Aspects of Flows of the Rivers Mentioned in the Indian Epic Ramayana
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India is rich with voluminous and quality treasure trove of literature, art, music, sculpture and other various forms of culture and fine arts which can be traced back to the very beginning of the early period of civilization. Out of well known two Indian Epics, Ramayana has always been considered as a marvelous one and considered as the first written literature; though for years it was in verbal form-commonly known in Sruti style. Over the centuries it was developed by several authors during its Sruti style and thereafter in written form. Therefore, social aspects, culture, geography, mathematical idea of daily life seen in different parts of Indian subcontinent were incorporated in different Ramayanas. Many works have been done to explore various aspects viz. philosophy, spirituality, politics, economics, sociology, culture, literature, language, poetry and others elaborated in Ramayanas. But interestingly geography, mainly rivers flows, were never been a popular subject of analysis of the Epic Ramayana; though different rivers have been referred several times in this Epic. Though flows of water and its impacts have been discussed in different occasions are been noted in different chapters in almost all the Ramayanas perhaps due to shortcomings of knowledge in fluid mechanics these aspects have been ignored in all the discussions. Here, an attempt has been taken to study rivers mentioned in the Ramayana and tries to coordinate their relevance on different socio-cultural aspects of life of the people it was used flows. The paper also will try to sketch the account of the rivers from their source to mouth along with their different fluvial properties like shift in the river course, the extension of the flood plain etc. and its end points. The growth of habitation in connection with the major rivers, mentioned in Ramayana has also been considered as important aspects of study in this analysis. The study is totally backed by the literature-based qualitative approach. The major finding of this study supports the view that the rivers as mentioned in Ramayana by Kritibas Ojha in 15th century played a crucial role in the then socio-cultural and other various facets of human life of wide region of eastern India. These rivers have undergone changes in present times which is equally significant so for as the human life of present India is concerned.
Epic, Fluid mechanics, Ramayana, River flow, Sedimentation, Social Culture, Turbulence.