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River Saraswati did exist: Geologists


A team of scientists from Department of Geology, Maharaja Sayajirao University (MSU), Baroda, has confirmed through radio isotope studies about a river which had originated from the Himalayas and traversed through northwest India 10,000 years ago before getting discharged into the Great Rann of Kutch (GRK) in Gujarat.

The findings of the six-year long research led by Prof Lakshman Singh Chamyal, head of the geology department, MSU, is yet another proof of the Vedic-era river Saraswati, believed to have originated from the Himalayas and ended up in the Rann of Kutch area.

The internationally respected scientific journal Nature has published the research paper by Prof Chamyal and his team in its online issue dated July 14, 2017, a recognition and acceptance of the findings. “We can conclusively tell the world that there was a river flowing from the Himalayas and getting discharged into the GRK, some 10,000 years ago. We confirmed the course of the river through isotopic studies, the findings of which are the last word in this project,” Prof Chamyal told The Pioneer over phone from Baroda.

The findings were the results of six-year long perseverance and hard work by the MS University team in the Kutch region, said Prof DM Maurya, a member of the research team. They drilled 60 feet into the GRK to collect the sample sediments for analysis. “We used Neodymium and Strontium, two isotopes employed to detect the age and origin of any geological entities; the sediments which we collected from the Himalayas and the GRK region were same,” said Prof Maurya.

He said the sediments were of the same age and characteristics.

Scientists of the Department of Atomic Energy had found out that the ground water found in Jaisalimer desert in Rajasthan was the same as that of the 10,000 old river which had meandered from the Himalayas before getting discharged at GRK. “We found through isotopic studies that a river had flowed from Himalayas through the Jaisalmer desert in Rajasthan. The findings were presented as a scientific paper during an international seminar on radio analytical chemistry in South Africa in 2009 and was selected as the best research paper,” said Prof SM Rao, formerly of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, who was the lead scientist in the project

The Indian Space Research Organisation with the help of its remote sensing satellites too had tracked the course of the river believed to have flowed more than 10,000 years ago through the same region. “Taking into account the period in which the river traversed the distance, it certainly was the Saraswathi River which disappeared from the face of the earth due to geological reasons,” said S Kalyanaraman, director, Saraswathi Research Centre, Chennai.

Though the MS University scientists declined to accept it, Dr Kalyanaraman is of the firm view that the Saraswathi River was used by traders of that era for navigable waterway for maritime trade across the GRK and the Persian Gulf. Sites like Rakhigarhi near New Delhi, Kalibangan and Binjor (Anupgargh) throw more light into this,” he said.

Irfan Habib, the pro-CPI(M) historian had rejected the findings of DAE and ISRO scientists about River Saraswathi as “nonsense” because of its mention in Hindu mythology.



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