Dr. V. S. Wakankar

Preparatory work

Period from February 1983 to November 1985 was utilized in the preliminary studies, deciding the expert team, involving local people, planning the mission, working out details of the mission, collecting resources etc.

During this period, members tracked literature, made noting's, prepared questionnaire and collected responses, collected articles, notes, drawings, maps, stories, anecdotes, poems etc. related to Saraswati.

Financial assistance was collected through donations. As it was decided to involve masses, advertisements were issued in local newspapers and groups meetings held. Shri. Pingale and Dr. Wakankar made primary visits to various places for the preparatory work.

A journey of ~ 4000 km spanning Himachal, Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat was planned. Ultimately the "River Saraswati Shodh Abhiyan" was implemented starting Tuesday 19th November 1985 from Delhi and culminated on Friday 20th December 1985 at Karnavati (Ahmedabad).

The journey was flagged off from New Delhi after a Press Conference at the Boat Club.

The expert team and their defined roles were as follows. The journey was using two rented Matador's.

S. No. Name Role
1 Dr. V. S. Wakankar Guide, Study of Antiquities, Archaeological survey
2 Shri. M. N. Pingale Guide, Overall management of the survey
3 Dr. K. P. Dhurandhar Geological disturbances and studies
4 Dr. Vedagnya Arya Study of Historic documentation and References
5 Dr. Surendra Arya Collection of folk tales
6 Shri. Narayan Bhati Collection of Antiquities and Earthen potteries
7 Dr. Bhuvaneshwarprasad Gurumaita Collection of regional information
8 Shri. Govindji Khekale Video recording and photography of Journey, Ruins, Antiquities, Wall paintings, Idols, Hills, Pottery, discussions, meetings etc.
9 Shri. Bhaiyaji Sahasrabuddhe Collection of news
10 Shri. Bhaiyaji Kasture Collection of literature and distribution
11 Dr. Satishchandra Mittal General guidance and assistance

The detailed itinerary was as follows

S. No. Date Day Places
1 19.11.1985 Tuesday Start from Indraprastha towards Katghar - Himachal Pradesh
2 20.11.1985 Wednesday District Ambala. Beginning from Adi Badri, Kapalmochan, Vyaspuri, Yugandhara (Jagadhari)
3 21.11.1985 Thursday Shug, Yamunanagar, Saraswat nagar (Mustafabad), Kurukshetra
4 22.11.1985 Friday Bhagwanpura, Kurukshetra, Narkatari, Jyotisar, (Sannihitasar, Brahmhasar); Markandeyashram, Bhadrakali, Sthaneshwar (Thanesar), Vishwamitra Tila, Vashishta ashram
5 23.1.1985 Saturday Pruthudak (Pohava) and Kaithal in Haryana
6 24.11.1985 Sunday Kapilayatan, (Kolayat) Sujama, Surya van, Lodhrya
7 25.11.1985 Monday Jayantika (Jind), Rakhi gadh
8 26.11.1985 Tuesday Hansi, Hissar
9 27.11.1985 Wednesday Hissar seminar
10 28.11.1985 Thursday Bibipur Lake, Agnodak (Agroha seminar), Udayantpuri, (Fatehabad), Banawali, Sikandarapur, Sirsa
11 29.11.1985 Friday Shairishikam (Sirsa), Odu, Rajasthan, Gogamedhi, Nouhar
12 30.11.1985 Saturday Nouhar
13 01.12.1985 Sunday Nouhar, Soti and Karoti, Talwada, Pallu, Ravatsar, Hanumangadh
14 02.12.1985 Monday Kalibanga, Pilibanga, Banawali, Rangmahal, Suratgadh, Anupgadh, Pugal
15 03.12.1985 Tuesday Chattargadh, Lunakaransar, Deshnokh, Bikaner
16 04.12.1985 Wednesday Bikaner, Kuggal, Chattargadh
17 05.12.1985 Thursday Nalgajmej, Dhug, Polai, Bam, Falodi, Ramdeora, Pokhran
18 06.12.1985 Friday Bhadaria, Jadau, Jaisalmer, Besakhi, Ramkund, Lodrava
19 07.12.1985 Saturday Aakal, Devikot, Sargan, Goonga, Devkar
20 08.12.1985 Sunday Badmer, Kiradu, Junakhed
21 09.12.1985 Monday Balotra, Panchbhadra, Asottara, Nakoda, Sivada, Jallore, Bhinmal
22 10.12.1985 Tuesday Jaswantpura, Siroha, Vasantgadh, Arbudaranya, Abu (Gujarat)
23 11.12.1985 Wednesday Nanukutch, Ambaji
24 12.12.1985 Thursday Ambaji
25 13.12.1985 Friday Siddhapur
26 14.12.1985 Saturday Siddhapur, Patan, Kumbar, Lothal, Nal Sarovar
27 15.12.1985 Sunday Nal sarovar, Sanand
28 16.12.1985 Monday Sihor
29 17.12.1985 Tuesday Sihor, Rajula, Prachi teerth
30 18.12.1985 Wednesday Somnath - seminar, and Culmination of the abhiyan
31 19.12.1985 Thursday One group proceeded to wards Rajkot. Second group towards Karnavati (Ahmedabad) via Jalaram
32 20.12.1985 Friday Karnavati (Ahmedabad) end of the Journey

It was a god sent gift to receive the Land sat image of River Saraswati's dried bed. Compilation of the images were done at Physical Research Laboratory in the office of Dr. Yashpal, Dr. Baldev Sahay, Dr. R. K. Sood under the guidance of Dr. D. P. Agrawal. Contribution of Arid Zone Research Institute was also very valuable.

Based on reports of researchers following points were thrown up for deliberations

  1. River Sutlej was the main feeder to Saraswati - Ghaggar.
  2. Later on the Sutlej moved westwards and at the same time the Ghaggar dried up.
  3. Similarly the Beas (Vyas or Shatadru) moved near Ropad further depleting water supplies to Saraswati.
  4. Earlier the Beas never met Sutlej but merged directly with the Indus (Sindhu).
  5. Thus Saraswati along with the Sutlej flowed parallel to the Indus, but more towards east and entered the Arabian Sea in Kachch.

Landsat Images :

  1. The Ghaggar from the place it arrived in plains in Punjab and flowed into Pakistan at Marot was as wide as 6 - 8 Km.
  2. The current Y - 2 dried belt is erstwhile River Chautang which used to feed the Ghaggar when it met near Suratgadh.
  3. Near Anupgadh the old Saraswati got divided into two branches, one flowing towards Marot and the other towards Bairina.

According to Dr. Bimal Ghosh, Dr. Kar and Dr. Hussein, River Saraswati flowed through Rajasthan more eastwards than the Indus.

They further proposed that east of Hissar, River Saraswati must have flowed either through the now dried bed of River Chautang via Jakhal or through River Luni via Nohar.

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