Two streams namely Chandra and Bhaga rise on the opposite sides of the Baralacha pass at an elevation of 4,891 metres and meet at Tandi at an elevation of 2,286 metres to form the river Chenab. The Chenab rises from the South-East and Bhaga from the North-West of the Baralacha pass. It enters Pangi valley of Chamba district near Bhujind and leaves the district at Sansari Nala to enter Podar valley of Kashmir. It flows in Himachal for 122 km. With its total length of 1,200 km., it has a catchment area of 61,000 sq. km., out of which 7,500 sq. km. lie in Himachal Pradesh. It is the largest river of Himachal Pradesh in terms of volume of waters. The Chenab valley is a structual trough formed by the great Himalayan and Pir Panjal ranges.
Important Tributaries of river Chenab :
Bhaga River :
This river originates from the Lahaul valley. A number of snowfed rivers join it during its course, before it joins the Chandra stream at Tandi. From its origin it flows in South-South-Westerly direction as a raging torrent before joining the river Chandra. U shaped valleys, waterfalls, glaciers and moraines characterises the upper catchment of the Bhaga river. The entire tract is devoid of a vegetative cover. The discharge of this river increases during the summer months, when the snow on the high mountains start melting.
Chandra River :
It rises in the snows lying at the base of the main Himalayan range in Lahaul-Spiti district. Thereafter it flows for a considerable distance along the base of thin range in the South-East direction, before making a 180° turn and taking a South-West course in Spiti valley. the entire area is a vast cold desert that receives little or no rain as it lies in the rain shadow of the Pir Panjal range lying towards South. The important human settlement along the river is Koksar.