The Saraswati River flows into the plains at Adi Badri. The Abhiyan started from this point. It is at this point that rivers Sobh and a little further at Dhanipura, River Markanda meet River Saraswati. Here the team found some big sized ancient bricks. Further down at the confluence of River Aruna, the team found several old sculptures. One of them was the image of Surya (Sun God) which is mistakenly recognized as Shiva by the local people. At the confluence with River Soma is the place Bilaspur or (Vyaspur). It is believed that Shri Ganesh wrote Mahabharat as narrated by Vyas Rishi at this place. From here one could see the Shivalik range. Beyond this is the Mana Mountain from whose glaciers Saraswati has originated. It flows underground and emerges out in Markandeya ashram. There the team found a Ganesh idol with its trunk turned left. The team then reached Kapalmochan, where they found some idols from the Shunga and Gupta period, one of them being Gajalakshmi.
Leaving Jagadhari (Yugandhara) the team travelled to Yamuna-nagar. In Vedic period the Yamuna used to flow nearby.
From there the team reached Mustafabad (earlier Saraswat Nagar). Two inscriptions one in the archaeological museum of Gwalior and the other from Parmar King Bhoj refers to this place. From here the team reached Kurukshetra. In ancient times, there was a beautiful lakes full of lotuses. It is said that it is here that King Pururava met Urvashi.
Several discussions, seminar, press meet were held here. After visiting Narkatari, Jyotisar, Sannitsar, Bibipur, Markandeya ashram, Bhadrakali the team proceeded to Sthaneshwar (Thanesar). Here in the Gurudwara one can see the shoes worn by Guru Govindsingh.
It is noteworthy that several antiquities, coins, idols have been found by various researchers such as General Cunningham (1888-9), Rogers, D. B. Spooner, H. L. Shrivastava, and several others. Rajakarnaka fort, Polartheh, Bhagwanpura and Thaneshwar are the places which afforded rich haul of Antiquities.
At Pinjor Kalaka, Ahiyan (Ambala) and around Mansa Devi large number of pre-historic tools has been found during excavations. Pre Harappan painted smoked earthen ware have been found in the valleys of Saraswati and Drishadvati at Bhagwanpur, Banawali, Sirsa, Mitathal, Rajakarnaka fort, Daulatpur, Mirzapur, Soodh, Balu, Kunal, Agroha etc. (Ref Ugayugeen Kurukshetra – Shri Arun Kesarvani 1990 Pg 14-44).
10-12 Km from Markandeya Ashram is a place Samanabhau where it is believed that Vishwamitra and Parshuram did penance.
Later the team visited Pruthudak (Pahova) and Kapisthal (Kaithal). It is believed that Emperor Pruthus son of Vainraja performed a Yagna here. The team then proceeded to Soojma which is the place of Shukdev son of Vyas. From here the team came across Kolayat where Kapilmuni had an ashram. At Lokoddhar several sculptures were found, including a four headed Shiva Linga.
The team then proceeded to Kasoon and Jind (Duryodhana towards the end of Mahabharat war hid in a lake here), and further to Rakhigadh.
After studying the dried bed of River saraswati at Hissar, the team reached Udayantpuri (Fatehabad). Here was found an ancient Ashok pillar. There are Sanskrit Shlokas engraved on this pillar.
A big seminar was conducted at Sirsa. Only at Fatehabad one finds sweet water in well (probably Saraswati flows underground).
From here onwards started the journey in Rajasthan.
From Sirsa the team reached Nohar. Near hills in Sirsa the team found half burned grains of wheat and rice which were immediately dispatched for radio carbon dating at PRL Ahmedabad. Later the team found sculptures from Gupta period at Gogamadi. No antiquities of period before this were found. It is probable that this region was a sea bed earlier which had been lifted up.
The team then visited Hanumangadh, Kalibanga and Banawali. A Harappan seal was found at Banawali. It has a peculiar bull and Harappan inscription on it. The team proceeded to Bikaner. A Saraswati statue is found in the Bikaner museum.
Significant is the fact that in this area most of the well are 300-400 ft. deep. The team studied 20-30 meter long sand dunes in this area.
While travelling to Pokhran and Jaisalmer via Falore, the team found several plant fossils in large numbers. Near Binjadsar in a dried lake the team found tools from Middle Paleolithic and Palaeolithic as well as Upper Palaeolithic periods in large numbers.
Further near a Sun temple at Devaka the team found Acheulean stone axe and stone spear. When the team reached.
Gogakshetra the team found buried in the layers of Multani soil, fossils of fishes, Echinoid, etc. indicating this part was sea earlier. Further at Dakan gadha, in the granite stones, were found some rock shelters which had Mesolithic (6-10000 years old) paintings. This may have been an island in the sea.
Later travelling through Gujarat the team covered Abu, Ambaji, Siddhapur, Anahilwad pattan, Nanu Kutch, Lothal Sihor and finally the Abhiyan was terminated at dehotsarg desert near a River Saraswati temple after performing a Yagna.
Thus over a span of one month the team covered about 4000 kms.
Shri. A. V. Sankaran in his article "Saraswati the ancient river lost in the desert" chronologically summarizes the issue.
Significance of findings related to river Saraswati by various independent researchers
Extensive work done by archaeologists in the past have shown the presence of 380-400 sites (pre-post Harappan).
This is what prompted Dr. V. S. Wakankar to suggest re-naming of "Indus Valley Civilization" to "Sara-swat civilization".
During this project, the team visited several such sites. Details are as mentioned below. These sites were broadly categorized as 1) Pre-Harappan 2) Harappan period and 3) Post Harappan.
|District||State||PreHarappan sites||Harappan sites||Post Harappan sites||Total sites|