Sarasvati Conference

Sarasvati River: International Conference Nov. 20-22, 2009 at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (Conference papers)


Myth to reality: Sarasvati is set to flow again

Revival Of River To Recharge Ground Water In Haryana


Atul Sethi | TNN 

Times of India, Dec. 10, 2008

    Almost 13 km from Kurukshetra lies the ancient village of Bhoresaidan — named after the Kaurava hero Bhurisrava, who was one of Duryodhana’s 11 distinguished senapatis during the Mahabharata war. A dusty road adjacent to the village leads to a yawning valley, flanked by rocks and covered with a soil that is a curious mix of various sedimentary deposits. Rajesh Purohit, deputy director of the Kurukshetra-based Sri Krishna Museum, bends to scoop up some of the soil. “This soil has a lot of history,” he says gravely. “After all, the river Sarasvati used to once flow here.” 

    Purohit's contention is that the ‘valley’ is actually the bed of the Sarasvati, a fact which finds mention in numerous ancient literary texts, but whose existence has often been questioned by historians. “The discovery of the river bed,” he says, “proves beyond doubt that Sarasvati is not a myth.” 

    That myth may now be laid to rest forever as plans are afoot to revive a part of the course taken by this ancient river. The Haryana government has acquired almost 20 acres of land and work is under way on a 50 km-long channel in Kurukshetra, through which the river will flow again. 

    “The revival of the Sarasvati will benefit countless people in the region as it will augment ground water resources,” says Darshan Lal Jain of the Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Sansthan, which is working with the government on this project. The plan is not to line with the river’s course with bricks so that water can permeate the ground. With ground water levels dipping to as low as 150 feet, the river’s revival may be a boon for parched Haryana. 

    A boon that would not have been possible without the discovery of the river bed. “In 2004, an extraordinary phenomenon occurred,” recalls Purohit. “Water started oozing out from a palaeochannel (a dried river bed) at the Kapil Muni temple sarovar at Kalayat. We carried out studies of this water. Simultaneously, a scientific team studied its mineral composition.” 

    Scientists from ISRO also carried out studies using space imagery and discovered a number of fossil valleys in upper central Haryana. “Mapping images of the palaeo channels showed that they corresponded to the archaeological sites of Haryana,” says Purohit. 

“This means that these settlements came up near the river, as was the norm in those times and gives further proof that the river Sarasvati indeed existed,” he says. 

Incidentally, the debate about the existence of the Sarasvati has been continuing for a long time although lately, most historians have begun to concede that the river perhaps did exist. However, they still continue to debate the name by which the river was known, the route that it took and the reasons for its disappearance. “There is no doubt that the Sarasvati river existed. However, opinion is divided on whether it was known as the Sarasvati or the Ghaggar,” says S Kalyanraman of the Sarasvati Research and Education Trust (SRET). 

    The idea that the ancient Sarasvati might be the modern-day seasonal river, Ghaggar, is not a new one. It was first put forward over 100 years ago by CF Oldham, an English engineer who observed that the dry bed of the Ghaggar appeared too broad for a seasonal river. Oldham believed that the Ghaggar was, in fact, flowing on the bed of a bigger river that existed before. Archaeological excavations of the Indus Valley sites have also revealed numerous settlements along the Ghaggar, lending further credence to this theory. 

    But then, how did this river disappear? “Primarily due to tectonic shifts,” says K S Valdiya of the Bangalore-based Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research. 

    “Tectonic uplifts caused the deflection of the waters of the Yamuna and Sutlej, which contributed the bulk of the expanse of the river. In a way, it was a case of ‘river piracy’,” says Valdiya, who recently delivered the keynote address at a conference on the Sarasvati that was organised by SRET. 

    Whatever the reason for its disappearance, this river sutra is far from over. And when this ancient river does start to flow again, everyone will be watching. After all, it is not every day that a river is reborn.

The river bed that was discovered near Bhoresaidan in Haryana and (left) the channel that is being cleared for the Sarasvati

River Saraswati will again flow on its earlier routes.

Posted by shreya 21 days ago(

(NewDesignWorld Press ReleaseCenter) November 6,2008,Delhi,India 

Saraswati, a majestic river, after originating in Himalaya flowed through present day Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat prior to joining the Arabian Sea. Ancient Vedic culture flourished on its banks. Important towns like Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Shatrana, Sirsa, Kalibangan, Pilibangan, Suratgarh, Beriwal etc flourished on its banks. Our former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was very excited on seeing a photograph of the River with water and he endorsed his reaction in our visitors' book as – 'Delighted to see the hard work in realizing reality from epic information'- A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. 

Recently, subsurface water started oozing out within a pond of the famous Kapil Muni Ashram in Kalayat (Haryana). A multi-disciplinary scientific team studied the oozing water and the sand that accompanied it. Dr. A R Chaudhri of Kurukshetra University found a suite of angular heavy minerals having their source in higher Himalayan rocks. Dr. A K Gupta & Dr B K Bhadra of ISRO identified fossil valleys of Vedic Saraswati in the area from the study of space imageries and concluded that this water was of aforesaid river. Sh Rajesh Purohit conducted geomorphologic studies and concluded that this water belonged to Vedic Saraswati that has been described in Rigveda and other scriptures. Later on, he along with his team discovered the actual river bed near Jyotisar (Kurukshetra). 

During the course of scientific studies carried out from space imageries, scientists from ISRO discovered a number of fossil valleys restricted to areas around Kurukshetra, Pehowa etc. in upper central Haryana. They interpreted it as remnants of the meandering Vedic Saraswati. Based on satellite imagery, they have drawn out a map of Saraswati River from Glacier to Rann of Kachch. 

Dr M R Rao, GGM, ONGC alongwith his team, undertook drilling near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and got a discharge of 76000 litres/hr of water from one of the wells. Out of 24 wells, drinking water was obtained from 23 wells. Scientific tests on this subterranean water revealed that this water belonged to an old river that once existed here. This old river was none other than Vedic Saraswati. ONGC has now been approached by Haryana Government to undertake drilling at Kalayat and Kapal Mochan in Haryana under their Phase-II programme. 

Besides the above scientific evidences, village wise revenue record has been collected and compiled proving the flow of Saraswati Nadi in continuity. Survey of India topo-sheets tally with these revenue records. Based on these revenue records, about 50km of Saraswati channel has already been cleared by digging by Haryana Irrigation Department.Any visitor to the archaeological sites at Kunal (District Fatehabad, Haryana) will find shells in the river bed. A friend of archaeology would show a conch recovered from Rakhigarhi (Distrist Jind, Haryana) excavation. 

A 3 day conference was recently conducted in Delhi to bring together scholars of different scientific disciplines and of ancient history of the Indian subcontinent, and provide a multi-disciplinary forum for the scholars to present and collectively review the results of their studies relating to the ancient Vedic river Sarasvati. The Conference explored the validation of a consensus that the ancient civilization that emerged and prospered on the banks of the river Sarasvati is the precursor to the civilization that is known and exists today as Hindu civilization, establishing a very long continuum of human society and achievement. 

During the Conference, the ongoing work to facilitate the flowing again of the river Sarasvati above the surface was highlighted. This rebirth of River Sarasvati would benefit around 200 million people of India in various States—Uttaranchal, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Presentations on the efforts underway in the State of Haryana to bring the Manasarovar glacier waters through Rajasthan were highlighted in the Conference. 

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E-books (released on the inaugural day of the Conference, 24 October 2008)

The Saraswati: The mother of Indian civilization. Inaugural address delivered on 24 October 2008 by BB Lal in the Conference on Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization held at India International Centre, New Delhi

Sarasvati – Vedic River and Hindu Civilization by S. Kalyanaraman (2008)  (including guide to decoding Sarasvati hieroglyphs) 
Sarasvati Research & Education Trust, Chennai ISBN 978-81-901126-1-1

Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization (ed.) S. Kalyanaraman (2008) – Compendium of Papers presented at the Conference on the same subject held at at India International Centre, New Delhi between Oct. 24 to 26, 2008 (including inaugural address of BB Lal and Keynote address of KS Valdiya)
Aryan Books International, New Delhi ISBN 978-81-7305-365-8

Conf. held at India International Centre, New Delhi (24-26 Oct. 2008), participated in by over 55 scholars/scientists.

The lost river Saraswati: Geological evidence (July 2008) Abstract -- KS Valdiya

The Sarasvati: the mother of Indian Civilization -- BB Lal (24 Oct. 2008); inaugural address (full speech included in the book released: Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization, ed. S. Kalyanaraman, Delhi, Aryan Books International, pp. 95-117).

The Sarasvati: the mother of Indian civilization -- BB Lal (24 Oct. 2008) inaugural address ppt

Bhirrana excavation -- its contribution to thestudies of Harappan civilization in Sarasvati valley -- LS Rao (October 2008)

Dholavira excavation, Part I -- RS Bisht (25 Oct. 2008)

Dholavira excavation, Part 2 -- RS Bisht (25 Oct. 2008)

Exploring the existence of Saraswati -- DK Chaddha (Sept. 2008)

List of delegates who were present/who presented papers included in
the Conf. Papers compilation:

1.      Prof. K.S Valdiya, Professor of Geodynamics, Jawaharlal Nehru
Centre for Advanced Research, Jakkur, Bangalore
2.      Prof. BB Lal, Former Director General, Archaeological Survey of India
3.      Prof. KN Dikshit, Former Jt. Director General, Archaeological
Survey of India; President, Indian Archaeological Society
4.      Dr. RS Bisht, Former Director, Archaeological Survey of India;
excavator of Banawali, Dholavira sites on Sarasvati River Basin
5.      Prof. Shivaji Singh, Former Head of the Department, Archaeology and
Ancient History, Gorakhpur University
6.      Dr. N. Mahalingam, Chairman, Sakti Group of Companies; Patron of
Indian Culture and Civilization studies
7.      Shri Rajiv Malhotra, Founder, Infinity Foundation, Princeton, USA
8.      Dr. LS Rao, Senior Superintending Archaeology, Archaeological
Survey of India, Nagpur; excavator of Bhirdana site on Sarasvati River
9.      Mr.D.C. Nath, Indian Police Service
10.     Dr. Muralidhar Pahoja, Scholar, Ancient Civilization studies
11.     Sri Haribhau Vaze, National Organizing Secretary, Akhila Bharatiya
Itihasa Sankalana Yojana
12.     Dr. Sharad Hebalkar, Secretary, Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa
Sankalana Yojana
13.     Sri Bal Mukund, Jt. Secretary, Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana
14.     Sri Ratnesh Tripathi, Ph.D. Student, Working on thesis,
'Tirthasthanas on Sarasvati river basin' in Jivaji University, Gwalior
15.     Kumari Sampada Sarvedakar, Ph.D. Student, Sanskrit, University of
16.     Dr. M.R.Rao, Director, Sarasvati Project, ONGC
17.     Sri Chander mohan, Social activist working for revival of Vedic
River Sarasvati in Haryana; associated with Sarasvati Nadi Sansthan,
Jagadhri, Haryana
18.     Dr. A. R. Chaudhari, Prof. of Geology, Kurukshetra University
19.     Sri Rajesh Purohit, Deputy Director, Krishna Museum, Kurukshetra
and Archaeologist, Haryana
20.     Dr. B.M. Tripathi
21.     Dr. R. Nagaswami, Tamil Arts Academy; Former Director, Archaeology
Department, Tamil Nadu
22.     Dr. B.M.Pandey, Senior Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India
23.     Samanya Nanda
24.     Sri R.C. Sarma, Art Historian of Indian Civilization
25.     Sri J.R.Sarma, Director, Indian Space Research Organization;
Regional Remote Sensing Services Centre, Jodhpur.
26.     Dr. A.K.Gupta, Senior ScientistIndian Space Research Organization;
Regional Remote Sensing Services Centre, Jodhpur.
27.     Sri Darshan lal Jain, President, Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Sansthan,
Jagadhri, Haryana
28.     Sri T. V. Rangarajan, Secretary, Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana
Samiti, Tamil Nadu and Kerala
29.     Dr. Harsh Vardhan
30.     Prof. Bharat Gupta, Scholar, Ancient Indian studies with
particular reference to Art History
31.     Dr. R. P. Tiwari
32.     Sri Devendra Sawroop, Former Director, Deendayal Research
Institute, Delhi
33.     Dr. K. K. Bajaj, Centre for Policy Studies, Delhi
34.     Sri N. Badrinath, Ph.D. Student in Sarasvati civilization studies;
MTech, Lecturer in Shastra University, Thanjavur
35.     Dr. VMK Puri, Glaciologist; Former Director, Geological Survey of India
36.     Shri Michel Danino, Independent Scholar and Researcher, Indian
civilization studies
37.     Dr. RN Athavale, Emeritus Scientist, National Geophysical Research
Institute, Hyderabad
38.     Dr. DK Chadha, Former Chairman, Central Ground Water Board, Govt.
of India, Ministry of Water Resources
39.     Dr. Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Department of Evolutionary Biology,
University of Tartu and Estonian Biocentre, Estonia
40.     Dr. MA Narasimhan, Research Scholar; Director, Itihasa Bharati
Research Centre, Mysore
41.     Prof. Narahari Achar, Professor of Phsics, University of Memphis,
Tennessee, USA
42.     Prof. TP Verma, Former Head of Department, Archaeology and Ancient
Indian History, Benares Hindu University, Varanasi
43.     Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, Director, Sarasvati Research Centre; National
President, Rameshwaram Rama Setu Protection Movement; Author of 15
volumes on Sarasvati Civilization.
44.     Prof. Gauri Mahulikar, Head of Department, Sanskrit, Bombay University
45.     Dr. AK Sharma, Mahant Ghasi ram Museum, Raipur, Chattisgarh
46.     Shri KV Ramakrishna Rao, Independent Researcher, Itihasa Sankalana
Samiti, Tamil Nadu
47.     Prof. Bhudev Sharma, Founder World Association of Vedic Studies,
Prof. of Mathematics, Clarks Atlanta University, USA
48.     Prof. Shashi Tiwari, Professor of Sanskrit, Maitreyi College,
Delhi University
49.     Shri CRB Lalit, IAS (Retd), Advisor, Udyog Bhavan, Himachal Pradesh
50.     Dr. Jagmohan, Former Union Minister of Culture and Tourism,
Govt. of India
51.     Dr. Subramanian Swamy, Former Union Commerce Minister, Govt. of India
52.     Dr. Adiga Sundara, Former Head of Department, Archaeology and
Ancient Indian History, Karnataka University
53.     Dr. Ravindra Ramadas, Former Research Director, Shri Brihad
Bhartiya Samaj, Mumbai
54.     Arun Nigudkar, Senior Journalist; Author of Greeks in India
55.     Prof. Bhagwan Singh, Author of 'Vedic Harappans'
56.     Shi MK Gupta, Engineer in Chief, Dept. of Irrigation, Govt. of Haryana

The saga of the quest for river Sarasvati -- MA Jayasree, M. Narasimhan & Haribhau Vaze (2008)

Search for Vedic River Sarasvati

Consensus conclusions and recommendations of the Conference on Vedic River Sarasvati & Hindu civilization held atIndia International Centre between 24 to 26 October 2008.

Conference schedule: Invitation 

Conference schedule: Program