hi dear ones,
I found this article on the River SARASVATI.This is very enlightening . Please read it carefully !!!
Vedic Saraswati and the Arabian Sea
R.V.Karanth, P.S. Thakkar, M.S. Gadhvi, D.A. Sant and J.G. Negi
One of the highly debated geo-archaeological aspects is existence of the River Sarasvati, most respected river of the land in the ancient Hindu text of Vedas. The debate is of more than one type; (1) whether the river exist at all, (2) if existed during which period, (3) what were its tributaries, (4) where was it flowing, (5) was it debouching into the sea/gulf or was it a tributary of some other major river, (6) if it was debouching into the sea/gulf where and near which geographic location, (7) when and why did it disappear? Several palaeo-channels of rivers have been identified in the region of Rajasthan, Haryana Uttar Pradesh and adjacent areas some of which are assigned to Sarasvati. The River Sarasvati is considered to have migrated from east to west. Most discussions end up the River Sarasvati to the north of the state of Gujarat in western India (viz. Oldham, 1886; Wilhelmy, 1968; Sridhar et al., 1999; Malik et al., 1999), debouching into Arabian Sea/Rann of Kachchh. Whereas a few others placed the river in the eastern part of Kachchh and Saurashtra, emptying itself into the Gulf of Kachchh/Little Rann at Prabhas Patan near Mehsana (Iyengar and Radhakrishna, 2005). There is the view that Saraswati flowed through central Saurashtra and entered Arabian Sea near Prabhas Patan, Somnath-Veraval (Thakker, 2002). The present paper deals with the extension of Sarasvati and other northern rivers into the region of Gujarat and its entry into the sea, taking historical, geomorphic, tectonic and palaeo-climate/ sea level changes aspects into consideration.
Two very important factors to be considered are: (1) Rise and fall of the sea level in the last Glacial from –120m around 18,000 yrs BP to +5-7m around 4,500 yrs BP during which the civilization of the region evolved socially and intellectually. The unusually large shelf offered a vast fertile land for the early civilization to prosper and flourish using the waters of the northern rivers flowing through their land. Withdrawal of the sea by –50m and –100m exposes additional 100,000sq.km and 250,000sq.km respectively to the western shelf. The period of late Quaternary Glaciations and subsequent melting of the ice sheets resulted in the onset of dry and wet phases. In addition to melting ice sheets from the Himalayas, copious rains in the wet phase had provided a large network of fluvial system to evolve in western India. (2) Tectonic instability of the region owing stresses generated from intense compression in the late Cenozoic which is expressed in the form of recurring seismic events (two earthquakes of magnitude over M7.5 within the span of last two centuries) and upheaval and subsidence of land (e.g., uplift of Allah Bund by 5-6m and subsidence of Sindree Fort and surrounding area during 1819 Kachchh earthquake. An overall uplift of the region is expected from the existing compress ional regime. These two factors have brought frequent changes in the fluvial system of western India.
A critical study of the satellite imageries reveals several palaeo-channels in Rajasthan, Haryana and Utter Pradesh extending to west and southwest. Further tracing of the channels extend the rivers into the region of Gujarat finally entering the sea through the Ranns and Gulf of Kachchh and Gulf of Cambay. During low sea level regime the Rann of Kachchh and Gulf of Cambay have played a significant role in sustaining the course of northern rivers as well as the human settlements to thrive as evidenced by the following: (1) Discovery of distinct palaeo-channel with fortified settlement within the Great Rann of Kachchh (Thakker, 2001) and numerous channels that appeared in the Great Rann of Kachchh immediately after 2001 Bhuj Earthquake. (2) Recent discovery of underwater township near Surat (Gupta et al., 2002 and Kathiroli et al., 2003). Study of the satellite imageries point to the existence of a channel in the Gulf of Cambay extending for 250km. The channel ends with some obscure features resembling human settlements (Thakker, 2005).
The zone that connects Saurashtra and Gujarat Mainland forms yet another curious structure. It formed a depocentre for the sediments brought by rivers from the east and west, and presently it accommodates the famous Nal Sarovar, a possible remnant of the sea. This zone offered channel for the rivers to flow in the past.
The river under discussion was flowing several millennia ago when the sea level was far lower (-60 to-120m, over 10,000yr BP); i.e., a greater part of the western Indian shelf was exposed and also when the sea level was higher (+5-6m, ~4-5000yr BP) than the present. Study of the satellite imagery reveals the traces of several palaeo-channels and human settlements within the Rann of Kachchh indicating flow of rivers in the Ranns in the past which subsequently flowed through the area between Saurashtra and Gujarat Mainland, further extending into the region which presently forms the Gulf of Cambay and entering the sea around 150 km west of present strandline.
Geoarchaeological studies in coastal Maharashtra: Implications for understanding
Savita Ghate*, S.G. Deo and S.N. Rajaguru
*Dr. Ambedkar College, Pune 411 006
In recent years it has been realized that concept of global sea level curve can not be applied even to tectonically and isostatically stable coasts. Formerly it was thought that the sea level reached its present level around 6000 B.P. on the coast of Maharashtra and it then fluctuated within the amplitude of 1 or 2 m in the last 6000 years. In the last decade detailed archaeological investigations of some famous port sites like Sopara, Chaul, Kelshi, Guhagar, Palshet have been carried out by scholars from the Deccan College, Pune.
These ports seem to have been in operation since the beginning of the Early Historic period (~2nd 3rd century B.C.) and got defunct only recently (i.e. in 18th century). Our geomorphological and archaeological studies show that these ports were either on open sea or slightly inland on the creeks affected by tidal fluctuations.
In most of the cases the virgin layer over which any human activity has taken place is beach-dune complex rock- locally known as ‘karal’. Sites mentioned above are within 3-4 km from the present shore. Archaeological data received from these sites indicate that these sites are affected more by configurational changes than by global factor like glacio-eustasy.