Archaeologists find Mughal-era rainwater drain near Delhi Red Fort

Updated on Jan 06, 2020 05:56 AM IST

The drain is paved with stones in the bottom and its arch is constructed with lakhori bricks.

A mughal era drain.(HT Photo)
A mughal era drain.(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByAdrija Roychowdhury

A lakhori brick lined late Mughal-era drain was unearthed in front of Delhi Gate of the Red Fort by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) around two weeks ago.

The structure will soon be ready for reuse.

“The drain runs for around 30 metres and connects the Delhi Gate with the moat surrounding the Red Fort. It was found about two-and-half feet below the surface,” an official from the ASI said.

The drain is paved with stones in the bottom and its arch is constructed with lakhori bricks.

“We are currently in the process of desilting the drain. Thereafter, we shall strengthen it internally, construct a chamber on it and whatever rainwater is collected in the area, will be channelized through the drain into the moat.

Speaking about the historical significance of the drainn, historian Swapna Liddle said that the drainage system inside the fort, like the rest of the city, would have been mostly covered. The city’s drain water did not go into the moat, but went into a big drain that flowed halfway between Sunehri Masjid to Rajghat Darwaza (beside the road which runs parallel to the south wall of the fort). “However, I am guessing that the drainage system inside the fort went into the moat,” she added.

“Since the time of the Rajputs, who ruled Delhi in the 11th century, rulers have created systems to make efficient use of rainwater. Over the years we have ignored the natural drainage system and built modern infrastructure all over them,” said urban planner Shubham Mishra. He added that reviving the drain in the Red Fort will definitely be of value. “But I am not sure to what extent it will be a successful attempt, since modern urban planning often do not take into consideration historical structures.”

The digging up of the historical drain at the Red Fort comes months after a late Mughal era stone-paved pathway was unearthed in the same area.

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