Growth drains sanctity from ‘holy waters’

BANGALORE: While many activists have been opposing the disappearance of lakes in the city due to rapid growth and commercialisation,  the age-old ‘Kalyanis’ or temple tanks which are wate

Published: 10th April 2012 02:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:25 PM   |  A+A-

BANGALORE: While many activists have been opposing the disappearance of lakes in the city due to rapid growth and commercialisation,  the age-old ‘Kalyanis’ or temple tanks which are water storage areas built as part of Hindu temple complexes, are losing the significance in today’s world.

Once, the belief  that taking a dip in a Kalyani could cure diseases, is now a myth. It seems like people who dare to take bath in the Kalyanis now, are destined to suffer from allergies. Due to urbanisation and lack of maintenance, Kalyanis have turned into dumping yards.

Kalyanis built during the dynasties of Chalukyas, Kadambas and Rashtrakootas, had a massive capacity to store water, but, this has been now fast disappearing as the city grows.

In an effort to save the historical Kalyanis, Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology (KSCST) has taken up a research under the sponsorship of Central Government to investigate the present conditions of Kalyanis in the state.

Based on a proposal sent by KSCST project investigator U T Vijay, to the Union Government, he and an eight-member team has been granted `4.3 lakh to conduct a research as a pilot project in Hassan, Tumkur and Bagalkot. The research which started February, last year, is scheduled to end this year. Speaking to Express, Vijay said, “Kalyanis will be selected from the taluk panchayats concerned. Our team will visit all the Kalyanis and through global positioning system (GPS), the latitude and longitude of the Kalyani will be mapped. Later, the state of the Kalyani, level and quality of water, source of water and maintenance will be surveyed.”

He said that the opinion of the local residents will be recorded.

“We will take note of the number of families that depend on Kalyanis, total storage capacity, purpose served by the water, religious and cultural sanctity the Kalyanis hold,” he added.

“There is a need to create awareness and rejuvenate Kalyanis. Most Kalyanis are dry. They have to be maintained as all these water bodies can become a lifeline for the towns,” said Vijay.

Geologist, like Srikanteshwara Swamy and Geographic Information System analyst Ajay Kumar, are part of Vijay’s endeavour. The report will be submitted to the Union Government, based on which, further projects will be planned.

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