Information of Haryana Land
¤ The Hills
The Shivaliks, the lowest of the Himalayan range, cradle Haryana in the north. The Aravalli hills, cutting through Rajasthan, make an appearance in the south towards Delhi. These small hills claim to be famous as the Alwar and Ajaibarg series. The hills are mainly of the low lying kinds, ensuring that temperatures don’t drop to right inside the bone in winter.
¤ The Plains
The most characteristic feature of Haryana is its alluvium plains made up of sand, clay, silt and hard calcareous balls like gravel the size of nuts known locally as kankar. Towards the south the plains are dotted with piled up sand, which can run for miles at a stretch and are called sand dunes! Although a fertile land, the sand covered alluvium in southern areas makes it a trifle difficult for the farmers to utilise these plains to grow crops, and labouring in the sweltering Indian summer heat can be more than a trifle difficult.
¤ The Rivers
No major river runs through Haryana, what with the Yamuna just missing its outer boundary and choosing to meander through Delhi. However, an elaborate network of rivulets and canals feed the crops and the human population. Normally dry in summer the rivulets wreak havoc when the monsoons are in full swing, washing away crops but at the same time leaving a soil rich in silt in their wake. The major rivulets are:
Rising up in the outer Himalayas between the Yamuna and the Sutlej, the Ghaggar enters Haryana near Panjore (Pinjore) as a raging torrent. Passing through Ambala and Hissar before reaching Bikaner in Rajasthan, it runs a course of 290 miles before finally disintegrating in the deserts of Rajasthan.
One of the greatest rivers of ancient India (mentioned in the Rig Veda as a `river par excellence’), today it has been relegated to being just a rivulet. With no defined course, it finds its way through hilly regions. In ancient times, Saraswati was the principal Vedic rivers, and numerous religious ceremonies and rituals were performed on its banks. It eventually flows into the Ghaggar and dries up near Bhatner in Rajasthan.
Markanda’s ancient name was Aruna. A seasonal stream like the Ghaggar, it originates from the lower Shivalik hills and enters Haryana near Ambala. During monsoons, this stream swells up into a raging torrent notorious for its devastating power. The surplus water is carried on to the Sanisa lake where the Markanda joins the Saraswati. An important tributary is the Tangri.
The Sahibi originates in the Mewat hills near Jitgarh and Manoharpur in Rajasthan. Gathering volume from about a hundred tributaries, it reaches voluminous proportions, forming a broad stream around Alwar and Patan. On reaching Rohtak it branches off into two smaller streams, finally passing reaching the outskirts of Delhi and flowing into the Yamuna.
There are three other rivulets in and around the Mewat hills – Indori, Dohan and Kasavati, and they all flow northwards from the south.
¤ Invisible Immortality
Legend has it that the Saraswati flows till Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh as a massive underground river, culminating in a grand finale when it meets the Ganga and the Yamuna at Sangam, one of the holiest place in Hindu mythology.
At Sangam, the Ganga and the Yamuna meet each other in the centre, each river flowing into each other from two different directions! The confluence of the two (or three, if you may) rivers is a turbulent patch of churning waters in the middle, where Hindus immerse the ashes of their dead as a final salvation from this mortal world.
In the times of the Vedas, the region encompassed by the rivers Saraswati and Drishadwati was named Brahmavarta by the sagely astrologer Manu (also said to be the first man on Earth).
The first lot of Aryans from the west took a fancy to Brahmavarta and settled down here, spreading peace and prosperity all around. Because of this amazing ability to infuse harmony to the inhabitants of its banks, the Saraswati came to be known as `the life and soul’ of the Aryans.
¤ The Climate
Over 500kms north of the Tropic of Cancer, Haryana has a semi-arid as well as a tropical climate.
Being far away from the coasts and close to the Thar desert, it does not get the full share of the monsoon current seen mostly across central and east India.
The maximum rain hit area is Ambala with 47.16 inches per annum, but rainfall is sporadic in other areas. May and June can be really hot with the temperatures soaring to over 48°C, while in winter it can be as low as 14°C.
¤ Flora & Fauna
At one time Haryana was a forest covered land, but today only about 3.5 per cent of the total area is remains so.
A thorny dry deciduous forest, pine and thorny shrubs can be found all over the state. Chief trees are mulberry, eucalyptus, pine, kikar, sheesham and babul, and during the monsoon a carpet of grass covers the hills which makes them excellent grazing ground for black buck and nilgai (blue bull). A lone tiger or panther can be spotted on occasion, while foxes, mongooses, jackals and wild dogs are aplenty.