SARASWATI HERITAGE PROJECT
The ‘Saraswati Heritage Project’ was taken up by the Government of India (GOI) to reconnect with the historical, cultural and religious past of the country. The first meeting of the project was held on Monday to discuss the possibility of reviving the lost river (that is believed to have gone underground), tracing its disappeared routes and to bring it back to life once again.
Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma chaired the meeting on ‘Saraswati Heritage Project’ that discussed about the nitty-gritty of it. Secretary of Ministry of Culture (MoC) NK Sinha and Secretary of Ministry of Tourism (MoT) Vinod Zutshi were also seen in the meeting, besides other experts, river scientists and historians.
“The Centre has decided to involve the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), Geological Survey of India (GSI) and eminent historians to carry out the project. A committee has also been constituted to work elaborately on the project,” an official in the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) told MAIL TODAY on Monday.
The official said the experts also found some positive links at Adi Badri near Yamunanagar, (now in Haryana), where the river (Saraswati) is believed to have originated from.
VEDIC SARASWATI RIVER
The mythical river Saraswati has both religious and ancient significance. It is popularly believed that parts of the Rig Veda were written on the banks of the Saraswati.
The Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana had appointed a specialised team to search for the traces of the Saraswati River and its original route -largely considered sacred by Hindus. It also allocated Rs 50 crore to the project aimed at discovering the stream through artificially recharge.
Earlier in 2014, Union water resources minister Uma Bharati had also said that “finding the missing river” was one of the priorities of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government.
Bharati had said at an occasion in August, 2014: “There is enough scientific evidence on the presence of the river Saraswati in some parts of the country through which it flowed about five to six thousand years ago. Saraswati is not a myth”.
“Reviving any river is always a welcome move. It is a good idea that the Centre has decided to revive it. We keep killing river and in India we have destroyed hundreds of them, not just a few,” said Michel Danino, a guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar and a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).