From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Karez/ Qanat
Mains level : Not Much
The Taliban are set to seize Kabul, but some expert believes they will spare the age-old Karez system of underground aqueducts in the country given its importance.
What is a Qanat / Karez?
- This system of underground vertical shafts in a gently sloping tunnel that is built from an upland aquifer to ground level.
- Some historians and archaeologists have attributed people in the southeast Arabian Peninsula as the first developers. Others, however, ascribe it to the ancient Persians.
- The Qanat / Karez system, wherever it was developed, soon spread to many Persian, Arab and Turkic lands.
- It even came to the Indian Subcontinent during the 800-year-old Islamic Period.
Karez in India
- The system was brought in the Indian Subcontinent during the Bahamani Sultanate, founded by Alaudin Bahman Shah.
- It later broke into five other Sultantates: Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmadnagar, Bidar and Berar.
- The Bahamani Sultanate was Persianate in nature and encouraged many things Persian, among them, the Karez.
- They was built in the city of Bidar during the reign of Bahamani Sultan Ahmad Shah Wali (1422-1436), who shifted the capital from Gulbarga to Bidar.
- By the 15th century, Bijapur city had a network of pipelines. Everyone got 24×7 supply of water.
- It also worked as confidence-building measure between the Sultan and his subjects since the Karez was built the state.
Try answering this PYQ:
With reference to the economic history of medieval India, the term Araghatta’ refers to:
(a) bonded labour
(b) land grants made to military officers
(c) waterwheel used in the irrigation of land
(d) wastel and converted to cultivated land
Post your answers here.