Saturday, June 11, 2005

In search of saraswati

I spent a few hours late last night looking for the river Saraswati. Of course most people already know that the river doesnt exist today. But it did at one point in time. Where is it now ?

Although i have heard about this river right from my childhood, from different references and stories told by my grandmother about Triveni Sangamam, ganga/yamuna/saraswati etc. The river according to her flows underground, which is probably a floklore which resulted because the river dried up at some point in time. It is impossible for a fiction of ones imagination to spread so far and wide across the entire country and to influence one's psychy. There had to be some truth that resulted in a story that was passed down generations.

With the launching of remote sensing satellites, there was improved capability and increased access to images of the sub-continent. This also allowed limited funding to stretch to areas that were not considered for research earlier on. Theories and also some proof, lots of documentation and literature started flowing regarding this holy river, which today only existed in our imagination. Suddenly also, isolated discoveries of human settlement started emerging into a theme. People settled on either banks of a river. If people were so deep in the sub-continent and co-inhabited the planet as early as the Indus-Valley civilization, or even much earlier, then what also happens to the theory of Aryan Invasion.

Well the truth of our ancestors, the culture and our history is so entwined with the search for this river.

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