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THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF IRRIGATION SYSTEM IN INDIA, (WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO KARNATAKA)


Lalithamma. M
Assistant professor of History, GFGC, Gauribidanur, Chikkaballapur District, Karnataka
Abstract
Irrigation was the livelihood from the earlier times in Karnataka and Indian states, because of the availability of fertile soil and resourceful rivers like Cauvery, Tungabhadra etc, and the earliest mentions of irrigation are found in “Rig-Veda” chapters 1.55, 1.85, 1.105, 7.9, 8.69 and 10.101. The Veda mentions only well-style irrigation, where kupa and avata wells once dug are stated to be always full of water, from which varatra (rope strap) and cakra (wheel) pull kosa (pails) of water. This water was, state the Vedas, led into surmi susira (broad channels) and from there into khanitrima (diverting channels) into fields. Later, the 4th-century BCE Indian scholar Pāṇini, mentions tapping several rivers for irrigation. The mentioned rivers include Sindhu, Suvastu, Sarayu, Vipas and Chandrabhaga. Buddhist texts from the 3rd century BCE also mention irrigation of crops. Texts from the Maurya Empire era (3rd century BCE) mention that the state raised revenue from charging farmers for irrigation services from rivers. Patanjali, in Yogasutra of about the 4th century CE, explains a technique of yoga by comparing it to "the way a farmer diverts a stream from an irrigation canal for irrigation" In Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the Grand Anicut (canal) across the Kaveri river was implemented in the 3rd century CE, and the basic design is still used today. But the modern evidences explain the changes in the irrigation patterns in Karnataka and the southern Indian states during the Vijayanagara Empire and some development during British period. This research paper is an attempt for putting together the ancient wisdom in establishing irrigation systems, particularly in Karnataka the Vijayanagara period from 1335 A.D. - 1565 A.D and contributions during British era in Karnataka, India.
Keywords: Irrigation system in Karnataka, Vijayanagara kingdom irrigation patterns/system, Irrigation in Karnataka during British period
Journal Name :
EPRA International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research (IJMR)

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Published on : 2023-01-30

Vol : 9
Issue : 1
Month : January
Year : 2023
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