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Monday, January 18, 2010

What is Khadin?

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Khadin is the traditional water harvesting structure of Rajasthan. It is also called as dhora. Khadin or dhora is an ingenious construction designed to harvest surface runoff water for agriculture. Its main feature is a very long (100-300 m) earthen embankment built across the lower hill slopes lying below uplands. Sluices and spillways in the area allow excess water to drain off to the catchment.


The Khadin system is based on the principle of harvesting rainwater on farmland and subsequent use of this water-saturated land for crop production. First designed by the Paliwal Brahmins of Jaisalmer, Western Rajasthan in the 15th century, this system has great similarity with the irrigation methods of the people of Ur (present Iraq) around 4500 BC and later of the Nabateans in the Middle East. A similar system is also reported to have been practiced 4,000 years ago in the Negev desert, and in southwestern Colorado 500 years ago.