Temple Tanks are an essential part of every large Hindu temple. In fact, every village/town/city definitely has a temple that has a sizable temple tank. But why does every temple need to have one?
Conventional beliefs hold that the water of a temple tank is holy and has cleansing properties. The water acts as a cleanser, and people believe that it washes away their sins. So, it is an unwritten rule to take a dip in the temple tank before offering prayers to the presiding deity, thus purifying oneself.
Also, the during the festive season, the deity is taken aboard a boat and given a trip around the tank. But in actuality, the water tanks serve as a useful reservoir to help people tide over water scarcity. It should be noted that any such large area of stored water adds to the water table. So by installing a tank in each temple, the entire surrounding area’s water level is significantly improved.
Further, water in India is largely dependant on the monsoons. In case the rains fail, the people can look upto these temple tanks to fulfill their basic needs. What an ingenious way our ancient Vedic Indians had to utilise the rainwater! Giving the reason a religious background paved the way for its construction…
But these days we find most of these tanks in a state of neglect. They are either dried up or poorly maintained, which leads to their contamination. Water scarcity is not a problem faced only by people of the past, it is something we face everyday. If we can revive this ancient system of increasing the water table level, we might not have to face acute water shortage in the future…
By Nikhil Mundra
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