Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This is the River where Human Civilisation began




The Saraswati River begins in the Himalayas ( This portion known as Baspa)
 
It seems that the human species appeared on the planet a couple of hundred thousand years ago but they did not behave in a manner that was very different from other animals species up until the last glacial period, popularly known as the Ice Age some 12000 years ago. Perhaps evolution to the modern human as we know now was not yet complete and a few more genes needed to be inserted to make humans substantially distinct from other animals.

A few genes are all that is required to change a species. There is hardly any uniqueness to the human genes. They are akin to 99 percent of the chimpanzees, and 70 percent of rats  :). ( A blogger friend Vincent will vehemently oppose this - we are not from rats! ) I have an entire blog on how these changes take place here that an interested reader may look up. Evolution is an ongoing process and mankind does not know where evolution will take it next, although that hardly matters to us, because substantial changes take place over periods much longer than a lifetime (or if sooner, only through reincarnation as those with an eastern spiritual beliefs think).

Between three and four thousand BC, three great river valley civilizations with planned urban areas sprang up in three different parts of the world - Indus Valley, Sumeria and Nile valley in Egypt.  Recent archeological findings at Bhirrana near Delhi push back the origins of the Indus valley civilization to 7500 BC i.e. the oldest of the three. Thus it was from here that organized human civilization spread first to Sumeria then Egypt and later Athens, Rome, Europe and most recently the new world. Each new quanta of civilization was more advanced than the last, at least as far as technology was concerned but perhaps not as regards values of love, truth and simplicity. Therefore it is questionable if humans have become happier as civilization has advanced and become more comfortable physically, except for brief periods when leading lights such as Jesus and Buddha appeared to get humans back to these fundamental values over brief sections of time and space. Instead, the more advanced humans have become at least materially, the more stressed out they are.

The Indus civilization has been named incorrectly because from archeological evidence this civilization was centered along another nearby river that was mightier called the Saraswati River. This last river has now more or less disappeared except for patches. The latest scientific research proves conclusively that some few thousand years ago this river was fed by Himalayan rivers that now pour into the rivers Sutlej and Yamuna to west and east because of tectonic and other geological events. Beginning from smaller streams in the Himalayas from near the Tibetan border and from the Saraswati Mountain Ranges (the Bunderpoonch) the Saraswati River became a mighty river by the time it reached the plains. Some portions fill up during monsoon months revealing parts of the contours of the ancient river now known as the Ghaggar-Hakra. It does not flow in dry seasons anymore because it has become disconnected from its glacial origins due to either tectonic shifts or just plain old mud sildes in the Himalayas. The glacial rivers - the Baspa and the Tons - that fed it some five thousand years ago have now shifted and pour into rivers to the west and east (the Sutlej and the Yamuna). Nevertheless high up in the Himalayas one may still see initial portions of the Saraswati river, as shown in the picture with the post. The sight is so beautiful that one does not fail to remark – yes, this is it, this is where it all began

For more details of all this I have a detailed blog with dates, maps, references etc. at http://alienaccount.blogspot.com
The Saraswati River flows as Baspa near Chitkul



The picture above is not a creation by artist for a canvas or picture post card. it is a real photo by:
Sanyam Bahga
Baspa River flowing near Chitkul
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Upper Baspa River Photo courtesy
A memorable walk amidst flowers, at Raksham. And, the Baspa river. Photo: Rishad Saam Mehta

Some modifications effected to photos before posting here

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