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Bijapur tank in need of a clean-up

But, today, it is so dirty that visitors are scared to enter the premises, let alone touch the water. There is stench all around, with people washing clothes, animals stepping into the water and large-scale dumping of wastes, which makes this historical site a place to avoid.   

Taj Bawadi, the largest tank in Bijapur lies on the west of the city near the Mecca Gate. To the east and west are long arcaded ranges, which once provided accommodation for travellers. Broad flights of steps lead to the water’s edge. Around the high enclosing wall is a terrace with a low parapet wall. In the centre of each side are sets of rooms, which overlook the tank.

Constructed in 1620 by Ibrahim Adil Shah-I in honour of his wife Taj Sultana, Taj Bawadi is a classic example of Adil Shah rulers’ deep knowledge about water harvesting. A majestic arch with a 35-ft span flanked by two octagonal towers forms the front entrance of the monument. The tetragonal-shaped well with an area of 223 sq ft is 52-ft deep. The eastern and western wings of the towers have spacious rest houses. A small platform from the archway leads one to the well. In 1981-82, efforts were made to clean the well and supply water from it to residents of Bijapur. However, little progress was made in this regard. No steps have been taken since then to clean the well. The front portion of Taj Bawadi has now been encroached upon and is being used for religious activities.

Recently, the Deputy Commissioner of the city said steps would be taken to preserve the historical Taj Bawadi in Bijapur city by clearing encroachments, constructing a wall to restrict entry of people and cleaning the water in the well. He instructed officials to conduct a survey of houses constructed adjacent to the well and take steps to clear illegal structures. One only hopes the historical landmark would be brought to its pristine glory soon.

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