Traditional Wisdom of Indian Artisans
|Sarkhej Roza seen from the pond|
We, and all the life forms on the Earth, are waterborne. Our first ancestors were bacteria. Our body contains 70% water. Water has special place almost in all cultures.
(Note: The following text generally refers to the Place; and the photographs are not in any particular sequence of the text or the Place.)
|Embankment with steps|
Sarkhej Pond attached to Sarkhej Roza (14th Century) is about 7 Km from Ahmadabad city. We — SN Kanade, other friends and I — used to take bicycle rides to visit the place. With Urban Explosion now it is part of the city.
|Circular Gates for Overflow|
The built tank adjoining the Roza is indeed a Public Open Place. The pavilions obviously ware for royal families.
The Roza, a religious place, a complex of many buildings, has a good Tree cover.
Water from the tank seeps through Soil and reaches the Plants at Roza and goes even beyond.
The water tanks are central public places in traditional Indian cities and towns. This feature of habitats in India is evolved over centuries appropriate to tropical climate.
Reservoirs help to maintain water level in the surrounding wells.
Where there is water there is life — plants and animals.
Water, Soil, Plants and Animals — an invisible Natural Organic Community — the Universal Basis of Sustainable Life!
Water brings, restores, recycles, and conserves more water through the Natural Organic Community mentioned above.
Water Reservoirs coupled with Urban Forests are vital to relieve the modern cities from being Heat Sinks in India.
The retaining earth around the tank is lined with steps of stones. Imaginative play of shade and light along the day happens!
Due to decades of silting and lack of maintenance, the tank now becomes dry during drought.
The tank was perhaps built under the patronage of rulers. This is an act of returning part of the wealth collected through taxes to People, I presume.
The Complex was built by the Indian Artisans with their traditional knowledge, besides many historical buildings.
Perhaps, now in the present Democratic setup, there is no mechanism for Maintenance of such Public Places by the local communities?
|Water overflow opening from pond side|
The local People's Participation is the only way for the governments, in the context of continued maintenance; not the present capitalist system of Public–Private Participation.
|Water overflow opening from outside|
|SN KANADE at Sarkhej Roza|
SN Kanade, architect-planner-educationist, now lives and practices at Bangalore
Any such restoration should be in tune of the 'SPIRIT OF PLACE' and in 'HARMONY WITH NATURE'.
Some archaeological study of the place could reveal which plants existed in the 14th century in the premises.
A good tree cover brings water to the land, is an established fact. They raise the subsoil water table. In fact the plantation should continue to expand from here in the region, in reverse action to expanding desert!
WHAT ABOUT BUILDING AN OASIS HERE IN THE 21ST CENTURY!!
EpilogueLife is larger than all Arts, Sciences, Religions, Philosophies, trade, techs, States... made by civilized societies through times and places. — Remigius de Souza
Google Map Sarkhej Pond at Sarkhej Roza Complex
View Sarkhej Pond, Ahmedabad, Gujarat in a larger map
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