Research Paper

Architectural Eloquence: Water Harvesting Structure in Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh (India)

Authors: Shubhangi Shirole

Year: 2022, Volume: 13, Page/Article: 1, DOI:

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Early settlements grew along river banks and around water bodies. In arid and semi-arid regions of India such as Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh where rainfall and surface water became scarce numerous water harvesting structures were constructed such as lakes, stepped ponds, stepwells and wells in various forms and sizes to collect and store water. This paper attempts to study a water harvesting structure which is the only one protected by the State Archeology Department of Madhya Pradesh built in 15th century CE in Chanderi town located in Ashoknagar District in the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. Chanderi lies in the semi-arid region hence rainfall is scarce. It is mainly known for its handlooms. Chanderi also has many archaeological heritage assets such as the mosques, temples, caravaraserais, wells, stepwells, stepped ponds and lakes. This paper puts forth a systematic methodology to explore the characteristics and function of the water harvesting structure. Its basic features and elements such as form, size, retaining walls and staircase morphology are considered to understand the function of elements that hold and access water and in identifying its typology. An attempt has also been made to identify its heritage values with the help of key-informants and experts.