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The Satluj River

13-10-08 217 CONFLUENCE OF INDUS RIVER N
13-10-08 217 CONFLUENCE OF INDUS RIVER N (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Satluj River (Urdu: درياۓ ستلُج‎), (alternatively spelled as Sutlej River) (Bengali: শতদ্রু,Punjabi: ਸਤਲੁਜ, and Hindi: सतलज) is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroad region of Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.
 
The Sutlej is sometimes known as the Red River. It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River. Its source is from Lowangko Co, Tibet near Lake Rakshastal in Tibet, China, near Mount Kailas, and it flows generally west and southwest entering India through the Shipki La pass in Himachal Pradesh. In Pakistan, it waters the ancient and historical former Bahawalpur state. The region to its south and east is arid, and is known as Cholistan a part of Bahawalpur Division. The Sutlej is joined by the Beas River in Hari-Ke-Patan, Amritsar, Punjāb, India, and continues southwest into Pakistan to unite with the Chenab River, forming the Panjnad River near Bahawalpur. The Panjnad joins the Indus River at Mithankot. Indus then flows through a gorge near Sukkur, flows through the fertile plains region of Sindh, forming a large delta region between the border of Gujarat, India and Pakistan, and finally terminates in the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Pakistan.
Contrary to the claims of Punjab state in India, a small part of Haryana state in Panchkula district is part of the Sutlej river basin area in addition to Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in India.[1] Thus, Haryana is also a riparian portion of the Indus river basin.
 
The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan, and are mostly diverted to irrigation canals in India.[2][dead link] There are several major hydroelectric projects on the Sutlej, for example, the 1,000 MW Bhakra Dam, the 1,000 MW Karcham-Wangtoo and the 1,530 MW Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Dam.[3] There has been a proposal to build a 214-kilometre (133 mi) long heavy freight canal, known as the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL),[4] in India to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. This canal is designed to connect the entire Ganges, which flows to the east coast of the subcontinent, with points west (via Pakistan). When completed, the SYL will allow shipping from India's east coast to the west coast and the Arabian sea, drastically shortening shipping distances and creating important commercial links for north-central India's large population. However, the proposal has met with obstacles and has been referred to the Supreme Court.
 
History
 
The Upper Sutlej Valley was once known as the Garuda Valley by the Zhang Zhung, the ancient civilization of western Tibet. The Garuda Valley was the centre of their empire which stretched many miles into the nearby Himalayas. The Zhang Zhung built a towering palace in the Upper Sutlej Valley called Kyunglung, the ruins of which still exist today nearby to the village of Moincer, southwest of Mount Kailash (Mount Ti-se) Eventually the Zhang Zhung were conquered by the Tibetan Empire.
Today, the Sutlej Valley is inhabited by nomadic descendants of the Zhang Zhung who live in tiny villages of as yak herders.

  Geology

The Sutlej, along with all of the Punjab rivers, is thought to have drained east into the Ganges prior to 5 mya.[5]
There is substantial geologic evidence to indicate that prior to 1700 BC at the latest, Sutlej was an important tributary of the Ghaggar-Hakra River (possibly through the Saraswati river) rather than the Indus with various authors putting the redirection from 2500-2000 BC.[6][7] or 5000-3000 BC[8] Geologists believe that tectonic activity created elevation changes which redirected the flow of Sutlej from the southeast to the southwest.[citation needed] The mighty Saraswati then began to dry up, causing desertification of Cholistan and the eastern part of the modern state of Sindh. The desertification resulted in abandonment of numerous ancient human settlements along the banks of Saraswati.[citation needed]
There is some evidence that the high rate of erosion caused by the modern Sutlej River has influenced the local faulting and rapidly exhumed rocks above Rampur.[9] This would be similar to, but on a much smaller scale than, the exhumation of rocks by the Indus River in Nanga Parbat, Pakistan. The Sutlej river also exposes a doubled inverted metamorphic gradient.[10]
The source of the Sutlej is just west of Mt. Kailash in western Tibet. This is a roadless area, and was first explored by kayak and raft by Russian and German teams in 2004.[11]
The largest modern industrial city along the Sutlej river banks is Ludhiana.
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1 comment:

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