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National monument tag for 1,000-year-old lake in Delhi’s Mehrauli

  • Category
    History
  • Published
    11th May, 2022

Context

Centre orders restoration of historic 1000-year-old Anang Tal Lake in Delhi's Mehrauli.

Anang Tal, Mehrauli, an 11th Century mini lake built by the founder King of Delhi Anang Pal Tomar in 1052 AD. The Hindu dynasty of Tomars ruled Delhi and the name itself has come from the Dhillikapuri of which several stone inscriptions were found by General Canningham during British ASI period.

About

Anang Tal Lake:

  • Anang Tal is situated “to the north of Jog Maya temple and approximately 500 metres to the northwest of Qutub Complex”, and dates back to 1,060 AD.
  • Tradition ascribes this tank to a Tomar King, Anangpal II, the builder of Lal Kot.
  • It is said to have been a place of a general resort but now it is dried up and used for cultivation.
  • It is also said Alauddin Khalji, in 1296-1316 AD, utilised the water of this tank when he built (Qutub) minar and extended the Qutub-ul-Islam mosque.

About Anangpal II

  • Anangpal Tomar: He was popularly known as Anangpal Tomar.
  • Dynasty: He belonged to the Tomar dynasty that ruled parts of present-day Delhi and Haryana between the 8th and 12th centuries.
  • Founder of Dhillikapuri: Anangapal II was the founder of Dhillikapuri, which eventually became Delhi.
  • Inscriptions and coins:Their rule is attested by multiple inscriptions and coins.
  • Lal Kot fort and Anang Tal Baoli:The region was in ruins when he ascended the throne in the 11th century; it was he who built Lal Kot fort and Anang Tal Baoli.
  • Battle of Tarain:The Delhi Sultanate was established in 1192 after Prithviraj Chauhan’s defeat in the Battle of Tarain (present-day Haryana) by the Ghurid forces.
  • Prithviraj Chauhan:Anangpal Tomar II was succeeded by his grandson Prithviraj Chauhan.
  • Tomars and their Delhi link:
  • Noted medieval historian Professor KA Nizami’s Urdu book named Ehd-e-Wusta ki Dilli mentions this.
  • It is translated in English as ‘Delhi in Historical Perspectives’.
  • It looks at Delhi across six centuries, tracing the antecedents of Delhi.
  • It refers to Persian annals that describe Delhi as “Inderpat”.
  • And yet, according to the book, Delhi formally emerged as a city only in the 11th century when Tomar Rajputs took over the mountainous Aravalli region.

Tomar dynasty

  • It is one of the minor early medieval ruling houses of northern India.
  • Puranic evidence gives its early location in the Himalayan region.
  • According to bardic tradition, the dynasty was one of the 36 Rajput tribes.
  • The history of the family spans the period between the reign of Anangapala, who founded the city of Delhi in the 11th century CE, and the incorporation of Delhi within the Chauhan kingdom in 1164.
  • Although Delhi subsequently became decisively a part of the Chauhan kingdom, numismatic and comparatively late literary evidence indicates that Tomara kings such as Anangapala and Madanapala continued to rule as feudatories, presumably until the final conquest of Delhi by the Muslims in 1192–93.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)

  • The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) functions under the Ministry of Culture.
  • It is the premier organization for archaeological researches and protection of the cultural heritage of the nation.
  • Maintenance of ancient monuments and archaeological sites and remains of national importance is the prime concern of the ASI.
  • Besides, it regulates all archaeological activities in the country as per the provisions of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
  • It also regulates Antiquities and Art Treasure Act, 1972.

National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities (NMMA):

  • The National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities was launched in 2007.
  • NMMA is mandated to prepare two national registers:
    • national registers on antiquities and
    • national register on built heritage & sites
  • Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is the nodal agency for NMMA to implement the various activities all over the country.
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