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Persian Wheel to picnic spot

A UNIQUE structure on the remnants of the Bhopal fort that lies hidden behind the Police Headquarters often escapes the eye of the citizens despite the fact that it now lies in the midst of a beautiful picnic spot.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 14:59 IST

A UNIQUE structure on the remnants of the Bhopal fort that lies hidden behind the Police Headquarters often escapes the eye of the citizens despite the fact that it now lies in the midst of a beautiful picnic spot.

This huge structure overlooking the Lower Lake served as a unique water-drawing system during the Nawabi era and had a giant Persian Wheel (rahat) for fetching water atop the high wall.

As per the Department of Archaeology, the artificial waterway was constructed to carry water from Lower Lake to Noor Bagh. The water was carried up to a long way (up to the several kilometers) by force of gravitation.

Noor Bagh was the garden of Nawab Jahangir Mohammad Khan and it is surmised that this structure dates back to the first half of the 19th century that makes it over 150 years old.

“Since my childhood I have never seen the wheel but the structure has existed even before my grandfather’s time”, says Munnalal, a local resident. “It is amazing that water was drawn from such a height (around 35-40 ft)”, he adds. The draining system on the top of wall and the place where the wheel was fixed still exist.

Earlier, the ‘rahat’ (or arghat) and the remaining portion of the fortress were hidden because it was used as ‘dhobi ghat’ but a few years back the municipal corporation shifted the ‘dhobi ghat’ and the park was subsequently developed.

“More people come to the park for picnic now but mostly it is the young couples and college students who come here”, says the gardener. Two ‘mazaars’ of Sufi saints and a temple are located around the wall of the fortress.

As per the display board put up by the Director, Archaeology, Archives and Museums, the water was drawn by Persian Wheel, which does not exist anymore. “I come here quite often because it is one of the most-beautiful places in the State capital and is never crowded because few are aware of this park”, said Nazar, a youth.


First Published: May 20, 2006 14:59 IST