In March- April 2015, Haryana government announced to start the excavation of the mythical Saraswati river from Adi Badri, the point from where it is said to have originated. The team working on reviving the Saraswati River in Yamunanagar district found strong water current on reaching a depth of seven-feet today. Haryana assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal in April 2015 inaugurated the excavation work on the Rs 50-crore 'Saraswati Revival Project' at Rolaheri village in Yamunanagar district. Scientists got an inkling of the presence of the Saraswati two decades ago, when satellite photographs showed presence of underground water around Jaisalmer and its flow had a definite pattern. When they tallied scientific data with the ancient literature, they were convinced about the existence of Saraswati. There are indications that these channels were formed by the river Saraswati, that is mentioned in the RigVeda and as well as in the Mahabharata. ✹ HOW WAS RIVER SARASWATI RE-DISCOVERED? (Article Taken from Educators' Society for Heritage of India) The modern quest for the Sarasvati began in the 1970s when American satellite images showed traces of water channels in northern and western India that had disappeared long ago. Thereafter, Dr. Vakankar together with Moropant Pingle established the invisible river’s route through satellite imagery and archaeological sites along its route. The Sarasvati project was vetted and cleared by eminent archaeologists and geologists, and an earnest search for the lost river launched in 1982. For instance, in 1995, scientists of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) found that water was available in the Rajasthan desert at depths of merely 50 to 60 metres, as a result of which agriculture was possible even in the extreme summer months. The Central Arid Zone Research Institute (#CAZRI),#Jodhpur, mapped the defunct course of a river through satellite and aerial photographs and field studies. In fact, satellite imagery has given the river scientific teeth. It seems to have originated in Kailash Mansarovar and emerged on the plains from the Shiwalik Hills at the foothills of the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, flowed through the Ghaggar valley in#Haryana and the Rajasthan desert, on to Hakra in the Cholistan desert (Sindh, Pakistan), before reaching the Rann of Kutch through the Nara Valley and falling off into the Arabian Sea. Since the Ghaggar Valley is eight to twelve kilometers wide at many places, it is obvious the#Sarasvati was truly a great river. Earthquakes and floods changed the course of the Ghaggar and its tributaries frequently, and satellite imagery together with ground morphological studies confirm that it too originated in the Siwalik Himalayas before flowing into the Arabian Sea. This was the ‘lost’ Sarasvati. Scientific studies suggest it dried up around 2000 BC, which makes it a contemporary of the Saraswati-Sindhu civilization, and gives the Rig Veda a greater antiquity than previously suspected, as the Sarasvati was a powerful river when the seers composed the Vedic mantra-s. After Dr. Wakankar’s demise in 1996, the Vedic_Sarasvati_Nadi_Shodh_Pratishthaan, Jodhpur (regd.) continued the project, by roping in the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), whose chairman Dr. Kasturi Rangan and Regional Remote Sensing Services Centre (RRSSC) director Dr. J.R. Sharma displayed a gratifying interest in the project. The Jodhpur RRSSC conducted three major scientific seminars on the subject and analyzed satellite images of IRS 1-century, thus mapping the entire coarse from Kailash Mansarovar To Gujarat. Meanwhile, after the Pokharan blasts on 11 May 1998, the Isotope Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) led by Dr. S.L. Rao took water samples from 800 deep wells within a radius of 250 kms. of Pokharan. Their findings, published in Current Science, showed there was no nuclear contamination of the ground-waters. Normally, when a neutron or hydrogen bomb implodes (3 bombs were imploded), huge amounts of tritium (an isotope of hydrogen H3) are released. Yet the tests showed very small traces of tritium, which are normally found in any body of water together with H2O, a tribute to the meticulous care with which Indian scientists conducted the tests. BARC also made some amazing discoveries. First, the waters tested were potable; second, they derived from Himalayanglaciers; third, they were between 8000 to 14000 years old; and finally, the waters were being slowly recharged through aquifers from somewhere in the north despite the fact that records showed only very scanty rainfall in the semi-arid region of Marusthali. BARC thus confirmed ISRO findings about the river, and this was unintended fallout of Pokharan! Archaeologists from the ShimlaCircle did excellent work in 2003-2004, reporting three sites and a Buddha vihara in Adi Badri alone. Dr. Vijay Mohan Kumar Puri, an expert on Himalayan glaciers, reported finds of metamorphic rocks on the terraces created by Himalayan glacial River Sarasvati and proved that Adi Badri was the site where the river entered the plains from its Himalayan home. Adi_Badriis just 20 kms. from Jagadhri (Yamuna Nagar) and 70 kms. from Dehradun (Paonta Saheb) or Kurukshetra. Further, Dr. Puri proved the origins of Sarasvati from Rupin-Supin glaciers north of Paonta Saheb, where a Yamuna tear occurred on account of plate tectonics and caused a lateral shift of the Shiwalik ranges and consequent eastward migration of the Yamuna, a tributary of Sarasvati, taking the Sarasvati waters to join the Ganga at Prayag and create the Triveni Sangam. These excavations proved that Adi Badri was the spot where a Himalayan glacial river entered the plains. The Sarasvati originated from the Svargarohini glacier mountain. Already the revived river has reached upto Danan in Barmer, Rajasthan, and will reach the Rann of Kutch in a few years. Plans are already afoot to take it upto the Sabarmati with S'arada (Mahakali-Karnali) river glacial runoffs. Given the magnitude of the findings, scholars like Dr. Karan Singh and Dr. Kasturi Rangan suggested the Ministry for Culture examine the Vedic texts and the work done by ISRO to prove the course of the River Sarasvati. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ✹ REBIRTH OF RIVER SARASVATI AND NATIONAL WATER GRID Projects related to the re-discovery of Vedic River Sarasvati have been transformed as projects to revive the great river to fulfill the water supply needs of 20 crore people in Northwest India and to make the Thar_desert fertile again. These projects have also led to the demand for a National Water Grid to make every river of India a perennial river and provide water for everyone, for generations to come. Dr. D.K. Chaddha, Chairman, Central Groundwater Authority, Union Ministry of Water Resources, validated BARC findings of potable water 30 to 60 m. below the ground, through ground morphological studies. A Rs. five crore Sarasvati Project was sanctioned to drill test tubewells along the identified course. ISRO locatedthe test sites on the basis of a palaeo-channel (old course) shown in satellite images; the existence of a tectonic fault line; and the proximity to an archaeological site. Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, director, Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Prakalp, author of a seven-volume encyclopedic study of the river, pointed out that there are over 2,000 archaeological sites along the banks of the Sarasvati as compared to only 600 on the banks of Sindhu. The sites identified by ISRO were drilled in 25 places, with special drilling equipment from Japan, in order to precisely position the drills based on latitude and longitude data provided on toposheets. Barring one drilling due to faulty positioning of the drill, all explorations were successful and yielded sustainable tube wells at a depth of merely 30 to 60 meters, with potable water. Dr. K.R. Srinivasan, Director, Central Groundwater Board, explained in a detailed monograph that it was possible to create one million sustainable tube wells in central Rajasthan alone of the Sarasvati River basin, a project taken up by the state Government. Sustainability of these tube wells necessitates a recharge through the surface waters of the Rajasthan Canal, which is being extended into Gujarat. In turn, Gujarat will share some Narmada waters with Rajasthan. It is an irony that while Punjab and Haryana dispute over the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal (SYL), Punjab has been forced to release waters into the Sarasvati Mahaanadi Roopaa Nahar in order to save the dams which are located on fault-lines criss-crossing the entire Sutlej-Beas river basin, on account of ongoing plate tectonic activity. Thus, waters are flowing in the 40 feet wide, 12 feet deep Sarasvati nahar, causing the sand dunes to disappear as the banks of the reborn Sarasvati are greened by forests! Nearly 10 lakh acres of land has already been brought under cultivation. Contd..