Prelims 2021

Q. Which one of the following ancient towns is well-known for its elaborate system of water harvesting and management by building a series of dams and channelizing water into connected reservoirs?

a) Dholavira
b) Kalibangan
c) Rakhigarhi
d) Ropar
Correct Answer: a) Dholavira

Question from UPSC Prelims 2021 GS Paper

Explanation : 

Dholavira’s Ingenious Water Management

Dholavira, one of the most prominent sites of the Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the Harappan Civilization), is well-known for its sophisticated water conservation system, which was a necessity in its arid environment. Located on the Khadir bet island in the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India, this ancient town showcases the ingenuity of its inhabitants in water management.

Elaborate System of Reservoirs and Channels

The people of Dholavira built an elaborate system of reservoirs, dams, channels, and waterways to harness and manage water. The town had a series of reservoirs that were excavated around the city walls and interconnected through channels. These reservoirs collected rainwater and stored it for use during the dry seasons. The water management system was not only used for irrigation and domestic purposes but also played a significant role in the town’s defense strategy.

Advanced Hydro-Engineering Techniques

The sophisticated design of the water system included rock-cut channels that directed the flow of water from the city’s stormwater drains into the reservoirs. The inhabitants also constructed check dams across seasonal streams to capture and store rainwater. This advanced hydro-engineering allowed Dholavira to sustain itself in a region with scarce water resources and is a testament to the advanced urban planning and engineering skills of the Harappan people.

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