The Indus (Sindhu) River System
Origin of river Indus:
The Indus is the Western most river system in the subcontinent. River Indus originates from a glacier at the height of 4,164 m near Bokhar Chu (31 ° 15′ N latitude and 81°40 ′E longitude) in the Kailash mountain range in the Tibetan region known as Singi Khamban or Lion’s mouth.
Indus river basin:
Indus river passes through Ladakh and Baltistan after flowing in the Northwest direction between Ladakh and Zaskar range. It forms a spectacular gorge near Gilgit in Jammu and Kashmir and enters Pakistan near Chilas in the Dardistan region.
In India, the length of the Indus is 1,114km, and its total length is 2,880km. It is one of the largest river basins in the world, and covers an area of 11,65,000sq km, out of which 321,289 sq km is in India.
State-wise distribution of the drainage area of the Indus is given below:
|S. No.||State||Drainage area (sq. km)|
|1.||Jammu and Kashmir||193,762|
|2.||Himachal Pradesh||51, 356|
River Indus drains the largest number of glaciers and mountain slopes of the Karakoram, Ladakh, Zaskar, and Himalayan ranges.
Originating from the Kailash Mountain, it flows in a constricted valley northwestward through Tibet.
In Ladakh, the Indus follows a long nearly straight course between the Ladakh range and the Zaskar range. In the first 480 km, it flows along the northern flank of the Zaskar range over a flat country height of over 3200 m where it receives river Zaskar below Leh.
Suru and Dras are the other left bank tributaries that join the Indus near Kargil. Moving Northwestward the Indus is joined by Shyok-Nubra tributaries.
At Skardu, at a little distance below the Shyok, the Shigar river meets the river Indus. Gilgit is another important tributary that comes from the west to join Indus.
Downward, the Indus crosses the central Himalayan range through a huge synclinal gorge.
The river passes by the Naga-parvat and turns southwest to enter Pakistan.
Tributaries of the Indus river system
- Himalayan tributaries- The Indus river system consists of a number of Himalayan tributaries such as the river Shyok, the Gilgit, the Zaskar, the Hunza, the Nubra, the Shigar, the Gasting, and the Dras.
- Right bank tributaries: It finally emerges out of the hills near Attock where it meets the Kabul river on its right bank. The other right bank tributaries are including the Khurram, the Tochi, the Gomal, the Viboa, and the Sangar. All these rivers originate from the Suleiman ranges.
- Left bank tributaries: Panjnad– As the Indus river flows Southward its left bank tributaries are known as Panjnad, these are the five rivers of Punjab; The Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab, and the Jhelum. All these rivers meet in Mithankot in Pakistan and finally, it discharges into the Arabian Sea, East of Karachi.
- In India, the Indus flow only through Jammu and Kashmir.
Panjnad river is formed by the successive mergers of the five rivers of Punjab. The five rivers of Punjab – the Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab, and the Jhelum. To form Panjnad, river Jhelum and Ravi join Chenab, river Beas joins Sutlej and then Sutlej and Chenab join to form Panjnad.
|Description: About the rivers of Panjnad; the Left bank tributaries of Jhelum|
You can also read:
- Rivers of India and their main Tributaries
- List of Important Glaciers of Himalayan mountain
- List of main volcanoes in the world
- List of Mountain Passes of India
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