[Himachal GK] River System of Himachal Pradesh

River
(Total Length)
Vedic Name
Sanskrit Name
Originated From
Major Tributaries
Distance Covered in H.P.
 Satluj 
 (1448 km)
 Sutudri
  Or
 
Shutudri
 Shatadru
 Rakas Tal near  Mansarovar Lake

 Baspa, Nogli, Spiti
 320 Km.
 Ravi
 (720 km)
 Parushani
 Iravati
  Or
 Airavati

 Bhandal & Tantgiri  Glaciers, Bara Banghal
 Bhandal, Baira,  Siul, Tantgiri,  Chatrani
 158 Km.
 Beas
 (460 km)
 Arjikuja
  Or
 Aarijika
  Or
 Arjikya

 Bipasha
   Or
Vipasha
 Vyas Kund at  Rohtang Pass
 Binwa, Banganga,  Chakki, Parbati,  Uhl, Luni, Sainj,  Tirthan, Harli
 256 Km.
 Chenab (Chandra- Bhaga)
 (1200 km)
 Chandrabhaga
 Ashkini,
   Or
 Iskamati

 Baralacha Pass
 Chandra, Bhaga,  Miyar Naullah,  Saicher Naullah
 122 Km.
 Yamuna
 (1525 km)
 Kalindi
   Or
 Asita
   Or
 Yami


 Yamuna
 Kalinda Parbat,  Yamunotri in  Uttrakhand
 Giri, Tons,  Pabbar,   Andhra
 22 Km

                                                                         Fig: Himachal Pradesh River Map

Catchment Areas of Major Rivers:

S. No.
Name of River System
 Area of Catchment
 (in Km2)
Area in percentage
1
Sutlej                   
20,398
30.69%
2
Beas                    
13,663
24.50%
3
Chenab               
7,850
14.20%
4
Yamuna              
5,872
10.60%
5
Ravi                    
5,528
09.90%
6
Indus                   
1,450
02.60%
7
Markanda              
360
00.60%
8
Ganga                    
290
00.50%
9
Ghaggar             
262
00.50%
Total:
55,673
100.00
Source: Forests of Himachal Pradesh, 1993

As is apparent from the details above, more than 95% of the State’s area is drained by five river systems i.e. the Sutlej, Beas, Chenab, Yamuna and Ravi.

Beas:
 Vedic name: Aarijika; Sanskrit name: Bipasha. The river rises from the Beaskund in the Pir Panjal range near the Rohtang Pass. The Beas runs for about 260 km in Himachal Pradesh before entering Punjab at Murthal. The tributaries that form River Beas are Parbati, Spin, Hurla, Malna, Chakki, Sainj, Uhl, Phung, Binwa, Banganga and Mankhad. Thanks to its snow-fed tributaries, water levels of this river increases greatly during the monsoons, sometimes resulting in floods. Pandoh Dam and Pong Dam are the major dams built on River Beas.

Chenab: Vedic name: Ashkini. Popularly known as Chandra Bhaga, the River Chenab originates from Tandi in Lahul Spiti where two rivulets namely Chandra and Bhaga meet to form this river. It is the largest river of the state in terms of the density of water. It flows for 122 km in the state before leaving it at Sansari Nullah and then entering Kashmir. The river runs through barren land where there is no human settlement.

Ravi: Vedic name: Parushini; Sanskrit name: Iravati. Ravi River originates at Bara Bangal of Kangra district, and flows through Bara Bansu, Tretha, Chanota and Ulhansa. It covers a distance of 158 km in Himachal Pradesh before entering Punjab state. Its famous tributaries are Budhil, siul, Baljeri, Chatrari and Baira. Barmaur, Madhopur and Chamba towns are situated on the banks of the river.

Satluj: Vedic name: Shutudri; Sanskrit name: Shatadru. It rises from Mansrovar Lake in Tibet. It enters at Shipki in Kinnaur district of Himachal. Sutlej flows through Shimla, Bilaspur before exiting from Bhakra village to enter into Punjab. The world’s largest dam, Bhakhra Dam, has been constructed on Sutlej River.

Yamuna: Vedic name: Kalindi. It rises from Yamnotri in Uttar Kashi, Uttarakhand and enters Himachal at Khadar Majri in Sirmaur district. Yamuna’s main tributaries are the Tons, Giri, Pabbar and Bata. The river itself is the largest tributary of the Ganga. The catchment area of Yamuna in Himachal is 2320sq.km.

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