Malik Ambar; The Architect of Aurangabad

Malik Ambar The Architect of Aurangabad
A pretty hamlet called ‘Khirki'(now Aurangabad) was totally transformed by Malik Ambar who revived the Nizam Shahi dynasty of Ahmednagar and transferred his military base to Aurangabad which he named after his son as ‘Fatehnagar’ or ‘Fatehabad’. In the very early period he built a palace for the Sultan known as Green Bungalow and a Mansion for himself close to the royal market (Shahgunj). To form a large centre of population in a dry soil like this, the first thing necessary was water. So he constructed a big tank close to the town and also brought water Tourism Products in Aurangabad to his own house by means of a canal from the river near Harsul. The town was about four miles round and the village grew up on its side.

Water System
The most significant contribution of Malik Ambar to city was a carefully planned water system, which was primarily responsible for the town’s development and popularity. A hillock overlooking the city near Arsul (Harsul) was selected to cut twelve square miles of rock and dug for storing rain water. The depth from ground level is 42 ft.length-9400 ft 3 ft. and height 6 to 10 ft. Brick arches resting on natural rock serve as ceiling. At regular intervals of 200 to 300 ft. apertures are fabricated for men to alight inside. A hollow socket served as a water gate and was known as Charbumba which was fitted into small twelve inch diameter cavities from where through underground nehars water ran into a well, popularly known as Gai Mukh.. located today near Azad College Guest House.

From Kato Lak through underground earthen pipes the water reaches Delhi Gate and Sahgunj and through a network of pipes it is supplied to major parts of the city. The principle courses are fourteen in number. The eastern branch supplies the portion of the city about Shahgunj and the northern-western called Photi Naher passes by the Bhadkal Gate to the Nawkhanda Palace, Juna Bazar, Chowk and Gulmandi. This system of water supply was known as “Nehare Ambari” in which rain water was accumulated, filtered and supplied to the city. This water system was the first of its kind and the last to be created in the entire country.
A purely native interpretation, applying only indigenous material and workers, an exclusive example requiring elementary engineering technique of water supply from a higher to a lower level, unsophisticated unpretentious, economical and immutable. Today these conduits are vitreous and brittle and only one fourth of the former quantity of water reaches the city.

( Extract from the Book’ Tourism Potential of Aurangabad’ written by Prof Dulari Qureshi)

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Written by Nikhil Bhalerao

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