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Panel on mythical Sarasvati river:

Topics Covered: Conservation and Pollution related issues.

Panel on mythical Sarasvati river:


Context:

The Centre has reconstituted an advisory committee to chalk out a plan for studying the mythical Sarasvati river for the next two years, after the earlier panel’s term ended in 2019.

  • The ASI had first set up the committee on December 28, 2017 for a period of two years.

Composition of the committee:

The committee would be chaired by the Culture Minister and include officials from the Culture, Tourism, Water Resources, Environment and Forest, Housing and Urban Affairs Ministries; representatives of the Indian Space Research Organisation; officials from the governments of Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan; and an ASI official.

About Saraswati:

The river, which had originated from Kapal tirith in the Himalayas in the west of Kailash, was flowing southward to Mansarovar and then taking a turn towards west.

The river flowed through Haryana, Rajasthan and North Gujarat. It also flowed through Pakistan before meeting Western Sea through Rann of Kutch and was approximately 4,000 km in length.

  • The river had two branches: western and eastern. The Himalayan-born Satluj “of the PAST”, which flowed through the channels of present-day Ghaggar-Patialiwali rivulets, represents the western branch of the ancient river.
  • On the other hand, Markanda and Sarsuti represented the western branch of Saraswati, known as Tons-Yamuna.
  • The confluence of the branches was near Shatrana, 25 km south of Patiala. And suddenly, it flows crossing the dessert (Rann of Kutch) and meet gulf of western sea.

Historical evidence:

  • The Sarasvati River is one of the main Rigvedic rivers mentioned in the scripture Rig Veda and later Vedic and post-Vedic texts.
  • Book 6 of the Rig Veda includes a hymn called the ‘Nadistuti Sukta’, which sings praises of the Saraswati as being “perfect mother, unsurpassed river, supreme goddess”.
  • For 2000 years, between 6000 and 4000 B.C., the Saraswati flowed as a great river.

saraswati

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About the river.
  2. Its origin, basin states and tributaries.
  3. Other Himalayan rivers.

Sources: the Hindu.