A 1000-year-old Indian temple had an early form of air conditioning

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A Jain Mahavir statue within the remnants of a temple complex

Satyajit Ghosh

An Indian religious settlement built 1000 years ago had an early form of air conditioning created using natural resources and strategic design. The settlement contained Jain temples and dormitories, and was part of a small village called Artipura in what is now the southern state Karnataka in India, a region frequently affected by droughts both now and in the past.

The predominant feature of the settlement was a large granite-skirted natural reservoir storing rainwater, around which temples and dormitories were …


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