Temple tank

This article is about a Temple tank. For other uses, see Tank (disambiguation).
Temple Tank in Azhikode, Kannur, India.
A temple tank at Chennakesava Temple in Belur, Karnataka

Temple tanks are wells or reservoirs built as part of the temple complex near Indian temples. They are called pushkarini, kalyani, kunda, sarovara, tirtha, talab, pukhuri, etc. in different languages and regions of India. Some tanks are said to cure various diseases and maladies when bathed in.[1] It is possible that these are cultural remnants of structures such as the Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro, which was part of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Tank design

Since ancient times, the design of water storage has been important in India's temple architecture, especially in western India where dry and monsoon seasons alternate. Temple tank design became an art form in itself.[2] An example of the art of tank design is the large, geometically spectacular Stepped Tank at the Royal Center at the ruins of Vijayanagara, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, surrounding the modern town of Hampi. It is lined with green diorite and has no drain. It was filled by aqueduct.[3]

The tanks are used for ritual cleansing and during rites of consecration. The water in the tank is deemed to be sacred water from the Ganges River.[4]


In India, a stepwell is a deep masonry well with steps going down to the water level in the well. It is called a vav in west India and a baoli in north India. Some were built by kings and were richly ornamented.[5] They often were built by nobility, some being for secular use from which anyone could obtain water.[6]

Haridra Nadhi

Haridra Nadhi is the largest temple tank in India, maybe in the world. It is in Mannargudi, Thiruvarur District of Tamil Nadu. It is the temple tank of one of the largest Hindu temples, the Rajagopalaswamy Temple, Mannargudi.

The area of the temple tank is 23 acres (93,000 m2) which is the largest temple tank in India.

It is also called as Daughter of Kaveri river.


Kalyani, also called pushkarni, are ancient Hindu stepped bathing wells.

These wells were typically built near Hindu temples to accommodate bathing and cleansing activities before prayer. They are also used for immersion of Ganesha idols during Ganesha Chaturthi.


In Sikhism temple tanks are called "Sarovar".[7]

Temple tank in Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple at Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka

See also


  1. "Sun Temples in India". Retrieved 2007-02-24.
  2. "Architecture - Stepwells". Retrieved 2007-01-09.
  3. "Great Tank". art-and-archaeology. Retrieved 2007-01-13.
  4. Thapar, Binda (2004). Introduction to Indian Architecture. Singapore: Periplus Editions. p. 43. ISBN 0-7946-0011-5.
  5. "Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent - glossary". Retrieved 2006-12-18.
  6. "Vav / vavdi / Baoli / Bavadi - Traditional stepwells". Retrieved 2006-12-19.
  7. Harban Singh (1998). Encyclopedia of Sikhism. Punjabi University. p. 71. ISBN 978-81-7380-530-1.

Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Temple tanks in India.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 6/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.