. Part of the towns business comes from these crowds who gather at the spot built around water. It stands to reason therefore that special attention should be paid to the spring and great care taken of this water resource. The Gurudwara itself has organized the tunnel and the point where the spring emerges very well. A glass panel enables viewing, yet protects the spring from desecration.

However, science, and particularly the science of hydro-geology, should come into play, and quickly. The recharge zone of the spring, the surrounding hills are being built upon at an unprecedented rate. Septic tanks and soak pits are sending the waste-water generated into the ground. The surface is being crusted up with roads and buildings preventing the seepage of water into the ground.

It is likely that the sacred ‘Jhira’ will first be contaminated by the bad water and if steps are not taken quickly, may also run dry due to lack of recharge of waters in the hills.

We should not allow such a sacred spot to suffer such a fate. It is in the interest of society, the hospitality trade and the governments to intervene quickly, commission a study, understand the geology and take the necessary steps to preserve the waters. Science and spirituality need to talk fast. That would be water wisdom for Bidar.

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