The Zaskar, the Nubra, the Shyok and the Hunza are the tributaries which join Indus River in the Kashmir region.
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The Himalayan rivers:
The major Himalayan rivers are the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These rivers are long, and are joined by many large and important tributaries. A river along with its tributaries called a river system.
The Indus River System:
- The river Indus rises in Tibet, near Lake Mansarowar. Flowing west, it enters India in the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. It forms a picturesque gorge in this part.
- The Indus flows through Baltistan and Gilgit and emerges from the mountains at Attock.
- The Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi, the Chenab and the Jhelum join together to enter the Indus near Mithankot in Pakistan.
- The Indus flows southwards eventually reaching the Arabian Sea, east of Karachi. The Indus plain has a very gentle slope. With a total length of 2900 km, the Indus is one of the longest rivers of the world.
- A little over a third of the Indus basin is located in India in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and the rest is in Pakistan.
The Ganga River System:
- The headwaters of the Ganga, called the ‘Bhagirathi’ is fed by the Gangotri Glacier and joined by the Alaknanda at Devaprayag in Uttarakhand. At Haridwar, the Ganga emerges from the mountains on to the plains.
- The Ganga is joined by many tributaries from the Himalayas, a few of them being major rivers, such as the Yamuna, the Ghaghara, the Gandak and the Kosi.
- The river Yamuna rises from the Yamunotri Glacier in the Himalayas. It flows parallel to the Ganga and as a right bank tributary meets the Ganga at Allahabad.
- The Ghaghara, the Gandak and the Kosi rise in the Nepal Himalaya. They are the rivers, which flood parts of the northern plains every year, causing widespread damage to life and property, whereas, they enrich the soil for agricultural use.
- The main tributaries, which come from the peninsular uplands, are the Chambal, the Betwa and the Son. These rise from semi-arid areas, have shorter courses and do not carry much water in them.
- Enlarged with the waters from its right and left bank tributaries, the Ganga flows eastwards till Farakka in West Bengal. This is the northernmost point of the Ganga delta. The river bifurcates here; the Bhagirathi-Hooghly (a distributary) flows southwards through the deltaic plains to the Bay of Bengal.
- The mainstream, flows southwards into Bangladesh and is joined by the Brahmaputra. Further downstream, it is known as the This mighty river, with waters from the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, flows into the Bay of Bengal. The delta formed by these rivers is known as the Sundarban Delta.
- Ambala is located on the water divide between the Indus and the Ganga river systems. The plains from Ambala to the Sunderban stretch over nearly 1800 km, but the fall in its slope is hardly 300 metres. In other words, there is a fall of just one metre for every 6 km. Therefore, the river develops large meanders.
The Brahmaputra River System:
- The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet east of Mansarowar lake very close to the sources of the Indus and the Satluj. It is slightly longer than the Indus, and most of its course lies outside India.
- It flows eastwards parallel to the Himalayas. On reaching the Namcha Barwa (7757 m), it takes a ‘U’ turn and enters India in Arunachal Pradesh through a gorge. Here, it is called the Dihang and it is joined by the Dibang, the Lohit, and many other tributaries to form the Brahmaputra in Assam.
- In Tibet, the river carries a smaller volume of water and less silt as it is a cold and a dry area.
- In India, it passes through a region of high rainfall. Here the river carries a large volume of water and considerable amount of silt. The Brahmaputra has a braided channel in its entire length in Assam and forms many riverine islands.
- Every year during the rainy season, the river overflows its banks, causing widespread devastation due to floods in Assam and Bangladesh.
- Unlike other north Indian rivers, the Brahmaputra is marked by huge deposits of silt on its bed causing the riverbed to rise. The river also shifts its channel frequently.