Temple pond

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natural or partially fortified temple pond of Naresar , Madhya Pradesh

A temple pond (English: temple tank ; Hindi : Kund ; in other regions of India also kalyani , pushkarini , tirtha , talab , pukhuri , sarovara ) is a body of stagnant water in the immediate vicinity of an Indian temple ( mandir ) or temple complex. A clear, constructive or exact definition of the stepwell ( vavs or baolis ) is difficult even for Indians in some cases - the most important differentiating criterion is the (non) presence of one or more temples in the immediate vicinity.


Temple ponds were originally used by brahmins and believers for ritual cleansing before visiting a temple, although clothing was mostly kept on in earlier times as it quickly dried again in the sun. In the hinterland they formed a full substitute for bathing in the holy rivers Ganges , Yamuna , Narmada and others. a; Many Hindus even believe that the water of the temple ponds is connected to them in a mysterious way and consequently has the same healing powers. At the inauguration, some Ganges water was often poured into the pond - a ritual that is sometimes repeated today. Both the fortified river bank areas and the steps leading down to the temple ponds are known as ghats .

In dry seasons, the water in the temple ponds was often the only reserve for humans and animals. Nowadays, a number of historical temple ponds often serve as a substitute for a lack of domestic bathing and washing facilities or as a place of entertainment for children.


'Big Bath' in Mohenjo-Daro

Some researchers trace the construction of mostly square temple ponds back to the rainwater collecting basins of the Indus culture (e.g. Mohenjo-Daro or Dholavira ). Others see later developments in them, because no such buildings are known from ancient ( Maurya empire ) and early medieval ( Gupta empire ) times. For some plants (e.g. Pushkar , Naresar , Badami or Mahakuta ), it can be assumed that smaller natural depressions in which the rainwater accumulated during the summer monsoon season will be the starting point for the construction of one or more temples at their - in later times During the time it was often dammed up and fortified - banks formed. From the Indian High Middle Ages (10th – 12th centuries) temple ponds were found more frequently (e.g. in Khajuraho , Mathura , Modhera and elsewhere). Exact or even approximate dating of the preserved systems is almost impossible, as they often had to be repaired or even completely renewed.


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