Underground water supply system in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Bangalore

Abstract

Two maps covering Bangalore and its environs published in 1945 mention a network of Karez in the northern parts of the present Bengaluru city. The word Karez refers to an underground water channel system of central Asian origin. This paper analyses the network of Karez marked on these maps spread across the topography of north Bangalore using geo-spatial data (satellite images), ground validation, historical records (maps, gazetteers, reports and books). It (1) identifies remnants and traces of this network, (2) analyses whether they were built based on the principles of Karez, (3) discusses circumstances when these were built, and finally (4) conjectures the reason for this network to be called as “karez” in these maps.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Dr. John R Marr for sharing scans of the One Inch maps of Bangalore and also the information about them, which have been the main source of inspiration for this paper. We thank the National Institution of Advanced Studies (NIAS) for institutional support. The first author is registered for a PhD at Manipal Academy for Higher Education (MAHE), Manipal and is thankful to MAHE for permitting this research as part of the PhD programme.

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Correspondence to Kuili Suganya.

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Suganya, K., Rajani, M.B. Underground water supply system in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Bangalore. Water Hist 10, 291–311 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12685-018-0223-8

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Keywords

  • Karez
  • Bangalore
  • SOI One Inch maps
  • Remote sensing
  • GIS
  • Underground water supply systems