The Anang Tal lake in South Delhi, believed to have been built a thousand years ago, has been declared a monument of national importance through a gazette notification by the Ministry of Culture earlier this week.
The notification, issued on August 22, stated: “The central government is of the opinion that the ancient mound including Anang Tal, Tehsil Mehrauli, district South Delhi, National Capital Territory Delhi… is an ancient site and remains of national importance; Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 4 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (24 of 1958), the central government hereby gives notice of its intention to declare the said ancient site and remains to be of national importance…”
The notification also invites objections or suggestions over the next two months. “Any objection or suggestions, to the declaration of the said archaeological site and remains to be of national importance, may be made within a period of two months from the date of issue of this notification, by any interested person in the said ancient site and remains; to the director general, ASI… The objections or suggestions… with respect to said draft notification within the period specified shall be taken into consideration by the central government,” it said.
Reacting to the development, former National Monuments Authority chairman Tarun Vijay, who had submitted the proposal in 2019 to the Ministry of Culture for declaration of the site as a monument of national importance, said, “The national monument stature for Anang Tal is like the re-coronation of Anang Pal Singh Tomar in Delhi.”
Recently, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena had visited the Anang Tal Baoli inside Sanjay Van, and directed officials to restore the heritage stepwell within the next two months.
Union Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal, who visited the site in May, had asked the Delhi Development Authority, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, to restore the historic lake in Mehrauli. The minister asked officials to expedite conservation work so the site could be declared a national monument.
As per the website of National Mission on Monuments and Antiquities, a government agency, Anang Tal is situated “to the north of Jog Maya temple and approximately 500 metres to the northwest of Qutub Complex”, and dates back to 1,060 AD. “Tradition ascribes this tank to a Tomar King, Anangpal II, the builder of Lal Kot. It is said to have been a place of a general resort but now it is dried up and used for cultivation… ,” said the NMMA website.