Notes from Michel Danino’s  – The Lost River, On the Trail of River Saraswati:

On 29th June 2002 BBC News ran a program on ‘India’s Miracle River’. The Sarasvati river’s dry bed, it announced,  had been traced in the Rajasthan desert, and there was “startling new evidence that it may not have been a myth after all’. But that wasn’t news at all to many Indians.

Most people today, because of information that has come to the fore in the last one decade, are aware that Sarasvati was not a mythical river. What is less well known is that traditionally too, people in India have extensively remembered and recalled the existence of the Sarasvati, calling it by various names such as Ikshumati in the times of the Ramayana, or in later times as Gargara in the upper Himalayan reaches and the Sagara in its lower run. It is currently called Gaggar-Hakra, the names deriving from the Sanskrit Gargara (गर्गर), meaning ‘churn’ and Hakra a distortion of the Sanskrit Sagara (सागर) meaning ‘ocean’, an indication that it was well known that the river, rather than disappearing into the desert sands as it later did, had at one time flowed into the ocean in its lower course.

Not surprisingly then, researches too have long known about the existence of the Saraswati in antiq
uity and also visited and explored its river bed, detailed information about which has been recorded by European as well as Indian explorers for at least two centuries.

In the year 1855 French explorer Louis Vivien de Saint Martin recorded, “The trace of the ancient river bed was recently found, still quite recognizable, and was followed far to the west. [This discovery] confirmed the correctness of the tradition.”

In 1893 C.F. Oldham stated, “Although the river below the confluence (with the Ghaggar) is marked in our maps as Gaggar, it was formerly the Saraswati; that name is still known amongst the people.”

The fact also remains that the existence of the dried river bed of Sarasvati had been known to the invaders of India such as Masod I, the son of Mahmoud Ghazni who used the dried river bed of Sarasvati to get to the heart of India when he invaded India reaching Sonipat in the year 1035 AD. Later Hyder Ali in the year 1305 used the dried river bed of Sarasvati in his approach when he attacked Jammu.

Aryan Invasion Theory and the composing of the Vedas by so called Aryan invaders runs into a dead end mainly because the same researchers including Max Mueller who state that the Saraswati dried up by 1900 BC also state that the Aryans came to India in 1500 BC. But why would they settle down on a dried river bed and not on the banks of any of the five major rivers, Indus (Sindhu), Jhelum (Vitasta), Sutlej (Shatadru), Ravi and Beas (Vipasha) that they would have crossed to get to the dried river Sarasvati? Does not make any sense. This is another major point that questions the validity of the Aryan Invasion Theory.


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