400-year-old underground water tunnel found

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Aurangabad, July 20 (UNI) A 17th century underground dry water tunnel was found, when digging work was being carried out to lay drainage pipeline at Nurses' Quarters, in the vicinity of Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here.

The digging work had started a couple of days ago and yesterday the workers were surprised to see an old structure underground, according to sources.

The tunnel is a very beautiful structure and can be fully explored after climbing down the five-feet deep and about two-feet wide running pit, sources said.

The spot is under the present tar road near the community centre in the premises of the Nurses' Quarter, sources said.

As of now, the over three feet high tunnel, decorated with plain stone arch can be seen. Next to the arch is a beautifully designed white-coloured water cascading sheet (designed like fish scales) of 4x4 square feet in size. Half the portion of the sheet also have dozens of small arches. Both the underground structures are attractive and impressive, though partially damaged.

According to some experts, the tunnel belongs to 17th century and the 'naher' water used to flow through the underground tunnel. The present area (GMCH and Nurses Quarters) was once a huge prolific garden called Ahmedi Baugh. The garden was situated on a slope, (there is a slope from Makkai Gate to Lal Masjid), Hence, probably a water fountain would have existed in the middle of the slope and with the passing time, the structure might have been buried under the debris bringing it to ground surface. It belongs to the period of Malik Amber, as the underground water system was introduced by him.

The structure should be preserved by the concerned departments, experts said.

Today being a holiday for Central Government employees, the officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) could not know about the development, sources said.

The digging work has been stopped and will start from Monday, after consultation with the concerned officials. However, till late in the evening curious citizens rushed to see the marvel, sources said.

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