Udaipur : One of the tourist destinations that never fails to impress the guests are lakes and rivers. With the fifth phase of monsoon having saturated all the water bodies in Udaipur, spring sites are attracting great many footfalls. Pushpendra Singh Ranawat, a retired professor of geology, has written to the authorities suggesting creation of a special tourist circuit of the enchanting sacred groves in and around Udaipur.
“The identity of Udaipur is its geoheritage which is part of the natural heritage of an area constituted by geologic and geomorphologic features. The reason of success and progress of Udaipur founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1553 CE is because of its adequate rain-water resources, surface-water reservoirs, groundwater storage and utilization through wells, and the spring-fed tanks or the sacred groves (dev-vatikas)” Ranawat informs. Water is renewed annually during the monsoon season and the impact of this nature’s asset needs to be appreciated in light of the failure of Fatehpur-Sikri founded by Maharana Udai Singh’s contemporary-the Mughal Emperor Akbar at about same period as Udaipur, in 1569, but it had to be abandoned within 14 years only (1571-1585) because of inadequate water resources to support a capital city, adds the heritage enthusiast.
Around Udaipur, the precipitated water moves along the Aravalli hill slopes, partly recharging the groundwater on its path, but as the gradient flattened or the stream ends in a undulating valleys, the water is stored (rain water harvesting) on the surface as a lake/pond and also under the ground in minute rock openings, notably secondary fractures as the original porosity and permeability of the rocks were lost due to Aravalli hill range formation.
But most interesting are the numerous Sacred-Groves north, west and south of Udaipur which become very popular sites for the residents during the monsoon season. “These nature’s gifts need to be enumerated and located on a simple map, each of which should be developed with aesthetic landscaping, planting of local herbal and flower plantation. The Department of Tourism in association with the Smart City Project should work on this circuit so that people come to know about the rich geoheritage assets of the area, Ranawat claimed.