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Efforts have been made to locate the origin of the legendary Sarasvati River in India

Ian Harvey

In an attempt to revive the lost history of the Sarasvati, Government of India is now initiating ambitious Heritage project. The aim is to create more awareness and attract the visitors to the river site, which dried out some 4,000 years ago.

The Sarasvati Heritage Project received the crucial endorsement by the Government of India (GOI) which is striving to reconnect the masses with religious and cultural past of the country, and has received strong support from the Haryana state government,

 

 The Ghaggar-Hakra system has been identified as the Vedic Sarasvati river by many modern researchers Source:By Maheshkumaryadav (http://www.TastyTouch.co.in) - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11106293

The Ghaggar-Hakra system has been identified as the Vedic Sarasvati river by many modern researchers Source:By Maheshkumaryadav (http://www.TastyTouch.co.in) – Own work, CC BY 3.0, 

In the first meeting regarding the project, the contributors discussed various ways essential to revive the river – which has presumably gone underground. Amongst the many points discussed in the meeting, tracing the old routes of the river and its offshoots was a major discussing point. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of state for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma, who heard all the concerned parties and their ideas for the project. Amongst the dignitaries who attended the important meeting were NK Sinha (Secretary of Ministry of Culture) and Vinod Zutshi (secretary of Ministry of Tourism), along with a group of river experts, historians, and scientists.

The Indian Authorities at the Centre have authorized the involvement of Archaeological Survey of India, Geological Survey of India and eminent scientists and historians to carry out the project and consider all its aspects. According to an official in the ministry of tourism, the Centre has also formed a committee to overlook the project and report its findings regarding the progress. The official added that the researchers have already hit a milestone by locating some valuable clues near Adi Badri at Yamuninagar, which is now in Haryana; the links suggest the possible origin of the Sarasvati river.

In the cultural and religious framework of India, Sarasvati river carried immense value in terms of its historical existence. The legend is that a major part of Hindu religious scripture, Rig Veda, which was written on the banks of this mythical river.

In 2014, Uma Bharati the Union Water Resources Minister had revealed the Narendra Modi-led government has given immense importance to finding the missing river and that all possible measure shall be adopted to start a project. Bharati added that there is no lack of scientific and historical evidence that the sacred river once flowed through the region, and that some scientists had in fact located more than six places from where the Sarasvati river is believed to have been passing through. Bharati ended her talk on the topic by strongly suggesting that Sarasvati is no more a myth thanks to the modern scientific methods.