Thousands have lived without love, not one without water said W H Auden many years ago. Water is Life. Who better than the people of Rajasthan would know the true meaning of these statements. The land that has forever lived with scarcity of water. The important word here is “lived”! Yes, lived and survived and thrived. And continues to do so.
Today, let us make an attempt at understanding the creations of the masterminds of the people of yore. How in such trying times they created a self sufficient system of rain water harvesting, and created channels which guided the stored water to the end user without wasting a single drop!
Our story telling friend is a knowledgable water-space professional who also has a deep connection with the water systems of Rajasthan. As deep as 300 years stacked one on top of the other! To know more about this connection, come with us and walk through an era. We start from today, take you 300 years back and bring you to the future.
The dry state of Rajasthan might be very low on water supply but has no dearth of hope and positivity. We don’t measure our water in litres, we talk of millions and zillions of droplets! Just how someone would put a mirror in a tiny room to make it look bigger.
Best time to navigate through the water system and the different eras connecting it, one must reach the Nahargarh Fort by 7 am in winters and 6 in summers. Behold a breathtaking sunrise and proceed to a captivating story of water, experienced on feet.
To make it simple to understand - there are three main components in the whole water system viz., the catchment area, the channels and the accessible storage tank. The catchment area is generally higher than the rest of the system simply because in the days when there were no electrical pumps available, the gravity was used to propel and move the water down the channels. The channels are very thoughtfully designed with no scope of any overflow resulting in any wastage of water. The thickness and height of walls, manual valves to control the direction of flow of water and apertures in the walls to reduce the force of water were the various means of controlling the flow of water. How and where the catchment areas were made, why were those spots chosen, why are the channels so different all along the path somewhere very wide and somewhere very narrow, and how were the direction controlling valves installed - get all of these answers during your walk with us. Just click here to write to us.
Our water walk is named thus because we follow the path of water otherwise calling it a history, geography, cultural, culinary and everything walk would be an understatement. Our storyteller shares the ancient food wisdom, the cultural significances of various practices followed in ancient times, the patterns and fabrics of garments worn then, the basics of how a fort is built, how are dams built and so on and so forth. The information he shares is so immense that we recommend you carry a small notepad and a pen!
As we proceed through the walk and inch towards our ending point which is the tank made famous by the Amir Khan starrer Rang De Basanti, we cross many temples and shrines, we meet a whole lot of different species of birds and also a few dogs who joyfully escort us out of their territories. The most interesting part of the walk is the storage tank which is flanked by a dam and ramparts on one side and a very smart water flow control system on the other. There are steps leading down the tank which are of ornamental purpose only as one can not reach the steps from the edges of the tank. Thoughtfully designed ramps and slopes guide the water to the storage tank, reining its speed and force along the way. The details of these systems are better seen than read about. For pictures you may go to our Instagram page.
The water walk is not long in terms of distance traveled but is definitely long in terms of information assimilation. Keep sipping water all along the way to keep yourself hydrated. Similar walks are conducted at Amer Fort too and a water walk at Ramgarh also is coming very soon. All of these and for many other off-beat travel experiences, write to us here.