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Janki Das Talab
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A Pond Lost Forever in the Pages of History


Beri is a town, Village, and a Municipal committee in the Jhajjar district in northern Indian state of Haryana, which previously fell under District Rohtak, Haryana, is now a part of newly created District Jhajjar from 15 July 1997 onwards. The City is located 60 kilometres (37 mi) northwest of Delhi and is a trading center. Beri is one of the largest tehsils of Haryana State including 77 villages. Beri City is situated on Road Connecting Gurgaon to Hisar and Kosli(Rewari) to Rohtak. This is the mid of These four Cities. The First Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhagwat Dayal Sharma, was from Beri village. The Town has a World's Famous temple dedicated to the goddess Mata Bhimeshwari Devi.The "Beri Pashu Mela" or "Beri Cattle Fair" is celebrated in the days of Navratra every year.

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The elders of Haryana often tell an anecdote, when Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang asked for water from a Haryanvi woman during her travels, she gave it instead of water by filling a bottle of milk. Hiuen Tsang said that he had asked for water. In response, the Haryanvi woman said, "We do not have the tradition of providing water to the guests. But the manner in which the traditional water structures have been ruined in the recent past, it seems that a serious water crisis will arise in Haryana, far away from milk.

History of Janki Das Talab



During the neglect of the ponds, the ponds here made for public use turned into encroachment, filth and sewage pits of the town. There were no such special ponds, which Seth used for himself or which were princely. Seeing the condition of Lala Jankidas's pond near the police station situated on Kalanaur road of Beri town of Jhajjar district, it seemed like this. But after a long struggle, finally this pond also got lost in the pages of history last year forever. Due to the rising property prices, this pond was in the vulture-like eyes of the dealers who wanted to earn money by selling it. The boundary wall of this very grand pond remained in ruins till last year, but its condition was not good. Bricks were starting to come out of them. The trees with very beautiful and deep shade were still there. This was the only pond among the Beri ponds, for whose maintenance the outer boundary wall was made and arrangements were made for the watchman. Till now 12-15 feet of water was standing in this pond, about 30 feet deep, but all the four Ghats started sinking inwards.

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Panoramic view of Seth Janki Das's Talab.

"It was built by Seth Jankaki Das, a wealthy Mahajans of Beri Town sometimes in early 1900's. "


It is estimated that more than 50 lakh Lakhuri bricks used for the construction of these Ghats and the inner boundary wall. Its watchman's responsibility rests with the family of 55-year-old Bhateri. The family of his son, the mason Pradeep, also lives here. According to Bhateri, there was no maintenance of this pond for a long time. Although many people are of the opinion that this pond was built by the Seths for themselves. But most elders do not agree with this. Local people say that till about 60 years ago, the water in the cauldron on this pond was hot in winter. The people who used to come here to take a bath, used to bring a bucket of water from the pond and put it in the cauldron and instead take a bucket of hot water. Gau Ghat was also built on the pond. This pond was also used for swimming competition. These three things confirm that this pond was also for public use.

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Aerial head over view of Janki Das's Cenotaph
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Inner view of Janki Das Palace

Looking at the structure of the pond and the arrangements for its maintenance, it seemed that it is a specimen of architecture that is several hundred years old. According to experts, this pond was made of bricks of potters who were expert in making ponds of beri. The masons here built it, but seeing its artistic craft and strength, it seems as if it was built by the Mughal masons.

A little away from the pond, there was a bungalow like a palace about five feet high. It has 16 doors to enter. There are several dozen skylights and windows. More than 250 mirrors installed in these skylights show how much money Seth Jankidas must have spent to increase the beauty and usefulness of this pond. However, many of these glasses were now broken. It had 32 beautiful doors around it. 64 pillars made of stone added to the beauty and strength of the verandahs. This pond was a group of buildings which included a windy palace, a square pond, a well and a two-storey memorial chhatri. In the octagonal chhatri, the remains of the frescoes on the walls were present till the last time. The date of its construction was marked on the walls of this chhatri, which tells its construction year 1902 AD (Samvat 1959). Many local people are of the opinion that this pond was built around 1885, about 17 years before this Chhatri.

Beautiful small houses were also built on one side of the pond. Experts say that after water sports, people used to rest in the bungalow. It was also an important center of group discussion on social issues. Surrounded by dense trees from all sides, this very beautiful pond was built around 1900. The eminent Seth Jankidas here built it in the memory of his brother with the help of a trust.

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After & During Destruction of Janki Das Talab



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Image Credit: Mr Ankit Yadav
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Image Credit: Mr Ankit Yadav
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Flat ground where there was once a pond.

360 Virtual Tour



Panoromic 360 view of Janki Das Talab.
Panoromic 360 view of Janki Das Talab.
Panoromic 360 aerial view of Janki Das Talab.