MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2003

Humayun Tomb rises again

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2003 10:32:52 PM ] NEW DELHI: A centuries-old marvel will come to life on Tuesday evening. The numerous fountains and water channels in the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb will have water flowing in them after 400 years. The gardens have been restored to their pristine and original Mughal glory, thus erasing the colonial character it had wrongly acquired since 1860s.

Acquiring contemporary relevance for the parched city, the 30-acre monument complex will house one of the largest rain water harvesting systems in the entire country. As many as 128 recharge pits and several ranney wells will ensure that each and every drop of the rain is directed to the earth and not lost. ‘‘The fountains and water channels will spring to life without any guilt of misusing or wasting water,’’ a source said.

‘‘Five ancient wells were discovered while the work was on. They were desilted and now have fresh water flowing in them now,’’ the source added.

For restoring the gardens of the World Heritage Monument, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) collaborated with the Geneva-based Aga Khan Trust for Culture that gave US $ 6,50,000. On Tuesday, the Aga Khan will unveil the original glory of the Tomb and its environment.

‘‘The aim of the project was to restore the garden and its associated water systems, that are an integral part of the monument. Unfortunately, garden architecture has been relegated to a secondary place,’’ the source said.

‘‘The garden within the tomb enclosure has seen many changes. By the early 1860s, the British began experimenting with different layout. Today it has trees that are inappropriate in historical terms.’’