Cleaning and beautification of Anangtal, an 11th CE monument resurrected, will be taken up this week by DDA. This assurance was given by DDA Vice Chairman Shri Mukesh Gupta, who visited the grand water reservoir with his entire DDA team last week. The visit was joined by NMA Chairman Shri Tarun Vijay, DDA VC Shri Mukesh Gupta, Commissioners Ms Manisha and Shri Rajeev Tiwari, and about a dozen other senior officers.
The team had a detailed survey of the area, and found several encroachments besides sewage drains emptying in the 1200 year old historic mini-lake. It was built by the founder King of Delhi Maharaja Anang Pal Tomar in 1052 CE behind the famous 27 Hindu- Jain temples in Mehrauli area. The Vishnu Garud Dhwaj (popularly known as Iron pillar) was a dharmic flag standard in front of Anang Pal’s Vishnu Temple. Later these temples were razed to ground by Qutubuddin Aibak and ruins were used to build Jami mosque, which later became known as Quwwatul Islam mosque.
The Anangtal Baoli, the oldest baoli in Delhi, is a single stage step well. Excavations at this site reveal that the well was probably very large; some steps leading to the water are extant. It used the technique of rainwater harvesting for its storage. The baoli is located in a forest behind a neighborhood and is used as a local waste dump and pig farm, with sewage running into it.
Excavations at Anangtal were taken up in 1993 by ASI under the veteran archaeologist Dr B.R. Mani. The detailed survey map of the area, that include beautiful staircase leading to the Tal and its measurements are with ASI.