A Word about Sindhu
The Oldest Name in World Geography
Sindhu is not only the oldest name in Indian history and geography, but in world history and geography. Celebrated in the Rig Veda, the world’s most ancient literature, the Sindhu River gave Sindh, Hind, Hindustan and even India their names and identity.
Sindhu is one of the longest rivers in the world. Orginating in the Himalayas at an altitude of 16,000, it runs 2,900 kilometers from its source in Tibet through the Indian subcontinent to the Arabian Sea.
Comparing the sound of the flowing Sindhu to the roar of a thunderstorm, the Rig Veda depicts an awe inspiring setting for the birth of Hinduism, which first found expression along the River’s banks over 8,000 years ago. Living in harmony with nature, early Sindhi embraced the human spirit, protected the natural environment and respected all living things.
Civilization matured along the banks of the Sindhu and Saraswati Rivers, reaching its zenith between 2600 and 1900 BC. While contemporaries in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and China were spending vast fortunes on monumental architecture, with little benefit to common people, the Sindhi invested in housing and infrastructure including the world’s first public sanitation system and public parks.
In place of kings, Pharaohs and emperors, Sindhi communities were governed by assemblies of village elders, selected and approved by the community. Practicing an incipient form of democracy thousands of years before the Greeks, the world’s largest democracy also happens to be its first.
Indus River today.
Sindhu and Saraswati Rivers during the time of the Vedas.