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The price of Gold is as high as 25 to 30 thousand per 10 grams now, but there is a river in India that flows Gold. As per tradition, gold is mined near the origin of the river at a village named Piska near Ranchi, Jharkhand. This is why it had been named Subarnarekha, meaning “streak of gold”. The name is a combination of two words meaning gold and line/ streak in Indian languages. Another name of the river in Hindi, is “Swarnarekha” which means the same as Subranarekha.
Legend has it that traces of gold were found in the river bed. Even now, people look for traces of gold particles in its sandy beds. Local tribal have been engaged in this work for generations, but they hardly gain anything out of it. Despite of the hard work of filtering the sand of the river for days they gain no profits.
This cumbersome job get them only one or two particles of gold after a whole day of hard work. Sometimes they find no stands of Gold Filtering large amount of sand. These particles are slightly larger than rice grains in size. Even after filtering the sand closely, only 70 to 80 gold particles come out in a month, which varies with time and gets as low as 30 particles sometimes. They work whole year round except for two months during flood. Tribal get 80 rupees to 100 rupees for selling a particle of gold which is extremely less than the gold value these days. They earn three to five thousand approximately in a month. On the other hand buyers such as gold dealers and jewellers are getting richer buying gold from these villagers.
Subarnarekha originates 15 kms south of Ranchi on the Chhota Nagpur plateau draining the states of Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal before entering the Bay of Bengal. The total length of the river is 450 kms and its important tributaries include the Raru, Kanchi, Karkari, Kharkai, Garra and Sankh rivers.
Hundru Falls is created on the course of the Subarnarekha, where it falls from a height of 98 metres (322 ft). The spectacular sight of water falling from such a great height is a sight to behold. The different rock formations due to erosion by the constantly falling water have added to the beauty of the place.
The Subarnarekha passes through areas with extensive mining of copper and uranium ores. As a result of the unplanned mining activities, the river is polluted. The Subarnarekha has been the lifeline of tribal communities inhabiting the Chhota Nagpur region and water pollution affects their livelihood to a large extant.
However, geologists are unable to understand the exact source of the gold’s extraction till now but the say that gold particles in the Golden River comes from its auxiliary river Karakari. Karakari is a small river whose length is 37 kilometers. Going to places like Tamad and Saranda in Jharkhand, the tribal work hand on sand to filter gold.