The Mysterious Water Mill of Panchakki
Are you ready for a journey back in time to explore the mysteries of medieval Indian architecture? If so, pack your bags and get ready to embark on an adventure to the Panchakki, also known as the water mill, located in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
As you approach this ancient monument, you’ll be struck by the beauty of the garden surrounding it. The Kaula nala flows nearby, and the walls of Begampura loom in the distance. The dargah complex, including the Panchakki, was built in the 17th century by Turktaz Khan, a noble on the staff of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah.
But what sets the Panchakki apart from other buildings in the complex is its unique design. This ingenious water mill was designed to use flowing water from a nearby spring to turn the large grinding stones of the flour mill. This mill was used to grind grain for the pilgrims and disciples of saints as well as for the troops of the garrison. And it was all done without physical effort!
The water-mill is kept fed with sufficient water by an underground conduit, which commences from a well just above the junction of the Harsul river with a tributary stream eight kilometers away. After crossing the tributary stream near its confluence with Harsul, this water-pipe proceeds to the Panchakki reservoir. The arrangement is such that the water is made to fall into the Panchakki cistern from quite a height in order to generate the necessary power to drive the mill.
As you explore the Panchakki, you’ll see the oblong reservoir in front of the mosque and fountains added by Jamil Beg Khan 20 years later. You’ll also see the mosque, a madrissa, a kacheri, a minister’s house, a sarai, and houses for zananas, all built to accommodate pilgrims and disciples of the Sufi saint Baba Shah Musafir.
Inside the mosque, you’ll find a spacious hall with cool chambers, which are used in summers by pilgrims. From the windows of this hall, you’ll enjoy a fine view of the Kham river, while the huge banyan tree on the southern margin of the reservoir provides shade and adds beauty to the whole scene.
Don’t forget to visit the cenotaph to the spiritual preceptor of Baba Musafir Shah and the tomb of his disciple Baba Shah Mahmood, along with a few other graves. And make sure to explore the water mill itself, which is driven entirely by water power.
As you wander through the Panchakki, you’ll be amazed by the scientific thought process put into medieval Indian architecture. This water mill is a true wonder, showcasing the ingenuity and creativity of ancient Indian builders.
And don’t forget, Panchakki also houses the headquarters of the Wakf board of Maharashtra, adding even more mystery and intrigue to this incredible site. So what are you waiting for? Come discover the wonders of the Panchakki for yourself!