Anang Tal set for better days; likely to be declared national monument

 Anang Tal set for better days; likely to be declared national monument

A view of Anang Tal, Mehrauli

Team L&M

Anang Tal, the centuries-old water reservoir in Mehrauli, is all set for better days. The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has decided to begin the cleaning up exercise of this centuries-old water reservoir from next week. A team of DDA officials headed by its Vice-Chairman Mukesh Gupta recently visited the area. As of now the water reservoir is infested with encroachment. Besides, several sewage drains are emptying into it. Built for the purpose of general resort, the area turned into a land for cultivation with the passage of time.

Anang Tal
A team of DDA and NMA officials at Anang Tal

Built by the Founder King of Delhi, Maharaja Anang Pal Tomar in 1052 CE behind the famous 27 Hindu-Jain temples in Mehrauli area, Anang Tal signifies the beginning of Delhi. Situated to the north of Jog Maya temple, it is approximately 500 metres to the northwest of Qutub Complex.

The Vishnu Garud Dhwaj (popularly known as Iron pillar) was a dharmic flag erected in front of Anang Pal’s Vishnu Temple. Later these temples were razed to ground by Qutubuddin Aibak and Jami mosque came up here. Jami Mosque later came to be known as Qutub-ul-Islam mosque. It is also said that in 1296-1316, Alauddin Khalji utilised the water of this reservoir when he built a minar (Qutub Minar ) and expanded the area of Qutub-ul-Islam mosque.

Anang Tal
The decaying water

As is evident from the stone inscriptions excavated by Lord Cunningham, the city was then known as Dhillika Puri not Delhi. The stone inscriptions were found by British period ASI officers in Palam, Naraina and Sarban (Raisina) during the construction of New Delhi.

Much later, in 1993, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) also did excavations at Anang Tal. The project was undertaken under the leadership of former additional director general of ASI, Dr BR Mani. The detailed survey map of the area, including the staircase leading to the Tal and its measurements are in possession of the ASI.

Chairman of the National Monuments Authority (NMA) Tarun Vijay says that Delhi is not the city of graveyards as it is projected but a great city of joy, art, culture and sacrifices by the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur and warriors like Banda Singh Bahadur, Baba Baghel Singh, Maratha Chief Mahadaji  Shinde who conquered Delhi and defeated Mughals. It is time to bring forth this historic truth,” he remarks. Both the NMA and the ASI are considering it to be declared as a national monument

Some Historical Facts

Tomar dynasty was one of the 36 Rajput tribes in Northern India. As per the Puranas, it was earlier located in the Himalayan region. According to legends, Tomars were descendant of kuru king Parikshit. The capital of Tomars changed a few times during the course of 457 years they ruled in the northern India. The first capital of the Tomar Empire was Anangpur.

Maharaja Anang Pal Tomar, popularly known as Anang Pal II, founded Dhillika Puri (the last capital of Tomars), which eventually became Delhi. Multiple inscriptions and coins suggest Anangpal Tomar was the ruler of present-day Delhi and Haryana in between the 8th-12th centuries. Evidences about the early history of Delhi are also inscribed on the iron pillar of Masjid Qutub-ul-Islam, located adjacent to Qutub Minar.

Anang Pal II created Dhillika Puri from the ruins and got Anang Tal Baoli and Lal Kot constructed. Later, his grandson Prithviraj Chauhan (Chahmana dynasty) ruled the city. He renovated Lal Kot and renamed it Qila Rai Pithora.

Dhillika Puri became Delhi Sultanate after Mohammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan in the Battle of Tarain (present day Haryana) in 1192.


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