Tracing the Sarasvati River

Dr.S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Sat Aug 29 03:25:06 UTC 1998

Today's news report from New Delhi announcing an ambitious
project to trace the Sarasvati River will be of interest to
all indology members.
The URL is:
The report is reproduced below. Best regards, Kalyanaraman

New Report: Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, Aug. 29, 1998

Ambitious project to trace river Saraswati 

New Delhi, Aug. 28: The Centre has embarked on an ambitious project to trace
Saraswati,the mythological river believed to be flowing underground and
forming the Sangam in confluence with the Ganga and the Jamuna.

If the latest scientific observations are confirmed, then the river Saraswati
could still be flowing under the deserts of Rajasthan, most probably somewhere
near the Indo-Pakistan border. 

The Central Ground Water Board is launching a massive project next month with
the assistance of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Physical Reserach
Laboratory, Ahmedabad, Indian Space Research Organisation and Rajasthan State
Ground Water Board. 

The attempt to trace the holy river is being launched from Longowala, which
became part of the sub-continent�s history during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
Starting from the far western part of the state, the project is expected to
cost Rs 1.25 crores.

�We hope to complete the project in two years. The first phase of the project
covering Western Jaisalmar will be completed in four months,� CGWB Jaipur
regional director S C Sharma said. 

The project, claimed to be the final culmination of a series of observations
made in the last 10 years by the CGWB, is the most scientific attempt in
Indian history to trace the holy river, which a group of historians say was
the craddle of a Vedic culture. 

Sharma said the hydro-geological surveys in the past 10 years by the Central
and State ground water boards, and the satellite imageries in the last three
years have shown �signature marks� of the path of �some hidden flowing
systems� in Rajasthan. 

Incorporating this with historical works, especially a paper published in 1968
on Saraswati, the board and other experts believe that the river could have
been flowing somewhere in the state. The CGWB authorities have identified
eight areas in Rajasthan where the �signatures� have been found for further

While the board will carry out the bore hole electrical logging, BARC will
carry out dating of water to judge how old it is, and the Physical Laboratory
will determine the sediments in different depths. 

Specialised atomic tests, further investigations, and a detailed Lytho Chart
could finally throw light on the hidden river, says Mr Sharma, a former UN
consultant and a senior hydro-geologist who will be overseeing the entire

The board will employ a costly Geophysical Resistivity equipment recently
imported from Japan for the project. A group of historians have claimed in the
recent past that by the river there could have been a pre-Harappan culture
which �is the mother of a matured Harappan culture�. 

This group of historians, who claim Aryans were not invaders, wants to call
the Indus Valley civilization as the �Saraswati Civlization�. The particular
group of Indian historians also question the claims of Mortimer Wheeler, who
excavated Mohenjodaro and Harappa, that light skinned Aryans invaded from
Central Asia destroying Indus Civlization. 

�Research (to find Sarswati) is one part of the project. If there are hidden
channels of rechargable water then it could be of great use to a state like
Rajasthan for more water supply,� says Mr Sharma, refusing that the project
has any politics to it. 

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