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Plan to revive Taj Mahal's water-lifting system

Plans have been drawn up to revive an elaborate water-lifting system at Taj Mahal with Yamuna river's water.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 16:53 IST

Plans have been drawn up to revive an elaborate water-lifting system that fed the network of fountains at the Taj Mahal with water from the Yamuna river, officials have said.

The Mughal era system was unearthed by excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India and Rs 20 lakh has been sanctioned for its revival, said Assistant Conservationist Amarnath Gupta.

The scheme, however, is being hindered by a temple built over the underground chamber that received water from the Yamuna. Talks were on with the temple administration for shifting the structure, officials said.

Officials overseeing the excavations said water from the river was brought through a duct to the underground chamber in what is today the Khan-e-Alam nursery, situated alongside the western boundary wall of the 17th century monument of love built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.

From the chamber, water was hauled by bullock-carks to an overhead tank at the southern end of the nursery, from where water was chanelled through porcelain pipes to a central causeway connected to the fountains.

The gushing water provided an upward thrust to the fountains that sprang to life, with water rising 15 feet and falling in floral patterns on the central channel.

If the temple can be shifted, the underground chamber will be cleared of obstructions and filled with river waters, leading to the restoration of the water-lifting system.

First Published: Jun 08, 2006 16:53 IST