Panchakki, (Devanagari: पानचक्की) also known as the water mill, takes its name from the mill which used to grind grain for the pilgrims. This monument located in Aurangabad
, Maharastra, displays the scientific thought process put in medieval Indian architecture. It was designed to generate energy via water brought down form a spring on a mountain. The building, attached to the dargah of Baba Shah Musafir a Sufi saint is located in a garden near the Mahmud Darvaza and consist of a mosque, a madrissa, a kacheri, a minister's house, a sarai and houses for zananas.
Most of the buildings in the dargah complex (including Panchakki) were erected by Turktaz Khan, a noble on the staff of Nizam-ul-Mulk Asaf Jah in about 1695 A. D. The oblong reservoir in front of the mosque and fountains were added 20 years later by Jamil Beg Khan. Dating back to the 17th century, this ingenious water mill was designed to use the energy generated by flowing water from a nearby spring to turn the large grinding stones of the flourmill. Shah Mosafar died in Hijri 1110. This water mill was used to grind grain for the pilgrims and disciples of saints as well as for the troops of the garrison.
An 18th century library, housing manuscripts and a number of precious books has been reopened after 70 years here (Aurangabad). The library treasured about 100,000 books and writing pieces till Indian independence (1947). However, it was closed down in 1970s due to administrative reasons due to which many of the library books were shifted to Hyderabad. The library presently houses 2,500 books on various subjects related to history, law, medicine, Sufism, religion and philosophy in Arabic, penned by philosophers, saints and scholars in Urdu and Persian language.
Panchakki also houses the headquarters of the Wakf board of Maharashtra