Water is vital to life; it is one of the key aspects for the development of any civilization. Researchers and scientists, however, were suspicious for the longest time about the many settlements of Harappan civilization on the banks of the Ghaggar-Hakra River, primarily because it flowed only during monsoon.
But now, “unequivocal evidence” of the existence of a river that flows all year on the northwestern India plains has been found. And researchers from the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the IIT Bombay, led by Anirban Chatterjee, believe it is none other than the mythical Saraswati River, which has been mentioned in several ancient Indian scriptures like Rig-Veda and the Mahabharata.
Researchers found three distinct soil types and rock formation, namely the grey medium grained sand (GS), the yellowish-brown fine-grained sand (YBS) and the brown coloured mud (BM). Further analyses also proved that one of the soils- the grey medium-grained sand (GS) is very similar to the sediment infills of channels in the neighbouring Himalayan rivers.
These findings have led researchers to confirm that the Saraswati flowed from Higher Himalayas between 7,000 BC and 2,500 BC and that the Harappans built their settlements around the river between 3,800 BC and 1,900 BC. The perennial presence of the Saraswati River clearly explains why the Harappans in the Ghaggar valley never made an effort to harvest rainwater, unlike their counterparts in the dry regions of Saurashtra and Rann of Kutch. The research also concludes that the eventual decline of the Saraswati led to the collapse of the Harappan civilization.