Deforestation in the Himalayas has taken its toll on the flow of the Yamuna's water. The normal flow of the river has been reduced to a fraction of what it was, thus lowering the water table and drying out wells and water tanks throughout the area. Another effect has been the catastrophic silt-laden floods during the rainy season, resulting in the drastic change in course of the Yamuna at Vrindavan. She used to flow round the town on three sides, holding the sacred groves and temples in a loving embrace. Now she is a mile away from her old bed, and only touches the town for a few hundred yards at Keshi Ghat. Either side of the river is a widening flood plain of sandy, treeless desert.
Vrindavan's original riverside is filled with ornate bathing ghats, terraces and steps with ornamental shelters and palaces where pilgrims used to bathe. They are now marooned, crumbling and neglected, amidst the dry sand and debris left behind by the retreating river.
Along with the Kunds, groves, and hills, Yamuna is the fourth important element of the Braj quadrangle. It has always been and will always remain a major point of reference in the Braj landscape. The Braj Foundation intends to venture into this fourth angle of restoration and revival in the near future. Without this any attempts to revive the disappearing environment and the sacred landscape of Braj will remain incomplete. We are making extensive efforts to sensitize government and civil society to take action in this field. Our concentration now is to dredge the river in the entire Braj region to restore its water holding capacity.
We invite experts and experienced individuals, groups and politicians to guide us to take this forward.