Traditional water harvesting technology was based on an understanding of the constraints and impact of local ecology, geology, topographical formation and impacts on livelihood security. Water was treated as a part of ecology and culture and there was a strong individual participation in its ownership. Traditional systems carried in them the benefits of collective human experience since time immemorial and in that is their biggest strength.
Braj is home to over a thousand beautiful historic kunds. Most of them are over five thousand years old and find mention in the local mythology and folklores. As ecological sanctuaries they conserve rainwater and thereby allow the sub-soil water table to be maintained. Many of these kunds were a natural habitat for numerous migratory birds. In the past, water from these was used to irrigate local fields and orchards and sustain the local populace in the drought-hit years.
Over the years these small ecological sanctuaries evolved a distinctive culture of their own. Filled with deep waters and surrounded by stone embankments and beautiful architectural constructions, these kunds present a picturesque setting for devotees, nature lovers and connoisseurs of art and culture alike.
Etched in the memory of the local people as well as the folklore and mythology of the region, are the many different stories of Krishna’s play set with these kunds as their backdrop, that make these water reservoirs worthy of preservation for those devoted to Radha and Krishna. For the same reason, the thick groves that once surrounded these kunds were also considered sacred.