Updated: May 1, 2022 7:18:02 am
The Anang Tal lake in South Delhi, believed to have been built a thousand years ago, will soon get a new lease of life. Union Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, who visited the site earlier this week, has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), under whose jurisdiction the area falls, to restore the historic lake in Mehrauli which is said to be created by Tomar King, Anangpal II, in 1,060 AD.
The minister, who was accompanied by National Monuments Authority (NMA) chairman Tarun Vijay, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) director Arvin Manjul and senior DDA officers, has asked officials to expedite conservation work so the site could be declared a national monument.
On the occasion, Meghwal said he was surprised to see “the dilapidated condition of the millennium-old Anang Tal, which signifies the beginning of Delhi”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, ASI officials said, “The proposal to declare Anang Tal as a national monument is indeed under consideration, and finer details are being worked out.”
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As per the website of the National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities (NMMA), a government agency, Anang Tal is situated “to the north of Jog Maya temple and approximately 500 metres to the northwest of Qutub Complex”, and dates back to 1,060 AD.
“Tradition ascribes this tank to a Tomar King, Anangpal II, the builder of Lal Kot. It is said to have been a place of a general resort but now it is dried up and used for cultivation. It is also said Alauddin Khalji, in 1296-1316 AD, utilised the water of this tank when he built (Qutub) minar and extended the Qutub-ul-Islam mosque,” says the NMMA website.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Culture Wednesday said, “Anang Tal has a strong Rajasthan connection as Maharaja Anang Pal is known as nana (maternal grandfather) of Prithviraj Chauhan whose fort Rai Pithora is on the list of the ASI. These monuments have turned into a garbage dump today… The NMA has been trying for the last two years to bring back the glory of pre-Islamic monuments destroyed by foreign invaders.”
It was between 1993 and 1995 when noted archaeologist B R Mani, the former additional director general of ASI, led excavations at the site under the ASI. Mani said, “There is still some water left in Anang Tal but gradually the mini-lake has shrunk over time.” He suggested that until the water body is declared a protected monument, it will not survive.
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