Haryana government's efforts to trace the origin of the mythical Saraswati river bore fruit on Tuesday when water started gushing out from a pit, which was being dug under the lost river revival plan.
As many as 80 people who were digging the course of the Saraswati in Mugalwali village of Yamunanagar district suddenly noticed that the soil they were shovelling out from a pit was moist. The dampness increased as they dug deeper and water started gushing out when they burrowed to a depth of eight feet.
"It was around 1 pm when Khalil Ahmed, Salma, Pradeep and Praveen Kumar were digging up a pit. A stream came out when it was dug up to 8 feet and the quantity of water increased as they went deeper," secretary of local panchayat Balkar Singh said. The water was also found in four other pits, which were being dug in a line. The news spread like wildfire and people thronged the village in large numbers.
Yamunanagar Deputy Commissioner S.S. Phulia who along with Haryana Assembly Speaker Kanwar Pal Gurjar had launched the excavation work rushed to the spot. He tasted the water and then joined the people who have been digging the course of the dead river for the past 15 days. Work on Saraswati river project was launched on April 21.
The government believes that the lost river originates from Adi Badri area and flows through 41 villages in the Yamunanagar district. Excavation work has been started in eight villages for which Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has made budgetary provisions worth `50 crore.
A huge check dam, measuring 400 acres, has also been proposed on the Somb river that will be diverted to the Saraswati river. The mythical Saraswati river, according to the historians, had dried up 4,000 years ago. Satellite images had mapped its course that once flowed through North-Western India. Remote sensing experts had said that the river vanished after a powerful earthquake hit its course.
Traces of Saraswati river are found in the holy city of Kurukshetra. It is believed that the river once flowed through Thanesar, the capital of erstwhile Harshvardhan's kingdom, which is located close to Kurukshetra. Legend has it that the Saraswati once fed two wells known as Kapalmochan and Ranmochan in which the Pandavas had taken bath.
If revived, Saraswati may boost the state's religious tourism besides quenching the thirst of villages located on its course.