Landscape Design
Birkha Bawari | A. Mridul
LA 49
Contemporarizing Traditional Water Architecture

With the current disregard towards water and its treatment as an exhaustible resource, one cannot help but realise the relevance of the ancient wisdom of conserving water. 'Birkha Bawari'- a stepped well- is one such step towards the revival of the tradition of conserving rainwater. In being able to hold approximately 15 million litres of water, it is envisaged to be able to make Rajasthan self-sustaining for an entire season when filled to its full capacity.
'Birkha Bawari' ('birkha', in local dialect means rain, 'bawari', in the vernacular, means a stepped well) is a step in reviving the traditional concept of conserving rainwater, re-adopting vernacular technologies of using local natural materials, techniques and skilled labour force for modern use in arid regions of Rajasthan.
Many arid regions in the state of Rajasthan have a historic tradition of conservation of water through types of traditional harvesting structures. Due to deep ground water table and low annual rainfall, water is highly venerated, most cared for and wisely conserved both in terms of storage and frugality of use. Few decades back, in the city of Jodhpur, rainwater from catchments around the city were canalized and brought to manmade ponds by gravity. With rapid urbanization, burgeoning population, ever increasing industrialization, the demand of water has increased manifold. The sources remain highly insufficient as the culture of harvesting water is on decline in present times. In the wake of ruthless ground water exploitation leading to its depletion, there is a realization about the relevance of ancient wisdom of conserving water.
Birkha Bawari is a reservoir for harvesting rain water from a 110-acre catchment in a private development - Umaid Heritage Township in Jodhpur. The layout of Umaid township, adjoining Umaid palace complex is sited like a valley with Birkha Bawari
being located in the deeper troughs of the land. The design idea was inspired from myriad traditional kunds (stepped-ponds) and bawari or vav (stepped-wells).



 


ISSUE NO: 49
exhibition
ArvindTalati: A forgotten pioneer of Modern Indian Architecture

tribute
In memory of Anil Laul

SnehaMandhan& Tanya Pahwa

landscape restoration
Healing Touch:

Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon

landscape design
Conservation and sustainable use of a cultural landscape feature:
Naubad Karez at Bidar, Karnataka

Ficus


BirkhaBawari:
Contemporarizing traditional water architecture

A. Mridul


Introspection, Interpretation:
Shanti Van, Ahmedabad

Footprints E.A.R.T.H.

landscape research
Reimagining Agra:
Fluvial geographies of historic cities

Shahena Khan & Shubham Mishra


Water conserving design in rurban India:
A nallah-front village in Jamnagar District, Gujarat

James L Wescoat Jr


documentation
Nature in the City: Nehru Park, New Delhi

Landscape Foundation India


traditional wisdom
"Acchhayvicharonkabhiakaal" Famine of good ideas

Chatarsingh Jaam

interview
Towards sustainable equitable development

In conversation with Sunita Narain

view from within
City with rural past, Village with urban future

Geeta Wahi Dua

art
Celebrating the landscape through paintings in natural dyes

Taniya Vaidya

seeing the unseen
Celebration and prayer

Ashok Vajpeyi

book review
Naturally: Tread softly on the planet

Review by Shishir R Raval

Nesting in nature, Sanjay Patil
Review by Aruna Ramani Grover

tree sheet
Acacia nilotica (subsp. Indica), Babool

Green Circus







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