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Land


Rivers

 
Himachal provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The major river systems of the region are the Chandrabhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These perennial rivers are fed by snow and rainfall and are protected by a fairly extensive cover of natural vegetation.

The Beas (Vedic name Arjikiya and in later Sanskrit Vipasa) rises in the Pir Panjal range near the Rohtang Pass and flows some 256km in Himachal. The river is formed by a number of tributaries, the important being the Parbati, the Hurla, the Sainj, the Uhl, the Suheti, the Luni, the Banganga and the Chaki. The northern and eastern tributaries of the Beas are snow fed and perennial, while the southern affluent are seasonal. During August, increase in inflow sometimes results in floods.

The Chandrabhaga or Chenab (Vedic name Askni), the largest river (in volume of water) is formed after the meeting of 2 streams, Chandra and Bhaga at Tundi, in Lahul. It flows 122kms and has a catchments area of 7500sq.km. in Himachal, before entering Kashmir. The Chandra passes through barren land where there are no signs of life.

The Ravi (Vedic name Purushni and in later Sanskrit Iravati) is born in Bara Banghal, Kangra district as a joint stream formed by the glacier fed Bhadal and Tantgari. The river has a length of about 158km and has a catchment area of about 5451km. Chamba lies on its right Bank.

The SuSutlejtlej (Vedic name Saturdi and in later Sanskrit Shatadru) originates in distant Tibet. It cuts through both the great Himalayan and the Zaskar ranges and crosses the Indo-Tibetan border near Shipkila. Then the river Spiti joins it from the north. Passing through precipitous gorges and narrow valleys it emerges from the mountains at Bhakra. The catchment area of Sutlej in Himachal is 20,000sq.km.

The Yamuna has its origin in Yamunotri in Uttar Kashi (Uttar Pradesh). Its total catchment area in Himachal is 2320sq.km. Its main tributaries are the Tons, the Giri and the Bata.


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