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Vol. XXX No. 18, January 16-31, 2021

Heritage Watch

Dry temple tanks despite good rains

Our old, taken in 1990 by Ajay Khullar for S. Muthiah’s Madras, the Gracious City, features a bone-dry Kapaliswarar Temple tank. This was how it was for most of the years since 1975, when ill-advised constructions at key catchment points prevented water from percolating to the tank.

Our (not so) new, taken in 2016, features a brimming tank, as it should be. This was an outcome of cleaning and desilting efforts since 2001, after which water began coming into the tank. What is puzzling in recent years is the reduced inflow, despite good monsoons. Are we back to blocking the inflow channels? And if this be the fate of the Kapali tank, what of the numerous other waterbodies attached to other shrines elsewhere in the city?

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