This paper highlights how ancient texts of Karnataka have dealt with various issues of water which range from cloud formation to finding ground water.
The author looks at three ancient Kannada and Sanskrit texts - Lokoparam, Manasollasa, Shivatattvaratnakara. All these texts were written between the 12th and 18th century. These texts record hydrological data ranging from cloud formation to traditional methods of preserving potable water.
Lokoparam explains how rainbows are formed and provides ways to forecast droughts etc, through reading the position of the rainbow at different times of the year. Manasollasa is a compilation of many disciplines like medicine, science, breeding of elephants etc. The author of this ancient text classifies water into 9 varieties depending on their source. The Shivatattvaratnakara text has readings on cloud formation and soil science to determine water in the ground.
The author concludes that ancient texts are a rich source of knowledge on water systems.
This paper was presented at the National Seminar on Water and Culture organised by Kannada University and Sahayoga in 2007.
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