Afghan Architecture Combines Beauty and Purpose with Water Conservation

May 05, 2020

Blog :: Heritage

In Mandu, temperatures can often soar to 45 degrees in summer. That's perhaps why the anonymous Afghan architect who built the Jahaz Mahal combined conservation of water and systems of rain water harvesting with the beauty and delicacy of Islamic architecture.


The 120 meter long Jahaz Mahal complex is studded with many water structures. The twin lakes of Kapur Talab and Munj Talab abutting the palace not only stored water but helped cool its surroundings. Together, these lakes also irrigated the lands surrounding the structure and charged the ground water table.


In addition, the many baolis or water wells in the premises helped store water for drinking while the beautifully constructed pools on the roof and ground floor of the palace offered the royalty a way to relax and cool during summer months. Incredibly, these pools were fed by rain water carried by swirling channels designed to look like intertwining vines.