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SACRED WATERBODIES SOURCES
Ambujam, N.K., Ravindranathan, R., and Muthukumaran, N.,"Tank Management: An Overview of Traditional Systems",in: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Water Resources Development and Management in India Through the Ages, University of Madras, Chennai, March,2003
In South India small storage works of varying sizes have been in existence from time immemorial. They are lakes, tanks, ponds, oranies etc. This paper focuses on one of the components, namely tanks. The realization that the modern scientific and technological paradigm does not offer viable and long lasting solutions to many vexing problems today it has sparked off worldwide search for alternatives. In this context India is uniquely placed in that she had a vibrant tradition of not just isolated techniques, but a complete integrated structure that was evolved independent of the modern systems.

Amirthalingam, M., and N. Muthukrishnan,"Temple Tanks of Chennai",. P. R. Environmental Education Centre, Chennai,2004
The Temple tanks along with the sacred trees and sacred groves are the three most important ecological traditions of South India that have played a significant role in the protection and preservation of the environment. Each village in South India is associated with a temple, and each temple with a tank. The temple tanks are considered to be sacred, due to the reverence shown by the devotees. The temple tanks serve multiple purposes. The water is used for religious purposes, ritual baths and the annual float festival, and also for the all important task of water harvesting. The book describes 50 temple tanks in the city of Chennai. It includes details such as location, current status, associated mythology and the water quality of the tanks.

Bhatia, G.,"Of Stepwells Sacred Tanks and Reservoirs",Namaste, pp. 43-46, March 10,1984
The step wells were, large structures, picturesque and stately, as well as peculiar in design. Wells are an intrinsic part of village life and the wells in rural India differ little from one another. In Gujarat alone, there are over 200 records on underground water monuments.

C. P. R. Environmental Education Centre,"Sacred Tanks of South India",Chennai,2002
The sacred tanks along with the sacred trees and sacred groves are the three most important ecological traditions of South India that have played a significant role in the protection and preservation of the environment. Each village in South India is associated with a temple, and each temple with a tank. The temple tanks are considered to be sacred, due to the reverence shown by the devotees. The temple tanks serve multiple purposes. The water is used for religious purposes, ritual baths and the annual float festival, and also for the all important task of water harvesting. In collaboration with UNESCO, C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre (CPREEC), Chennai conducted a survey of temple tanks in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry and Tamilnadu. The present condition of the tanks was of particular concern to the survey and the waters of several tanks were analysed to assess their quality. The details of the survey have been included. This volume also contains the papers presented at the seminar on "Sacred Tanks of South India" conducted by the CPREEC with valuable inputs from eminent scholars.

Centre for Science and Environment,"Dying Wisdom: Rise, Fall and Potential of India's traditional water harvesting systems",1997
Dying wisdom is about India's traditional water harvesting systems. It is about a segmented approach to irrigation and drinking water, locally demanded and locally supplied, solving water crises, region by region and about reviving a millennial tradition. The first chapter on Traditional water harvesting discusses the evidence of multi-millennial mission, as found in ancient text, inscriptions, local folk and mores, and archaeological remains. The second chapter describes the different types of water harvesting systems. The third chapter is on the rise and fall of water harvesting Indian villages that functioned like relatively autonomous socio-political entities and played an important role in managing their resources and the fourth chapter presents the case for the revival of local water harvesting systems.

Dube, D.,"Pushkar: A Temple Town By Lake",The India Magazine, No. 12, pp. 68-73, November,1981
Pushkar, a temple town by a lake, boasts of the only temple in India dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator. It has been mentioned in both Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Gokhale, Y., Velankar, R., Chandran, M.D.S., and Gadgil, M.,"Sacred Woods, Grasslands and Water bodies as Self-organised Systems of Conservation",Conserving the Sacred for Biodiversity Mangement, pp. 365-396, New Delhi,1998
The self-organized systems of conservation of living as well as non-living resources have changed and continue to change. The prospects for such self-organized systems of conservation depend on effective community organization and devolution of authorities to communities.

Krishna, N.,"Conserving Water in South India: The Sacred and the Secular",In: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Water Resources Development and Management in India Through the Ages, University of Madras, Chennai, March,2003
Every part of India has unique water harvesting and conservation systems. Particularly in South India tanks were the sole source of water. Over the centuries two types of artificial tanks evolved for harvesting and conserving water: the large man-made earthen reservoirs and the temple tanks.

Kumar, S.V.,"The Pauranic Lore of Holy Water-places - with references to Skanda Purana",Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi,1983
The author of the book has scanned entire range of Skanda Purana and studied the holy water places. The book deals extensively with the legend and other aspects of the holy water places in the Skanda Purana. The legends associated with various major and minor deities have been discussed in the first few chapters of the book. The legend of the water-tirthas associated with the Demi-gods, the sages, rivers and cow-worship have been discussed in the later chapters. The next part of the book discusses the legends of Metamorphosis and finally, the legends of different social motifs such as -Danas, Salvation, Transmigration, Sin and Expiation, Curse and Blessing, Astrology, Didactic and some other miscellaneous tales have been discussed. A list of tirthas is given in the appendix.

Madhavi G.,"The temple tanks of Madras : Rehabilitation of an ancient technique for multipurpose water storage",Indian J.Sci.Technol.,Vol.1, No.7, pp. 1-8, Dec,2008
There are 39 temple tanks in the city of Madras, most of which have been dry for the past one decade due to rapid urbanization and continuous withdrawal of groundwater. Out 39 temple tanks one tank belongs to Mylapore Temple which is within Madras city and second one belongs to Thirupporur Temple which is out of city have been selected to compare the status of the temple tanks. Thirupporur Tank has been taken to find the reason for having water throughout the year. Then the Mylapore tank (within the city) has been taken and studied in detail. The study found the reason for the dryness of urban tanks. It also revealed the methods to rehabilitate and thus to re-establish the hydrological role and possible multiple use of the tanks. The study analysed both the quantity and quality aspects of the tanks.

Maya, S.,"Temple Tanks – The Ancient Water Harvesting Systems of Kerala and their Multifarious Roles",Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol. 2(3), pp. 224-229, CSIR, July,2003
Kerala, the peninsular state of India is a typical cultural zone with innumerable temples, about 5000 in number. In most instances, the temples, have attached to them sacred tanks, into which surplus water is harvested during monsoon seasons. A closer look into these ubiquitous structures reveals that apart from serving as water harvesting systems, these have other important roles to play that are briefly enumerated here.

Menon, V.S., Prameela, S.K., and Maya, S.,"Present Status of Tanks",Bioceonosis of Temple Tanks of Southern Kerala – A Case Study Final Report, pp. 15-65, Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, Trivandrum,2001
Inventory and scientific analysis of the tanks of the four coastal districts of Kerala are done on a random basis. Most of these tanks are used for bathing and washing purposes, mild pollution occurs in almost all the tanks. But they are rich repositories of biodiversity both higher plants and algae.

Mitra, A.,"Temples of Irrigation and Land Management", Down To Earth, Vol. I, No. 12, pp 43-44, November 15,1992
From the 9th century to the 16th century, South Indian kingdoms did not have irrigation or public works departments. Temples were given the job of constructing and managing irrigation channels, which they did with endowments made by devotees.

Palanisami, K., and Easter, K.W.,"Tank Irrigation in the 21st Century- What next?",Discovery Publishing House, New Delhi,2000
This book is an attempt to address the key aspects such as (i) Tank hydrology including the procedures adopted for maintaining tank storage; (ii) Trends in area irrigated by system and non-system tanks; (iii) Factors contributing to the decline in tank irrigated area including an analysis of rainfall data, tank encroachment, and siltation information; (iv) Government water management expenditure patterns, groundwater development in tank command areas, and former involvement in tank management; (v) Economics of tank irrigation includes the analysis of data for groundwater, returns to water management, and input use and yield relationships; (vi) Development of a criteria for selecting tanks to be improved or modernized; (vii) Measurement methodologies for the multiple-uses of the tank are developed and different uses are quantified; (viii) Identification and evaluation of different tank modernization strategies and (ix) Future strategies for the tank management in the 21st Century.

Rawat, A.S. and R. Sah,"Traditional Knowledge of Water Management in Kumaon Himalayas",Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Vol.8, No.2, pp. 255-261,April ,2009
Water resources regime in Kumaon Himalaya is a product of its specific environmental conditions. Major river systems, lakes along with a plethora of streams and springs are the main sources of water in this region. In pre-colonial Kumaon, communities took pride in their water systems and the local communities had the right of ownership over the use of local natural resources. They managed their water bodies on their own and this gave birth to a unique water harvesting civilization. Water was revered and regarded as sacred as is evidenced by the exquisite ornamentations and architecture of the structures around water bodies. An amazing aspect of these structures and systems is their longevity. But the colonial intrusion disturbed the community mode of management and gave precedence to private and state property rights over common property rights. The situation did not change even after Independence. The paper throws light on the water harvesting methods and the linkages of water with forests. It also focuses on the watershed approach for managing water resources in the present scenario.

Smith, R.V.,"Stepping into the Step-wells of Delhi",The Hindu, November,2002
Baolis or step-wells are found in many places in Delhi. They were once thought to be a part of fairyland. It is believed that people, who often got caught in comic situations, became rich after meeting the fairies in a baoli. Most of the baolis are now in a pitiable state.

Srinivasan, T.M.,"Irrigation and water supply: South India, 200 B.C. - 1600 A.D.",New Era Publications, Madras,1991
The author of the book, provides a historical background to the subject. Then the author proceeds to discuss subjects like: reclamation, a prerequisite in many areas, for developing irrigation and water supply; the location, shape and technique of constructing dams, reservoirs, channels and wells; the ways and means by which the maintenance and repair of irrigational facilities was carried by the State, the local bodies, individuals and other organizations; the manner in which the stored water was utilized and distributed and the origins and local bodies which looked after the administration of the irrigation facility. The appendix contains a select list of irrigation works, a brief note on the Tirupati temple vis-à-vis irrigation, an exhaustive glossary and a useful bibliography.

Vaidyanathan, A.,"Tanks of South India",Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi,2001
This work provides an overview of the evolution and role of tank irrigation in Andhra, Karnataka and Tamilnadu. This is an attempt to fill the gap. The surveys of selected tanks believe the impression of widespread decay and decline. Though in varying states of disrepair with institutions managing them having changed and even weakened due to demographic pressure, social composition of land ownership and the spread of well irrigation, all the tanks surveyed are operational. Maintenance and allocation continues to be managed by informal community institutions active in a large majority of them. The book also provides an idea of the variations between and within tanks, in the distribution of water to different segments of the command and in productivity. The book sets out the agenda of action to revive, expand and revitalize these works to achieve better balance between large and small works, and facilitate more flexible, equitable and efficient use of water with user communities playing a central role.

Vaidyanathan, A.,"A Question of Harvesting Water",Down To Earth, Vol. 2, No. 20, pp. 30-33, March 15,1994
The tanks and Eris that punctuate South India are traditional water harvesting systems. A traditional water harvesting system or tank will also help local institutions to manage canal water. The only way to prevent traditional water tanks from self-destruction is to hand over their maintenance to the people.

Vasavada, J.,"Rani Ki Vav Stands Tall Among Ruins",Indian Express Newspapers, Bombay, February,2001
Rani Ki Vav or the Queen’s step-well is a 1000-year-old eight-storied structured which was built by Rani Udayamati in memory of her husband Bhimdev I of the Solanki dynasty. This is located on the banks of the mythical river Saraswati.

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