History confirms- a massive population existed in the Prachi / Tosali / Dhauli / Bhubaneswar / Kumari Parbata valley.

History of Asoka speaks of a massacre during the great epic battle of Kalinga, in hundreds of thousands and capture in more numbers, which clearly indicates the presence of a Mahajannapada  (great population) with enough Knowledge and Prosperity to attract LORD BUDHA, MAHAVIRA & thereafter  Asoka  in  261 BC.

And water has always held the secret to great civilizations. History of KALINGA confirm the knowledge of sophisticated and time tested water resource management system those days (2nd c B.C & beyond).



Hatigumpha Cave Inscriptions.

Hatigumpha far view.jpg   Inscriptions of King Kharavel, 2nd cBC on Hatigumpha.jpg   Hatigumpa rightside view.jpg


1. Built by Mahapadmananda 300 years before the 5th year of Kharavela's Coronation.

2. Renovated by Kharavela in his fifth year of Coronation.
3. A Jalla Pranalli or Aqua duct.
4. Some Historians refer to it as a place from where the water came.
5. Some historians refer to it as a place by the side of which the water came.
6. Till date not located (by history).
7. Hence not studied and made use of.

The word Tanusalyapatta mentioned in the Hatigumpha Inscription of King Kharavela is still in ambiguity.

Let us look at the word- TANUSALAYAPATTA- as a system to manage water-- for the whole City / Kingdom. It  was definitely put in place  by common men not Royal people.

And in a common man’s vernacular, the breakup of the word...........

TANU –SALYA –PATTA / BATTA......Tanu in Odiya meaning as   "From/ On Body.     Salya means Surgical and   Patta or Batta meaning Waterway". Where body can mean body of cave, body of wall, body of mountain, body of earth itself (aqua duct).

And we clearly see the TANUSALYA PATTAs  on Kumari Parbata (Khandagiri & Udayagiri hills, Bhubaneswar).

An efficient water management system has all the three aspects of.... (A) Collection and Storages,(B) Supply to points or areas for use and proper (C) Drainage of the used water.

( A ) Collection and Storage of Water.

On the Khandagiri and Udayagiri Hills , King Kharavela had renovated and constructed deep cold water points in the 2nd c B.C. There are 4 Water Holes on Khandagiri and One on Udayagiri Hills. Out of the five, presently 4 of them are still functional and use. These water holes never dry up even in intense summer, where as, very interestingly borewells of Houses at the foothills dry up. The mysterious perennial stream of clear water is equated to the Ganga and we have two Water holes on Khandagiri (1) The Gupta Ganga and (2) The Akash Ganga. The other 3 are called as Kunda. A Kunda means a well defined artificially created water reservoir and we have (3) The Lalita Kunda on Udayagiri Hills, (4) The Radha Kunda and (5) The Shyama Kunda.

Besides this we also see, consealed over head water locations in the cave ceilings. Many more can be located with equipments. When such water resource management is still visible on Khandagiri and Udayagiri Hills, One can imagine the entire Kalinga Nagari. Now all those must have gone under modern urbanisation. Let us see the existing water holes excavated by King Kharavel in the 2nd c B.C.

Gupta ganga cave entrance.JPG1.The Gupta Ganga. Once upon a time only about 30 years back, water used to flow out of the cave and down the mountain side. Those Tunel into Gupta ganga cave..JPGdays, elderly people said, on clapping before the cave entrance, water used to guss out more and more.

 But now, with the passage of time and vagaries of curious tourists, the tunnel into the cave have closed its mouth and only traces of water as wet ground can be felt. 

This cave fountain is situated at an elevation of 235 feet. The entrance is 7 mtrs by 4.5 mtrs and is excavated conically into the natural rock . Gives us the impression of possible inner water pools as in akash ganga.JPGFrance.


2. The Akash Ganga. This well is situated at an elevation of 245 feet on the Khandagiri Hills. It is 7.93 mtrs by 4.73 mtrs and about 4 mtrs deep. There remains water all round the year and presently in use by Tourists, Local people and the Monks who visit this place quite often. The water looks clean in spite of direct exposure to nature.


Radha Kunda, Khandagiri..jpg

3. The Radha Kunda. Situated at an elevation of 235 feet. This well is rectangular in shape like the others and is mostly used by Locals, Tourists and the visiting Monks due to its convenient location. It is also the largest with size of 10.06 mtrs by 4.47 mtrs and a depth of about 2 mtrs. The water is perennial, clear and threr are step cut rocks on the eastern side like in Akash Ganga. This Radha Kunda has many features to point at a Royal Bath of the Queens. Adjascent to it is also a set of large caves with open courtyard in front possibly to dry cloths and hair.  This Kunda is located on Khandagiri Hill.



Shyama Kunda.jpg

4. The Shyama Kunda. This caved water body is rarely seen due to its location at the extreme end of the Khandagiri Hill. Presently it is hidden by shrubs and wild growth. But the water is perennial and clear. Bottom of the small pool is clearly visible under water. And also can be seen some kind of connecting hole at the end of the bottom. The top and bottom of water levels can be seen from the water marks on the wall of the cave. This cave pool can be reached thru a small opening only.


Lalita Kunda.jpg

5. The Lalita Kunda. The only water body on Udayagiri Hill.This is also a rectangular rock cut well with steps leading down on the eastern side. It is 10 mtrs by 5 mtrs with a depth of about 2 mtrs. Exposed to nature and the water is not clean. But used by people sparingly.Water never dries up here too.


Large hollow space in the roof of cave..jpg


6. The inner over head water reservoir, inside the ceiling of caves in Ranigumpha on Udayagiri Hill. Wet surface indicates of the presence of water even now, though due to extensive damaged condition we only see a lot of fungal growth inside. Maybe this was the special overhead water source to the kings chamber,      ( Mattavarini ) near the Supitham on the left side of the first floor of Ranigumpha Cave.


Large water collection chamber for storage too. Inside the Nepathyagruha of Ranigumpha..jpg7. Another large water channel inside the Nepathyagruha of Ranigumpha on Khandagiri Hill. Water can be accessed easily in

this catchment and we also see connecting drainages to allow overflow of water. The rock cut channel as drain can be easily pluged with a block of wood and flow of water controlled.




Damaged portions of walls and ceiling exposes the inner over head water reservoir.

Damaged portion of a cave roof showing overhead water storages..jpgBroken cieling portion of cave exposing large water storage..jpg


( B ) Supply of Water to points of use: thru well designed channels. There are many water channels drilled thru rocks in caves and due to their damaged condition we are able to see some of them in important cave like the Rani Gumpha, Tatwa Gumpha etc. Even water channels have been drilled in the ceiling of caves. Some of them have been engraved upon cave walls and have been concealed thoroughly be wellcut stone slabs. We don’t know what extra adhesives were used to seal them to avoid water seepage or leakage. At important locations, well cut square holes are seen as if out flow of water was allowed with tap like control. Let us see them...

ancient aquaduct.jpg Supply channel from reservior thru cave.jpg Suppply channel thru cave walls damaged at places and water is seeping even now..jpg Surgically engraved water channel on the body of a cave floor which is on first floor..jpg Supply Channel cracked during rock blasting near by..jpg Water supply to the Kings chamber. Block of wood can be used to control the flow of water..jpg Out lets for water. Can be pluged with wooden blocks.jpg


(C) The Drainages of used and rain water.  Draining of used and rain water into specific areas of the garden or forest was also very well designed. And almost all drains inside caves were covered drain. Regular geometrically  straight channels on the hard rock are seem at many places on important caves. Well defined stone slabs fit exactly on the drains to cover them even from sight. It is indeed magnificent engineering of the 2nd c B.C.

A well covered drain from the Kings chamber on first floor..jpg Drain under doorfram.jpg Draing upwards to meet the supply  use point.jpg


Drain Hole visible from the mattavarini near Supitham and continuing channel..jpg Drainage of used water and rain water from Ranigumpha..jpg Well defined drainage comes under the door frame.jpg Surgically engraved water channel on the body of a cave floor which is on first floor..jpg

There are many more such surgical incisions on cave body with appropriate gradient for smooth flow of water on both the Khandagiri and Udayagiri Hills at Bhubaneswar constructed way back in the 2nd c B.C. by the great King Maha Meghavahana Airaraja Kalinga adhipati Sree Sree Sushyamala Kharavela.  More research with better equipments shall indeed bring to the fore the details of this Tannusalyapatta or Ancient Aqua Duct system of Kalinga ( Odisha ).