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The "Indus river" system

N.K. Chauhan in Geography of India
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Aug 09, 2020 , Updated: Jun 08, 2022 · 4 min read

The Indus River originates from the Bokhar Chu (बोखार-चू) glacier of Kailas Range in the vicinity of Lake Manasarovar, Tibetan Plateau.

The river runs a course through the Ladakh region of India, towards Gilgit-Baltistan and then flows along the entire length of Pakistan to merge into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Sindh.

The Zanskar is its left bank tributary joining it at Leh.

In the plains, its left bank tributary is the Panjnad which itself has five major tributaries, namely, the Jhelum, Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, and the Sutlej.

Its principal right bank tributaries are the Shyok (joining at Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan), the Gilgit, the Kabul (joining at Attock, Pakistan), the Gomal, and the Kurram.

It is joined by Dhar River near Indo-China border.

The Gartang, Dras, Shiger, Hunza are the other Himalayan tributaries of the Indus.

Indus ends its mountainous journey through a 5181 m deep gorge near Attock, lying north of the Nanga Parbat.

The deep gorges of the Indus, the Satluj, the Brahmaputra etc. clearly indicate that these rivers are older than the Himalayas.

"Leh" is located on the Right bank of River Indus (Sindhu).

1) Jhelum River

The Jhelum River rises from Verinag Spring situated at the foot of the Pir Panjal in the southeastern part of the Kashmir Valley and flows through northern India and eastern Pakistan.

It is a tributary of the Chenab River and joins it at Trimmu.

Jhelum flows through Srinagar and Wular Lake before entering Pakistan through a deep narrow gorge.

It forms the India-Pakistan boundary for 170 km and emerges at the Potwar Plateau near Mirpur.

Kishanganga (किशनगंगा) River is the main tributary of river Jhelum.

2) Chenab River

It originates near the Baralacha La Pass in the Lahul-Spiti part of the Zaskar Range of Himachal Pradesh state, India, and flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of Punjab, Pakistan, before flowing into the Indus River near the city of Uch Sharif.

The river is formed by the confluence of two rivers, Chandra and Bhaga, at Tandi.

The Bhaga river originates from Surya taal lake, near Bara-lacha la pass in Himachal Pradesh, the Chandra river originates from a glaciers east of the same pass.

The united stream Chandrabhaga flows through the Pangi valley, parallel to the Pir Panjal range.

It enters the plain area near Akhnur in Jammu and Kashmir.

It passes through the plains of Pakistani Punjab to reach Panchnad where it joins the Satluj after receiving the waters of Jhelum near Trimmu and Ravi rivers.

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3) Ravi River

The river rises in Kullu hills near the Rohtang Pass, District Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, India.

It drains the area between the Pir Panjal and the Dhaola Dhar ranges.

It enters Punjab Plains near Madhopur and later enters Pakistan below Amritsar.

It debouches into the Chenab a little above Rangpur in Pakistani Punjab.

4) Beas River

The Beas River rises on the southern face of Rohtang Pass in Kullu, on the southern end of the Pir Panjal Range, close to the source of the Ravi.

It crosses the Dhaola Dhar range and meets the Satluj river at Harike in Punjab, it is a comparatively small river and lies entirely within the Indian territory.

5) Satluj River

The Sutlej River is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River and the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan.

The Indus, the Sutlej (cuts across all the ranges of Himalaya), and the Brahmaputra are Trans-Himalayan rivers.

It meets the Beas River near Makhu, Firozpur district, Punjab state, near Uch Sharif, the Sutlej unites with the Chenab River, forming the Panjnad River, which finally flows into the Indus river about 100 kilometres west of the city of Bahawalpur.

Few centuries ago, Sutlej river was merging with the Ghaggar river to discharge in to the Arabian sea.

In approx. 1797 BC, the course of the Sutlej river moved towards north to join the Beas river.

The Ganges is the longest river in India if we consider the total distance covered by a river within India. Two major rivers of the Indian subcontinent - Indus (3180 KM) and Brahmaputra (2900 KM) are longer than the Ganges in total length.

River Origin Info
Indus Bokhar Chu, Kailas Range, China "Leh" is located on the Right bank
Jhelum Verinag Spring, Pir Panjal, J&K flows through Srinagar and Wular Lake, Kishanganga (किशनगंगा) is the main tributary
Chenab near the Baralacha La Pass, Lahul-Spiti, Zaskar Range, Himachal Pradesh formed by Chandra (from "Surya taal lake") and Bhaga, flows through the Jammu region
Ravi Kullu hills near the Rohtang Pass near Amritsar
Beas Rohtang Pass, Kullu, Himachal Pradesh -
Satluj Mount Kailash, China longest of the five rivers

· · ·

Dudhganga is a tributary of the Jhelum that flows from Ludurmarg and rises in the central Pir Panjal range near Tatakooti Peak.

Two mountain streams, the Sangesafed and the Yachera, form this river.

This river flows through Batmalu Swamp near Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir.

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