Satpula Dam

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Satpula Dam Blog Image


Delhi’s oldest surviving Satpula dam, which was built during the 14th-century, still stands strong.

About Satpula Dam

  • Satpula (‘sat’ means seven and ‘pull’ means openings of a bridge) was constructed during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlaq (1325-1351).
  • This structure was built using Delhi quartz — a stone found in the Aravallis. 
  • It was developed as an integral component of the defence wall of the fourth city of Delhi, Jahanpanah.
  • The dam served two purposes: Providing a reliable source of water for irrigation, and acting as a defence against possible intruders.
  • It was developed by identifying appropriate topography, i.e., a large open plain where water can be stored for irrigating large flat lands. Hence, this structure with sluice gates and a reservoir was developed.
  • Since Sufi saint Nasiruddin Mahmud (popularly known as Chirag Dehlavi) used to live nearby, people used to believe that the canal water had healing properties.

For centuries, the area used to host a Diwali mela and the attendees would take a holy dip in the waters and even collect some to take home.

Q1: What is Quartz?

It is an almost pure chemical compound with constant physical properties. Quartz makes up about 12 percent of the land surface and about 20 percent of the Earth's crust. Most of the remaining crustal rocks are rich in silicate minerals which include silicon and oxygen together with other elements.

Source: Built to supply water, act as bastion, this 14th-century dam still stands strong