Molangur: In these days of modernisation and easy access to various facilities, people carrying cans of water from Reverse Osmosis (RO) water plants in rural areas is a common sight. These RO plants have sprung up even in small villages with people seeking safe drinking water, and now with Mission Bhagiratha reaching every household in the State, potable water is no longer an issue.
The situation, however, is different in Molangur, a small village about 31 km from Karimnagar town. This village, which has about 500 houses and a population of about 6,000, is famous for the ‘Doodh Bowli’ (Well of Milk) and the water from this well is believed to have medicinal values. Little wonder then that people from this village prefer to consume water from this well than any RO plant or even Mission Bhagiratha. Not only the local residents, several people from the 12 surrounding villages also come to the well to fetch water.
‘Doodh Bowli’ is located in the ancient Molangur Fort, and has a great history. The fact that the Nizam of Hyderabad had water from this well transported in horse-drawn carriages every day to Hyderabad for his personal consumption, speaks volumes of the belief that the well water had medicinal values. Though it is not clear as to when the well was dug, people say it has been in existence since the time of Kakatiya dynasty. The well acquired the name ‘Doodh Bowli’ as the water looks like milk, and the locals believe that the water can cure several ailments.
Says Narahari Buchi Reddy, a former sarpanch of the village: “About 80 per cent of the villagers prefer to use water from ‘Doodh Bowli’ for drinking purposes, while a few prefer water from RO plants. People from adjoining areas also regularly fetch water from the well. The water supplied under Mission Bhagiratha, though safe and good, is mostly used for cooking and washing of clothes and utensils.” To buttress his argument that the water indeed had medicinal values, Buchi Reddy said hardly anyone in the village had any health issues. The well is 24-feet deep and has enough water round the year, except in April when the level dips a bit, he said.
Buchi Reddy, says during his tenure as sarpanch (1992-97), he had taken water from ‘Doodh Bowli’ to the Pollution Control Board office in Warangal for testing where they said the water had no harmful micro-organisms including fluoride.
The Molangur Fort itself was constructed on a hillock by Voragiri Moggaraju, one of the chief officers of Prathapa Rudra of Kakatiya dynasty in the 13th century. It was constructed as a transit halt for Kakatiyas while travelling from Warangal Fort to Elgandal Fort in Karimnagar.
According to the local people, the original name of the village was Mudugar. However, it was renamed Molangur after a Muslim saint Molang Shah Wali. The well was also dug during the period of the Kakatiyas.
Tunguturi Sanjeev, a native of Korapalli of Jammikunta mandal, fetches water from the well whenever gets a chance, especially on his way back home from Karimnagar. Stating that his grandmother hailed from Molangur, Sanjeev says though none of his relatives are alive now, he visits ‘Doodh Bowli’ for the water as he believes it has medicinal values.
Vajramma, a local woman, says she has been drinking water from the well since childhood. “People who consume RO water often complain of developing joint pains. People don’t face health issues if they consume water from Doodh Bowli,” she said.
Another villager, Tirupathi, says people consume water directly from the well without any filtration process. “People don’t face any health issues since the water is pure besides having medicinal values,” he said, and claims that the well water has a cure for kidney ailments.
Another local Nune Rajaiah, says that two tanks located on the hillock of Molangur Fort are the water source for well. “The water has medicinal values since it reaches the well passing through roots of different types of medicinal plants in the area,” he said.
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