With the help of satellite imagery ISRO has successfully traced the path of Saraswati river which dried up around 2000BC. As major Harappan sites of Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Banawali and Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat) lie along the River Saraswati, it can be easily said that Harappan civilisation died as Saraswati dried up.
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The river Saraswati is called naditama (most sacred river in Sanskrit) in the Rig Veda. The Saraswati river is mentioned some fifty times in the hymns of the Rig Veda. It is closely related to the ancient Rig Vedic society and Hinduism.
Some of the historians consider river Saraswati as mythical and call it an imagination of Hindutva forces. However ISRO has been able to trace the path of the river which matches with the description of the river in Rig Veda.
Harish Chaudhary had asked question in Lok Sabha about the Saraswati river. The answer of this question is available on ISRO's website. (Answer in pdf)
Here are excerpts from the answer
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has studied the palaeochannels in North West India and related them to the channels of River Saraswati.
An integrated palaeochannel map of River Saraswati has been prepared from the origin in Himalayas to Rann of Kutchch. The origin of the mapped course of the River Saraswati palaeochannel in North West India was linked to Himalayan perennial source through Sutlej and Yamuna Rivers.
The work on delineation of entire course of river ‘Saraswati’ in North West India was carried out using Indian Remote Sensing Satellite data along with digital elevation model. Satellite images are multi-spectral, multitemporal and have advantages of synoptic view, which are useful to detect palaeochannels. The palaeochannels are validated using historical maps, archaeological sites, hydro-geological and drilling data. It was observed that major Harappan sites of Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Banawali and Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat) lie along the River Saraswati.
So ISRO has clearly stated that major Harappan sites of Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Banawali and Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat) lie along the River Saraswati. This evidence suggests that the Harappan civilisation could have ended due to the death of Saraswati river. The people who lived in those cities might have moved eastwards to the Gangetic plains after the death of Saraswati river.
The finding also raises question over the time line of vedic period, Aryan Invasion Theory and Aryan Migration Theory. We will discuss this in some other post.
Apart from ISRO's finding, archeology also supports the link between river Saraswati and Harappans.
The ASI has so far discovered over 2,000 Harappan sites spread over Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Of these, about 1,400 can be located in the Saraswati belt alone, while the Indus belt doesn’t have more than 300-400 sites.
And evidences for long have been supporting the existence of the Saraswati in the region. Satellite imageries have proved beyond doubt the existence of a ‘mighty’ river drying up 4,000 years ago
You can read more about it Excavations show Harappan civilisation died as Saraswati dried up
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