Rivers of the World: India’s Saraswati

This programme is part of the series Rivers of the World
The Helmand River in Afghanistan, known in ancient Iran as Haraxvatī and Harahvaiti, is identified by some as the ancient Sarasvati river.(© Wikimedia Commons)

Rivers are the cradle of the world’s earliest civilisations. Mythology and religion were born on their banks. They provide us with life-giving water. We eat of their bounty and create power from their energy. Radio Netherlands tells the stories of some of these “arteries of the world”.

The Saraswati River has a unique place in Indian society: it is venerated as one of the holiest of rivers, yet it is nowhere to be seen. According to myth, it dried up centuries ago, after fostering one of the greatest of the world’s ancient civilisations. Now it is in the centre of a modern controversy that strikes at the heart of India’s greatest post-partition wound – its communal divide. Hear the secret story of the Saraswati on Radio Netherlands continuing series on rivers.

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: January 31, 2003

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