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Ashmanvati River In Vedas

Ashmanvati River has been mentioned along with Apaya and Saraswati on the banks of which the Bharatas kindled the sacred fire. Rig Veda (X 53.8) mentions about Ashmanvati River. The meaning of the name of the river is ‘stony’ or ‘full of stones.’ Some scholars believe that Ashmanvati River and Drishadvati River mentioned in Rig veda III.23-4 represent one and the same river.

Ashmanvati River has variously been identified with Ghaggar, Chautang, Rakshi, Yamuna, Ganga etc. Brahmanas and Sratuasutras refer to long Darshadvata sacrificial sessions which terminated after a bath in the Yamuna at Triplaksha, clearly indicating that the upper course of the Ashmanvati River flowed quite close to the Yamuna.

The Mahabharata states that Kurukshetra lay to the south of the Saraswati and north of the Drishadvati.

Rejecting the identification of Ashmanvati River with Ghaggar, Rakshi, Yamuna and Ganga, a scholar of archeology has identified it with the old riverbed of Yamuna and Chautang, in which Hansi-Hisar branch of the Western Jumna Canal flows.

Ashmanvati River must have been a perennial river in Vedic times; but it appears to have dried up like Saraswati. According to the scriptures, Pandavas drank its water during their period of exile. It is said that a person who propitiates his manes after taking bath in Ashmanvati gets the merit of Atiratra and Agnistoma sacrifices. Srimad Bhagavata Purana refers to Drishadvati as a Mahanadi, while Naradiya Purana states that it was a rainy season torrent.