Friday, June 26, 2009

River Systems

Although the Indus River rises in Tibet and crosses Kashmir in its upper reaches, its lower course lies entirely within Pakistan. However, its major tributaries, the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Beas, all flow in Kashmir. The area of India’s irrigable canals taking off from Indian headwork’s is much larger than a map of the river pattern suggest and includes a long strip of land through the Thar Desert along the trace of the old Gaghar river. The waters of the Ganges and some of its tributaries also raise high in the Himalayas. The Brahmaputra which flows out of Assam to join the Ganges, in the broad Deltaic plain of Bangladesh is in a class by itself. A mighty stream in all the seasons, it is over 8kms across in space, even above the delta, and carries far more water than any other river in the sub-continent. The Ganges-Brahmaputra delta is laced by a complex maze of distributaries, feeding largely into the Sunder bans, an extensive tidal marsh. The Indian portion of the delta, roughly western third, includes the Hooghly River on which the great port of Calcutta is situated.

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