Prachin Bharatiya Jala Shastra

Edited & Compiled By Dr.A.S.Nene 20 July 2010

Table of Contents
SN 1 2 3 4 Introduction Ancient Indian References Properties of water Jala Shashtra 4.1 Storage of water 4.2 Supply or Distribution 4.3 Drainage of water Water divining Pollution of water Hydraulic Machines Forecast of Rainfall & Measurement References Appendix 1- Libraries and Book Sellers Appendix 2- Maps of India Appendix 3- 100 Sanskrit names Appendix 4- Tank completion report Title Pages 1-6 7-13 14-15


5 6 7 8 9

30-38 39-41 42-44 45-51 52-57 i-ii iii-vii viii-ix x-xii

Read this book to know that; ‡King Bhagirath was the first irrigation engineer, who developed a network of rivers and canals in north India. ySage Kashypa reclaimed the water-logged land of Kashmir by dewatering and hence the land is known as "Kashypa Mir" or Kashmir. yVarahmihir was the first hydrologist to develop a science (Dakargal) to predict underground aquifers, based on surface indicators, such as trees, plants, creepers, grass, terrariums, hibernating animals etc. yAncient text "Kadambini" describes forecasting of rains based on certain natural symptoms. (Insects, birds, animals, flora of trees etc.)

‡Varahmihir developed method to predict rain fall, based on astronomy. ‡Sage Vashishtha and Sage Bhrugu were the first divine engineers to describe properties of flowing and steady water. ‡Vedic hymns praise the deity of water. Water mills were first developed in India and later the technique was used by Persians (Persian well) ‡Kautilya gave guideline for construction of dams, canal, wells, pollution prevention etc. ‡An ancient text "Nighantu" mentions one hundred meaningful names of water.

2. Ancient Indian Literature
2.1 Vedic Period 3000 - 5000 BC

Sources of water

2.2 Post Vedic Period

Rishi Narad asks Yudhishitira ³Are the dams full of water and big enough and well Distributed in different parts of the kingdom, and whether agriculture depends only on rain water?" Naradniti

Ponds & Tanks Arch Bridges Water Forts River Forts

Chapters of Narad Shilpashashtra

3. PROPERTIES OF WATER 3.1 Twelve properties of Flowing Water

Weight of a body suspended in water is Equivalent to weight of water of volume same As submerged portion. (Archimedes Principle).

3.2 Static Water

The water pressure is equivalent to its weight.

The banks should be sloping to reduce the damage due to waves.

The three Vidya or Techniques of this Shastra are; 
Storage of water ±Stambhan Water Supply/ Distribution ± Sanchetan Drainage / Dewatering - Samharan

Ten types of tanks

Varahmihir (505 C.E- 587 C.E), The indicators for aquifers are 
Specific trees, plants, herbs and grasses Hibernating animals (Enjoying winter sleepfrogs, lizards, snakes, alligators and tortoises) Anthills (Terrariums)

84 Botanical names of trees mentioned in Brihat Samhita Chapter 54

B01 Calamas rotang Rattan (Cane) B84 Dalbergia latifolia Sissoo tree


Maintenance of water bodies

Treatment of Well water



Normal rainy season

Quantity of rainfall in different regions

18 Ancient References 67 Modern references
Appendix 1 -List of Libraries Sources in India Appendix 2- Glossary of Terms and Ancient Measures of Liquids Appendix 3 -100 Sanskrit Names of water Appendix 4- 18th Century report on Rajasagar tank


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Dr.A.S.Nene M4 Laxmi Nagar, Nagpur (India) 440022 Email:

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