After an expert panel recently confirmed the existence of the mythical Saraswati river in India’s northwest, scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, now claim to have found evidence of another “lost” Indian river.
Called “Chandrabhaga”, this ancient river is believed to have existed at a distance of about two km from the 13th century Sun Temple at Konark, a Unesco World Heritage Site in Odisha.
No trace of any water body is at present visible in the proximity of the temple, but “the mythical river figures prominently in ancient literature”, the scientists report in the journal Current Science . The IIT study aimed to find out if there was more to the myth. They did this through integrated geological and geophysical exploration in conjunction with historical evidence and analysis of satellite data. Imagery from Landsat and Terra satellites of the U.S. and those obtained by NASA Space Shuttle Endeavour’s “Radar Topographic Mission” in 2000 were used. According to their report, satellite imagery and Google Earth images showed a “sinusoidal” trace, characteristic of a typical “palaeo-channel” — remnants of an inactive river — passing north of the Sun Temple.
The existence of a palaeo-channel was further corroborated through profiling the surface using “ground penetrating radar” that showed the existence of a V-shaped subsurface river valley. Field studies revealed that the palaeo-channel is characterised by swampy lands and the area “is covered with alluvium, a deposit characteristic of rivers”. — IANS
Field survey and analysis of satellite images indicate a “palaeo-channel”,
says IIT team