Rivers in Pakistan
The Chenab River is formed by the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tandi located in the upper Himalayas, in the Lahul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, India. In its upper reaches it is also known as theChandrabhaga. It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, forming the boundary between the Rechna and Jech interfluves (Doabs in Persian). It is joined by the Jhelum River at Trimmu, and then by the Ravi River. It then merges with the Sutlej River near Uch Sharif to form the Panjnad (‘Five Rivers’), which joins the Indus at Mithankot. The total length of the Chenab is approximately 960 kilometres. The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.
The river was known to Indians in Vedic period as Ashkini or Iskmati and as Acesines to the Ancient Greeks. In 325 BC, Alexander the Great allegedly founded the town of Alexandria on the Indus (present day Uch Sharif or Mithankotor Chacharan) at the confluence of the Indus and the combined stream of Punjab rivers (currently known as the Panjnad River). The Chenab has the same place in the consciousness of the people of the Punjab, as, say the Rhine holds for the Germans, or the Danube for the Austrians and the Hungarians. It is the iconic river around which Punjabi consciousness revolves, and plays a prominent part in the tale of Heer Ranjha, the Punjabi national epic.
Dasht River is located in Gwadar District, Balochistan, Pakistan. Mirani Dam is being built on Dasht River to provide drinking water to Gwadar city.
Dashtiari River is located in Gwadar District, Balochistan, Pakistan.
Gambila River river, also called the Tochi River, is located in Bannu District, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. It’s source are the hills six miles south of the Sufed Koh, the source of the Kurram River, which it runs parallel too and finally joins. The Gambila is an important river for the inhabitants of the Dawar valley, as it serves to irragate a large area of land that it runs through. Particularly that belonging to the Bakkakhel Wazirs, and Miri and Barakzai Bannuchis.
The Ghaggar-Hakra River is the (rainy) seasonal river in India and the Hakra River riverbed in Pakistan. It is often identified with the Vedic Sarasvati River, but it is disputed if at all Rigvedic references to the Sarasvati River refer to this river. It is a dried out river which flow during rainy season only and used to flush out flood waters of Punjab.
Estimated period at which the river dried up range, very roughly, from 2500 to 2000 BC, with a further margin of error at either end of the date-range. This may be precise in geological terms, but for the Indus Valley Civilization (2800 to 1800 BC) it makes all the difference whether the river dried up in 2500 (its early phase) or 2000 (its late phase).
Similarly, for the Gandhara grave culture, often identified with the early influx of Indo-Aryans from ca. 1600 BC, it makes a great difference whether the river dried up a millennium earlier, or only a few generations ago, so that by contact with remnants of the IVC like the Cemetery H culture, legendary knowledge of the event may have been acquired.
The identification with the Sarasvati River is based the descriptions in Vedic texts (e.g. in the enumeration of the rivers in Rigveda 10.75.05, the order is Ganga, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sutlej), and other geological and paleobotanical findings. This however, is disputed. The Victorian era scholar C.F. Oldham was the first to suggest that geological events had redirected the river, and to connect it to the lost Saraswati: “[it] was formerly the Sarasvati; that name is still known amongst the people, and the famous fortress of Sarsuti or Sarasvati was built upon its banks, nearly 100 miles below the present junction with the Ghaggar.” (Oldham 1893: 51-52)
The Ghaggar is a seasonal river in India, flowing when water is available from monsoon rains. It originates in the Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh and flows through Punjab and Haryana to Rajasthan; just southwest of Sirsa inHaryana and by the side of Tibi in Rajasthan, this seasonal river feeds two irrigation canals that extend into Rajasthan.
The present-day Sarasvati River originates in a submontane region (Ambala district) and joins the Ghaggar near Shatrana in PEPSU. Near Sadulgarh (Hanumangarh) the Naiwala channel, a dried out channel of the Sutlej, joins the Ghaggar. Near Suratgarh the Ghaggar is then joined by the dried up Drishadvati river.
The wide river bed of the Ghaggar river suggest that the river once flowed full of water, and that it formerly continued through the entire region, in the presently dry channel of the Hakra River, possibly emptying into the Rann of Kutch. It supposedly dried up due to the capture of its tributaries by the Indus and Yamuna rivers, and the loss of rainfall in much of its catchment area due to deforestation and overgrazing. This is supposed to have happened at the latest in 1900 BCE, but perhaps much earlier.
Puri and Verma (1998) have argued that the present-day Tons River was the ancient upper-part of the Sarasvati River, which would then had been fed with Himalayan glaciers. The terrain of this river contains pebbles of quartzite and metamorphic rocks, while the lower terraces in these valleys do not contain such rocks.
In India there are also various small or middle-sized rivers called Sarasvati or Saraswati. One of them flows from the west end of the Aravalli Range into the east end of the Rann of Kutch.
The Hakra is the dried-out channel of a river in Pakistan that until about 2000 BC – 1500 BC was the continuation of the Ghaggar River in India. Many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation have been found along the Ghaggar and Hakra rivers.
Indus Valley Civilization
The river was also of great importance to the Indus Valley Civilization. Archaeologists have suggested that the drying up of this river may have been one of the causes for the decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Along the course of the Ghaggar-Hakra River are many archaeological sites of the Indus Valley Civilization; but not further south than the middle of Bahawalpur district. It could be that the permanent Sarasvati ended there, and its water only reached the sea in very wet rainy seasons. It may also have been affected by much of its water being taken for irrigation.
Over 600 sites of the Indus civilization have been discovered on the Hakra-Ghaggar River and its tributaries. In contrast to this, only 90 to 96 Indus Valley sites have been discovered on the Indus and its tributaries (about 36 sites on the Indus River itself.) V.N. Misra states that over 530 Harappan sites (of the more than 800 known sites, not including Degenerate Harappan or OCP) are located on the Hakra-Ghaggar. The other sites are mainly in Kutch-Saurashtra (nearly 200 sites), Yamuna Valley (nearly 70 Late Harappan sites) and in the Indus Valley/ Baluchistan (less than 100 sites).
Early Harappan sites are mostly situated on the middle Ghaggar-Hakra river bed, and some in the Indus Valley. Most of the Mature Harappan sites are located in the middle Ghaggar-Hakra river valley, and some on the Indus and in the Kutch-Saurashtra. However in the late Harappan period the number of late Harappan sites in the middle Hakra channel and in the Indus valley diminishes, while it expands in the upper Ghaggar-Sutlej channels and in Saurashtra. The abandonement of many sites on the Hakra-Ghaggar between the Harappan and the Late Harappan phase was probably due to the drying up of the Hakra-Ghaggar River.
Because most of the Indus Valley sites are actually located on the Hakra-Ghaggar River and its tributaries and not on the Indus River, some archaeologists have proposed to use the term “Indus Sarasvati Civilization” to refer to the Harappan culture.
In a survey conducted by M.R. Mughal between 1974 and 1977, over 400 sites were mapped along 300 miles of the Hakra River. The majority of these sites were dated to the fourth or third millennium BCE.
Painted Grey Ware sites (ca. 1000 BCE) have been found on the bed and not on the banks of the Ghaggar-Hakra river.
Gilgit River is a tributary of the Indus River, and flows past the town of Gilgit. It is located in the Northern Areas of Kashmir, Pakistan.
Gomal River is a river in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with its headwaters in the south-east of Ghazni. The headwater springs of the Gomal’s main leg come together close to the fort of Babakarkol in Katawaz, a district inhabited primarily by Kharoti and Suleiman Khel Pashtuns. Rivers in Pakistan
The Gomal’s chief tributary is the Zhob River. Within Pakistan, Gomal River surrounds South Waziristan agency, forms the boundary between the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan. The river passes then through the Damaanplain in Kulachi Tehsil and later on through Dera Ismail Khan Tehsil and then finally falls in river Indus.
Hub River is located in Lasbela, Balochistan, Pakistan. It forms the provincial boundary between Sindh and Balochistan, west of Karachi. Hub Dam is a large water storage reservoir constructed in 1981 on the Hub River in the arid plains north of Karachi. The reservoir supplies water for irrigation in the Lasbella district of Balochistan and drinking water for the city of Karachi. It is an important staging and wintering area for an appreciable number of waterbirds and contains a variety of fish species which increase in abundance during periods of high water. The Mahseer (Tor putitora), an indigenous riverine fish found in the Hub River, grows up to 2m in length and provides for excellent angling.It is in Pakistan. Rivers in Pakistan
Hungol River or Hingol River is located in Makran, Balochistan, Pakistan. The Hungol valley has fantastic scenery of towering cliffs, pinnacles and buttresses, the river winding between. Some 350 miles in length, the Hungol is Balochistan’s longest river. Unlike most other streams in Balochistan which only flow during rare rains, the Hungol always has flowing water in it. The water is crystal–clear, reflecting the incredible blue of the sky. It makes for picture–postcard scenery. Hungol River and valley are located in Hungol National Park. Rivers in Pakistan
Hunza River is the principal river of Hunza, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is formed by the confluence of the Kilik and Khunjerab nalas (gorges) which are fed by glaciers. It is joined by the Gilgit River and the Naltar Riverbefore it flows into the Indus River. The river cuts through the Karakoram Range, flowing from north to south. The Karakoram Highway crosses the Hunza River near Hunza and Nagar valleys. Rivers in Pakistan
Jehlum River or Jhelum River is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District. It is a tributary of the Indus River. Rivers in Pakistan
A photograph from 1900 shows a passenger traversing the river precariously seated in a small suspended cradle.
The river Jhelum was called Vitasta by the ancient Indians in the Vedic period and Hydaspes by the ancient Greeks. The Vitastā is mentioned as one of the major river by the holy scriptures of the Indo-Aryans—the Rigveda. It has been speculated that the Vitasta must have been one of the seven rivers (sapta-sindhu) mentioned so many times in the Rigveda. The name survives the a Kashmiri name for this river as Vyath.
The river was regarded as a god by the ancient Greeks, as were most mountains and streams; the poet Nonnus in the Dionysiaca (section 26, line 350) makes the Hydaspes a titan-descended god, the son of the sea-god Thaumas and the cloud-goddess Elektra. He was the brother of Iris the goddess of the rainbow, and half-brother to the harpies, the snatching winds. Since the river is in a country foreign to the ancient Greeks, it is not clear whether they named the river after the god, or whether the god Hydaspes was named after the river. Rivers in Pakistan
Alexander the Great and his army crossed the Jhelum in 326 BC at the Battle of the Hydaspes where he defeated the Indian king, Porus. According to Arrian (Anabasis, 29), he built a city “on the spot whence he started to cross the river Hydaspes”, which he named Bukephala (or Bucephala) to honour his famous horse Bukephalis which was buried in Jalalpur Sharif. It is thought that ancient Bukephala was near the site of modern Jhelum City. According to a historian of Gujrat district,Mansoor Behzad Butt, Bukephala was buried in Jalalpur Sharif, but the people of Mandi Bahauddin, a district close to Jehlum, believed that their tehsil Phalia was named after Bucephala, Alexander`s dead horse. They say that the name Phalia was the distortion of the word Bucephala. The waters of the Jhelum are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty. Rivers in Pakistan
The river Jhelum rises from north-eastern Jammu and Kashmir and is fed by glaciers, and then passes through the Srinagar district. At the city of Srinagar, the serpentine Jhelum, along with the lake Dal which lies in its course, presents a very picturesque site. The ishenganga(Neelum)River, the largest tributary of the Jhelum, joins it near Muzaffarabad, as does the next largest, the Kunhar River of the Kaghan valley.It also connects with Pakistan and Pakistan-held Kashmir on Kohala Bridge east of Circle Bakote. It is then joined by the Poonch river, and flows into the Mangla Dam reservoir in the district of Mirpur. The Jhelum enters the Punjab in the Jhelum District. From there, it flows through the plains of Pakistan’s Punjab, forming the boundary between the Chaj and Sindh Sagar Doabs. It ends in a confluence with the Chenab at Trimmu in District Jhang. The Chenab merges with the Sutlej to form the Panjnad River which joins the Indus River at Mithankot. Rivers in Pakistan