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  • The Bhoj wetland is situated in the heart of Bhopal district in Madhya Pradesh. The wetland consists of two man-made lakes--the upper lake and the lower lake. The upper lake, the oldest among large man-made lakes in central India, was created by king Bhoj in the 11th century by constructing an earth...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 week 4 days agoread more
  • Long necked, rosy white birds with heavy pink bills stand etched across the horizon. These are the flamingos that fly miles from across Iran’s Caspian Sea and the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, to reach the inland waters of Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. A natural coastal are...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • Women in Salmora area of Majuli, the world’s largest riverine island and India’s first island district, practise their traditional form of pottery--the one that does not use a wheel but is hand beaten to shape and uses a viscid kind of clay. As the Brahmaputra eats away huge swathes of land year...
    Usha Dewaniposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Brahmaputra is the highest siltation-carrying river in the world, and controlling erosion is not easy. Because of its characteristics, it does not have a parallel with any other river in the world. Mythologically also, the Brahmaputra has always been a disturbed river, highly meandering, says Gunaje...
    Usha Dewaniposted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • Bihar is India's most flood-prone state, with 76 percent of the population in north Bihar living under the recurring threat of floods. North Bihar is home to eight major rivers, all of which end up in the Ganges. These rivers, originating in the highest regions of Nepal, reaches the plains of Bihar ...
    priyadposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Rain has just abated but the clouds are threatening to burst again. “Not a good time to visit, what with reducing light and imminent showers,” I tell myself. “Don’t worry, it would be a light drizzle, if at all,” the person at the ticket counter assures. My guide, Sachin, a young, stout ma...
    Manu Moudgilposted 3 months 3 days agoread more
  • Malguzari tanks were ponds made for water harvesting by the Malguzaars, who were zamindars or tenants in eastern Vidarbha, Maharashtra two centuries ago.These tanks provided water for irrigation and also increased the availability of fish for local consumption. Before 1950, the Malguzaars construct...
    makarandpurohitposted 4 months 2 days agoread more
  • Temples in India have always had a water body near its premises. Whether it is a natural pond, a free-flowing river or a man-made tank, the water inside them seem to imbibe the sacredness associated with the temples, thereby becoming an integral part of the cultural, social and religious landscape o...
    sabitakaushalposted 4 months 3 days agoread more
  • The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry.  “Only seven-10 percent of vill...
    makarandpurohitposted 5 months 4 days agoread more
  • Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm. “For the last two decades, the Chidavad village in the Tonk Khurd block, was one among the ...
    makarandpurohitposted 5 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Ramesh Mali, a farmer in his late thirties, looks at his farmland nervously. It has been 13 days since the Simhastha Maha Kumbh festival, 2016, concluded. The district administration had acquired his four bigha land (approximately 0.64 hectares) for the festival. The barricades and the concrete left...
    makarandpurohitposted 5 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • “The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to hand over to them at least as it was handed over to us.” This famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi aptly forms the basis of today’s ever-growing focus on sustainable d...
    priyadposted 5 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Madhya Simhastha Maha Kumbh festival, the religious extravaganza that happens once in every 12 years, was held in Ujjain from April 22-May 21, 2016. This year around, the cost to conduct the festival escalated to Rs 5000 crores; more than 15 times the cost incurred for the previous Simhastha hel...
    makarandpurohitposted 6 months 1 day agoread more
  • The legend has it that in the year 1321-22, mystic and 14th century Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya began digging a stepwell or baoli around the same time the then Delhi ruler Ghiyas-ud-Din Tughlaq was building his own splendid city, Tughlakabad. A fe...
    sabitakaushalposted 6 months 5 days agoread more
  • The Red Fort, located along the western banks of the Yamuna, was built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan when he moved his capital to Delhi from Agra and laid the foundations of Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi. Since then, the river has changed course but it’s proximity to the fort ensured that...
    sabitakaushalposted 8 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Ujjain Simhastha (Kumbh Mela) in Madhya Pradesh will begin on April 22, 2016 and go on for a month. The event, held once every 12 years, holds religious significance to Hindus, and throngs of people--approximately 5 crore over the month--take a holy dip in the Kshipra river during this time...
    makarandpurohitposted 9 months 1 week agoread more
  • Forest guards in India have fought many things over time in the course of their daily work--poachers, irate citizens, even animals at times! But they are now facing a threat that may well be beyond their capacity to overcome. A threat that is not just responsible for the death of individual ani...
    chicuposted 10 months 5 days agoread more
  • Today's rural poor operate in highly risky and uncertain environments. Grappling with multiple stresses like eroding natural resources, poor assets and increasing climate variability, they are constantly adjusting their lives and livelihoods--changing a crop grown, digging another well, or migrating...
    Usha Dewaniposted 10 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh, like its neighbours Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is a land of tanks. The ‘Cheruvus’, ‘Eris’ and ‘Keres’, as they are known in the respective regional languages, are irrigation tanks dug centuries ago by kings and philanthropists to feed thousands of acres...
    seetha@indiawat...posted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Rachenahalli is one of the few living lakes in north Bangalore. It is connected to water bodies upstream and downstream, particularly Jakkur Lake on the north-east. Both these lakes have been rejuvenated at substantial costs by the Bangalore Development Authority over the last decade. A sewage ...
    Usha Dewaniposted 11 months 2 weeks agoread more

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The lakes of Bhoj wetland that are home to many bird species and provide water to the local residents are now polluted and need urgent attention from the government.

The Bhoj wetland is situated in the heart of Bhopal district in Madhya Pradesh. The wetland consists of two man-made lakes--the upper lake and the lower lake. The upper lake, the oldest among large man-made lakes in central India, was created by king Bhoj in the 11th century by constructing an earthen dam across the Kolans river and the lower lake was constructed nearly 200 years ago mostly from the seepage from the upper lake.

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Not just a site of global importance for migratory birds, Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary is home to diverse creatures that depend on it for food, shelter and livelihood.

Long necked, rosy white birds with heavy pink bills stand etched across the horizon. These are the flamingos that fly miles from across Iran’s Caspian Sea and the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, to reach the inland waters of Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. A natural coastal area, this beautiful land serves as a breeding ground for migratory and resident birds, fish, prawns and crabs.

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With much of Salmora lost to the insatiable Brahmaputra river, the potters of Majuli stand at a crossroad, uncertain how long they can continue their unique craft.

Women in Salmora area of Majuli, the world’s largest riverine island and India’s first island district, practise their traditional form of pottery--the one that does not use a wheel but is hand beaten to shape and uses a viscid kind of clay. As the Brahmaputra eats away huge swathes of land year after year, the clay that these potters use is being taken away by the river. 

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Erosion in Majuli, a large island on the Brahmaputra, has left scores of people bereft of livelihoods and hope. While the government has spent crores on anti-erosion measures, it hasn't helped much.

Brahmaputra is the highest siltation-carrying river in the world, and controlling erosion is not easy. Because of its characteristics, it does not have a parallel with any other river in the world. Mythologically also, the Brahmaputra has always been a disturbed river, highly meandering, says Gunajeet Kashyap (ACS), Election Officer, Majuli. While many also regard the river as nature’s playground with shifting courses and meandering channels defining its very character, most would agree that the river in full spate is fierce, to say the least. 

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The flood in Bihar is getting worse by day. A grassroot organisation in Bihar, BJUP that rushed to the affected areas with relief, shares some pictures of the relief work in progress.

Bihar is India's most flood-prone state, with 76 percent of the population in north Bihar living under the recurring threat of floods. North Bihar is home to eight major rivers, all of which end up in the Ganges. These rivers, originating in the highest regions of Nepal, reaches the plains of Bihar rapidly and forcefully, causing much damage to the state during heavy rains. Before the memories of the devastation the flood in 2008 unleashed in Bihar could completely fade away, 2016 brought in more floods and deaths related to it with the last count putting the death toll at 222.

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Rao Jodha Desert Park in Jodhpur is known for its varied flora. Its resilience and beauty make a walk in this park truly enjoyable.

Rain has just abated but the clouds are threatening to burst again. “Not a good time to visit, what with reducing light and imminent showers,” I tell myself. “Don’t worry, it would be a light drizzle, if at all,” the person at the ticket counter assures. My guide, Sachin, a young, stout man with a winning smile, arrives from a tea break armed with binoculars and a slim guide book. “Monsoon is a very good season to visit this place. You will see lots of greens,” he promises.

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Caught between Malguzaars and the state government, the Malguzari tanks were left to die many years ago. A lone man spearheaded their revival in 2008.

Malguzari tanks were ponds made for water harvesting by the Malguzaars, who were zamindars or tenants in eastern Vidarbha, Maharashtra two centuries ago.These tanks provided water for irrigation and also increased the availability of fish for local consumption.

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Millions of devotees travel to the Mahamaham tank every 12 years to wash away their sins in the holy rivers believed to converge in the tank.

Temples in India have always had a water body near its premises. Whether it is a natural pond, a free-flowing river or a man-made tank, the water inside them seem to imbibe the sacredness associated with the temples, thereby becoming an integral part of the cultural, social and religious landscape of that area. 

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Pipara village in the parched Bundelkhand region stands out for its uninterrupted water supply. The village has their women to thank for it.

The cracks on the parched land of Bundelkhand are waiting for the monsoon to quench the thirst of its arid landscape. Despite the wide-spread drought here, Pipara, one of the villages in the region, stands apart as the only one that has not run completely dry. 

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Tonk Khurd’s innovative farm ponds prove that when it comes to solving water crisis, one size does not fit all

Vikram Patel, a 71-year-old farmer in Chidavad village of Dewas district in Madhya Pradesh is one of the first farmers to have embraced the idea of farm ponds to increase the groundwater level in his farm.

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