The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati

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The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati
Author Michel Danino
Genre History
Publisher Penguin India
ISBN 9780143068648

The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati is a book written by Michel Danino in 2010 which presents numerous arguments gathered from topographic exploration, geological and climatological studies, satellite imagery, and isotope analyses, to investigate the view that the dried up riverbed of the Ghaggar-Hakra was indeed the legendary Sarasvati River mentioned in Rigveda, and that this river once sustained the great Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished between 3500 and 1900 BC.[1]


According to various reviews, in the book Michel Danino reviews the various projects undertaken by the British and other European adventurers since the days of the East India Company to find the Sarasvati.[2][3]

According to Rajamani, Danino has gathered a large pool of facts and information from multiple sources such as geology and climate of the region, gazetter, legends, puranas, traditional folklore, literature and archaeology and connected all the data to show that the river Sarasvati flowed from the Himalaya to the Rann of Kutch from time to time in the early Holocene and dried up in the time interval between 3000 and 1900 BCE.[4] Various aspects of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization are described, including civil order and town planning, arts and crafts, agriculture, architecture, and iconography and script and have been compared with the historical and present ones to show that the prevailing Ganga civilization is a continuation of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization.[4]

According to Rajamani and Sankalpita, the book shows that during the early phase, the river was apparently flowing from the Himalayan source all the way to the sea because of large melt-water supply through the Yamuna and Sutlej tributaries. When the two tributaries deserted the Sarasvati to become tributaries of Ganga and Indus systems respectively, for tectonic reasons the flow in the Sarasvati reduced. The river suffered a further reduction of water supply because of the onset of aridity in this region, resulting in the near complete desiccation of the river for most parts and for the most part of the year.[4][5]


  1. Times of India (23 May 2010). "NON-FICTION The Lost River". Times of India Crest. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  2. Dhiman, Kuldip (July 18, 2010). "The mystery of vanishing Sarasvati". The Tribune. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  3. "Book Review: The Lost River". Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Rajamani, V. "Book Reviews - The Lost River: On the Trail of the Sarasvati" (PDF). Current Science. Retrieved 24 January 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. "The Lost River: On The Trail Of The Sarasvati". Retrieved 18 march 2018.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help); Check date values in: |access-date= (help)


  • Danino, Michel (2010), The Lost River - On the trail of the Sarasvati, Penguin Books India