Bawri or Vav: The best water conservation practice of ancient IndiaThese are our traditional water harvesting systems, which were used hundreds of years ago by our ancestors. We Indians are offspring of our great ancestors who have invented so many technologies in the past. The history is full of their inspiring inventions. In this post, I will describe only one thing i.e. "Bawri" that are prehistoric water harvesting and conservation structures and occurs mainly in dry regions like Rajasthan and Gujarat. Even in the modern era, we are still taking inspiration in designing for Rainwater harvesting and drainage systems from these age-old practices. Step-wells are also called vav in Gujarat and baoli or bawri in Rajasthan.
The oldest step-wells were built by Buddhist monks date back to the 4th century and are located near Junagadh, Gujarat which was made by cutting a natural rock on Mount Girnar. However, Chand Baori is the deepest and largest Bawri in Rajasthan with 3,500 narrow steps built over 13 storeys.
These are deep and narrow wells built around the reservoirs and dug in the ground, which has steps to reach down five to six storeys until it reaches the aquifer. These Bawries are designed in such a way so that water losses through evaporation from the deep well are minimum and also water remains fresh for a long time because sun rays cannot be reached to water. These wells provide not only water but also shelter from the hot and dry weather. Also, these wells recharge the groundwater table. These wells are also a unique form of underground-well architecture.
Thirteenth entry for the ISC 13th Birthday Special- A thread a day challenge