We have all heard about the famous Triveni Sangam – the confluence of the rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati. Obviously, there is no river Saraswati. Why?
It is said that the river Saraswati was the most famous river during the Vedic period (some say it was the tributary of the Bhagirathi River). As times changed, due to a poor flow, Saraswati began to reduce into lakes and ponds. Though the river began to lose its prominence as a river, it slowly started gaining importance as the Goddess of Speech, due to the practice of sacrifices being offered at the banks of the river and the necessary recitation of mantras, also soon became the basis of her being associated with the Goddess of Learning, and as an obvious progression, as the wife of Brahma.
Around the same time, the river Ganga was gaining prominence as it was an absolute contrast to the river Saraswati in its ability to flow constantly, though she never attained the status that the elevated Saraswati did. But soon the river was nearly wiped out and all the practices and the rituals associated with the river Saraswati, got associated with the Ganga.
The importance of Saraswati as a river is still seen in the famous Triveni Sangam, where though there is no river Saraswati, the place hasn’t lost the name and the significance.