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After going through the entire account of the river Saraswati, one can understand how amazing is the chronicle of a river which defines the destiny of civilization and reshapes political and economic discourse. Around 300 BC, Tamralipta was the main mercantile port of the Maurya regime with the profuse flow in Sarawati with tribute from Rupnarayan-Damodar, as per the account of Chinese traveller Fa Hien and Xuanchuang. Originating near Triveni , it travels about 77 km through Magra, Polba, Singur, Chanditala, Domjur to meet Ganges near Sankrail. Over the ages, shifting of river course made it an abandoned city springing Saptagram into prominence as economic and mercantile hub for centuries.

Flow of Bhagirathi branches off into three streams at TRIBENI SANGAM (near Bandel) with weak trace of GANGES in current path at right bank, JAMUNA to westward from left bank and main waterway SARASWATI. The importance of the river in post-Pala era can be gauged from the decision of King Ballalsen (1160-79) to reside at Triveni at his fag end of life. In the Afgan era, Bipradas and Krishnaram Das (ref: Chaitanya Bhagbad) saw the city populated and vibrant. Even at the end of 15th century, Saraswati continued to be navigable channel, not the current path of Ganges. In 1350, Iban Batuta could reach Saptagram city through this channel. In 1578 venetian traveller Ceaser Fredrick saw 30-35 foreign ships around the city. Portuguese traveller Tome Pires (1465-1540) visited the city and noted, “It is a good city and rich where there are many merchants. It must have ten thousand inhabitants.” Trader Ralph Fitch rightly said, “Satgaon is a fairy city of the moors, and very plentiful of all things.” The glory continued even in 1600 AD during the royal standoff between Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Dattachoudhuri wrote, “ Mughal prince Shah Jehan happened to be travelling by boat along the Saraswati River while returning from an visit to Odisha in around 1624, when he was fighting with his own father emperor Jehangir.’’ In a desperate bid to restore the trade hub back to vibrancy, Alivardi Khan(1740-56) excavated mouth of the river. The glory of the port city was substantiated by archaeological evidences as unearthed by D.G.Crawford in 1908 and by Rakhaldas Bandopadhaya in 1909. The main flow through the Saraswati and its decline was substantiated by Rennel in “Memoir of a Map of Hindoostan” who mentioned, “I suspect that the then course, after passing Satgong, was by way of Adaumpur, Omtah and Tamlook and the river called the old Ganges, was a part of its course and received that name whilst the circumstance of change was fresh in the memory of the people.” The version was supported by river expert Sherwill in 1858.

With the passage of time, the river course got silted inflating the present course of River Ganges and decline of the grand city Satgaon started. This amazing account explains how river redefines and reshapes the fate of a grand habitat and its history. The river map by Van Den Broeke in 1660 indicated drying up of the river. Earlier account of Ralph Fitch (1582-1594) described the entire river stretch from Sankrail to Satgaon deserted and surrounded by jungle and dacoits. The earlier settlers of Satgaon , Portuguese also left Satgaon managing farman from emperor Akbar in 1579 to settle at Hugli. Thus the prospect of new city Calcutta started sprouting and prelude for this state capital city was drafted. This is how one river dictated the development and decline of three pivot cities of the state.

See the present state of the river from the state of once widely acclaimed navigable river!!!In order to rejuvenate this river, a meeting will be held with Irrigation Department at P&RD Department ggvon 8th February in presence of river expert Dr.Kalyan Rudra and district officials. This may spell new ray of hope to bring back on the map these lost rivers.