Reviving the Sarasvati

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman MDSAAA48 at GIASMD01.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Jan 13 02:39:41 UTC 1997

The following report has appeared in THE HINDU of Jan. 13, 1997, based on my paper::

"At the recent World Sanskrit Conference in Bangalore it was disclosed that the mythical Saraswati, celebrated in the Rig Veda, can be revived. A bewildering aray of evidence for it was presented and three points were established beyond doubt. First, the Saraswati was a mighty and perennial river circa 3000 B.C. when the Harappan civilization flourished, flowing from the Har-ki-dun glacier of the Himalayas into the Gulf of Khambat near Lothal. Second, as shown by the hymns of the Rig Veda and later texts, the river sustained a maritime civilisation and a metal-based economy with about 1,200 settlements. The names of the settlements detected from various sources, have been painstakinly identified with probable locations along the river.

"Third, at about 1500 B.C. the Yamuna drained the waters flowing into the Saraswati due perhaps to tectonic changes. The settlement pattern indicates an eastern movement of people into the Ganga-Yamuna doab and southward along the coastline. The confluence of the Saraswati at Sangam in Prayag is therefore not mythology.

Satellite images of the area have clearly shown the dried-up canals and the river bed. Hydrological data show that it is possible to diver the surplus water from the Yamuna into the Thar desert and enhance the groundwater potential of the area. Planting of umari (salicornia brachiata) a shrub that thrives on salty soil, will not only save the river and te canals from sand-storms but also yield considerable edible oil.

"The proposal to revive the Saraswati is worthy of public support as it would preserve our glorious heritage and make the Thar desert bloom, paving the way for another granary to the country. It could be a people's project with the cooperation of the Governments of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh as well as the centre."

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman,
Indus Sarasvati Research Centre,
19 Temple Avenue #4, Srinagar Colony Saidapet, Chennai 600015, India
Tel. +91 44 2354640; Fax. 4996380; email:mdsaaa48 at

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