The Brahmaputra ( ब्रम्हपुत्र) river is one of the major rivers of Asia is a trans-boundary river. The Brahmaputra river is about 2900 km long originate from western Tibet as as the Yarlung Tsangpo River. This river flows through three countries born in Tibet, flowing through India and then on to Bangladesh. It has many names – Tsangpo in Tibet, Lohit or Brahmaputra in India and Jamuna (not Yamuna of India) in Bangladesh. The waters of the River Brahmaputra are shared by China, India, and Bangladesh.
While most Indian and Bangladeshi rivers bear female names, this river has a rare male name, as it means “son of Brahma” in Sanskrit. The Brahmaputra is navigable for most of its length. The river is prone to catastrophic flooding in spring when the Himalayan snows melt. It is also one of the few rivers in the world that exhibit a tidal bore. In Bangladesh the river merges with the River Ganga (गंगा) and splits into two the Hugli and Padma River. When Brahmaputra river merges with the Ganges and Meghna rivers it form the world largest delta 60,000km2 in area.
Source of Brahmaputra River
The Yarlung Tsangpo River (name of Brahmaputra river in Tibet), originates in the “Jima Yangzong” glacier near Mount Kailash in the northern Himalayas. It then flows east for about 1,700 kilometres (1,100 mi), at an average height of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), the highest of the major rivers in the world. In Tibet, the Tsangpo follows the suture line between the Eurasian Plate and the Indian Plate . At its easternmost point, it bends around Mount Namcha Barwa and forms the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon.
The Yarlung Tsangpo River (name of Brahmaputra river in Tibet), originates in the “Jima Yangzong” glacier near Mount Kailash in the northern Himalayas.
Govt plans to build big dams over Brahmaputra: Uma Bharti
New Delhi, June 5, 2015: In a bid to establish India�s riparian rights over use of water from the transboundary Brahmaputra river, the Centre is planning a massive dam in Arunachal Pradesh, which would also help control floods in Assam and produce power. Union government is discussing the project with Arunachal Pradesh government proposed with a capacity of between nine and 13 BCM in Siang region of the state.
�We are planning two projects on Brahmaputra, which I have briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about. The solution on Brahmaputra�s perennial flow lies in middle Siang.
Brahmaputra River in plains
The Brahmaputra enters India in the state of Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet, where it is called “Siang”. After a rapid descent from its original height in Tibet it finally appears in the plains, where it is called “Dihang”. It flows for about 35 kilometres and is joined by the Dibang River and the Lohit River at the head of the Assam Valley. Below the Lohit the river is called Brahmaputra, enters the state of Assam and becomes as wide as 10 kilometres in parts of Assam. It is joined in Sonitpur by the Kameng River (or Jia Bhoreli). Between Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur districts the river divides into two channels? the northern “Kherkutia” channel and the southern Brahmaputra channel.
The two channels join again about 100 kilometres (62 mi) downstream forming the Majuli island, the largest river island in India. At Guwahati , near the ancient pilgrimage center of Hajo, the Brahmaputra river cuts through the rocks of the Shillong Plateau becomes narrowest at 1 kilometre
The Brahmaputra river enters Bangladesh from Assam. In Bangladesh, the Brahmaputra is joined by the Teesta River (or tista river), one of its largest tributaries. Below the Teesta, the Brahmaputra splits into two distributaries branches. The western larger branch continues due south as the Jamuna to merge with the lower Ganges, called the Padma River The eastern smaller branch is called the lower or old Brahmaputra join the Meghna River near Dhaka . The Padma and Meghna converge near Chandpur and flow out into the Bay of Bengal.
The waters of the River Brahmaputra are shared by China, India, and Bangladesh. In the 1990s and 2000s, there was repeated speculation about China building a dam at the Great Bend, with a view to divert the waters to the north of the country. This was denied by the Chinese government for many years. However on 22 April 2010, China confirmed that it was indeed building the Zangmu Dam but assured India that the project would not have any significant effect on the downstream flow to India.
Chinese media reports indicated that the Zangmu project is unlikely to be the last on the Brahmaputra. A news report on the widely read portal Tencent said the Zangmu dam was ?a landmark project? for Tibet’s development, being the first major dam in Tibet, and ?a project of priority in the Eleventh Five Year Plan.? The report said that such projects would ?greatly relieve the energy stress in the middle regions of Tibet? and upgrade power capacity from 100 MW to 500 MW.
India’s “high-calibre satellite” imagery has not shown diversion of Brahmaputra waters by China, official sources said June 16, 2011 responding to criticism that government was turning a ‘Nelson’s eye’ to reports of massive construction plans by Chinese authorities. India has ascertained from its sources that the construction of a dam at Zangmu in the middle reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo (as the Brahmaputra is called in Tibet) is a run-of-the river hydro-electricity project which does not store water and will not adversely impact the downstream areas in India, the sources said adding there was no cause for “worry or alarm”.
Noting that apart from the assurances from China that it is a run-of-the river project, the government has “verified” the facts from its own sources, the sources said adding “we don’t only trust but also assess.” They also said a large proportion of the catchment of the Brahmaputra was within Indian territory. “It is important that the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilize the waters of the Brahmaputra. This is the really important issue,” they said. The sources also pointed out that there was exchange of water data between the two countries and there was an expert-level committee to discuss such issues.
The looming threat to the world heritage sites of Kaziranga and other national parks in Assam is not from poachers or encroachers. But according to a study conducted by experts it is from the 70 dams and hydro electric power projects that are coming up on River Brahmaputra and its tributaries in the North-East region of the country.
The study was conducted Bibhab K Talukdar, Secretary General of Aaranyak, member organisation of National Board For Wildlife (NBWL) and Partha J Das who heads the Water, Climate & Hazard Programme of the organisation. The 70 large dams proposed by the Government of India are to come up on the basins of the Rivers Siang (20), Lohit (11), Dibang (17) and Subansiri (22).
The Brahmaputra river upper course was long unknown, and its identity with the Yarlung Tsangpo was only established by exploration in 1884-86. This river is often called Tsangpo-Brahmaputra river. The lower reaches in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are sacred to Hindus Until 1947, the Brahmaputra was used as a major waterway in India. In the 1990s, the stretch between Sadiya and Dhubri was declared as National Waterway No.2., and it provides facilities for goods transportation. Recently years have seen a modest spurt in the growth of river cruises.
India, China sign MoUs, including on Brahmaputra river
India and China on June 30 signed three key MoUs, including one on industrial parks and flood data of Brahmaputra river, coinciding with the visit of Vice President Hamid Ansari in Beijing. The MoU on flood data sharing will provide India with 15 days more of hydrological data of river Brahmaputra. The data helps India in flood forecasting.
Brahmaputra rising cut off river island
With the waters of Brahmaputra rising for the past three days, Majuli was cut off from the mainland for the second consecutive day today with ferry services to and from Jorhat being suspended. Schools in the riverine areas remained closed because of the rising water level, which has also affected about 1,000 hectares of cropland.
Monitor Brahmaputra to rule out Chinese dam
Brahmaputra River in Hindu religion
There are many mythological stories on Brahmaputra river. The most popular one is about the river’s birth in ‘Kālikā Purāna’. It describes how Lord Parshuram, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu विष्णु), got rid of his sin of beheading his own mother with an axe by taking bath in this sacred river. This place is presently known as Parashurām Kunda (about 25 km north of Tezu in Lomita district in`Arunāchal Pradesh).`
In an another mythological story, Amogha wife of Sage Shantanu had a child by Brahma the creator of the Universe. The child took the form of water. Shantanu placed the child right in the middle of the four great mountains ? Kailash, Gandhamadana, Jarudhi and Sambwartakka. He grew into a great lake, the Brahmakunda.
The plains watered by the stream of Brahmaputra yield abundant crops of rice, jute, and mustard. The Brahmaputra is an important source of irrigation and navigation. The Planning Commission has accorded investment clearance to implement anti-erosion works to protect Brahmaputra dykes on November 9, 2011.
This project is estimated to cost Rs 8.35 crore. The dyke works relate to 69 km (Uluberi) and 78 km (Borigaon). The proposed scheme envisages anti-erosion measures for a 9000-m long reach on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river. The proposed scheme has been framed to protect an area of 8,000 hectares comprising cultivated and homestead land including public and government properties. An estimated 1.50 lakh people are likely to be benefited from the scheme, official sources said. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2011-12 and Plan accounts will be closed by March 31, 2012.
Flood in Brahmaputra wreak havoc
Worst ever 2012 Brahmaputra floods continued to wreak havoc in Assam, as the Brahmaputra and its tributaries sent more areas under water, and over 4 lakh people were badly hit in 23 affected districts. The 2012 floods in the north- eastern state are the worst ever since 1998.
India’s annual monsoon has claimed 109 lives since rains started in June and left at least 400,000 people homeless in Assam, in a tragedy experts say was made worse by corruption and poor management of the Brahmaputra River.
The environment of the Brahmaputra floodplains in Assam have been described as the Brahmaputra Valley semi- evergreen forests ecoregion. Kaziranga National Park is approximately 720 miles northeast of Kolkata in the Indian state of Assam. It lies in the flood plain of the Brahmaputra River across the central valley of Assam. The spring snow melt and summer monsoon bring yearly floods to Kaziranga that enrich its grasslands and tropical forests, enabling the park to support healthy populations of Bengal tigers, elephants, various deer, wild water buffalo, boar, monkeys, reptiles and birds (both migratory and local). The park’s most famous resident is the Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which is every bit as big and burly as its African cousins.
The union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has realized the extreme danger to river dolphins in the Ganga and Brahmaputra. The pollution levels in the Brahmaputra River and massive human intervention has affected the dolphin’s larger habitat. “They are very sensitive to pollution and the spill of sewage and other urban wastes has disturbed their habitat,” says Borthakur, a reputed ethnobotanist.
River Brahmaputra will no more be a river of sorrow for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros as the Assam forest department along with WWF and US Fish and Wildlife Services is planning its second round of translocation this summer and the rhinos to be translocated will be from Kaziranga National Park this time. The department’s decision is among others aimed at rescuing the rhinos, classified as vulnerable species according to International Union of Conservation Network (IUCN), from the flash floods of River Brahmaputra which takes a toll on at least half a dozen of these animals every year. ?The other intention is aimed at reviving the rhino population and ensuring conservation and protection of Manas tiger reserve,? said a wildlife expert, who is a part of this programme.
Tributaries of Brahmaputra River
The main tributaries of Brahmaputra River are Dibang River, Lohit River , Dhansiri River, Kameng River , Raidak River, Jaldhaka River, Teesta River
In comparison with the other major rivers in India, the Brahmaputra river is less polluted but it has its own problems: petroleum refining units contribute most of the industrial pollution load into the basin along with other medium and small industries. The main problem facing the river basin is that of constant flooding. Floods have been occurring more often in recent years with deforestation, and other human activities being the major causes.
During the monsoon season, floods are a common occurrence. Deforestation in the Brahmaputra watershed has resulted in increased siltation levels, flash floods, and soil erosion in critical downstream habitat, such as the Kaziranga National Park in middle Assam. The massive flooding causes huge losses to crops, life and property.
The beautiful Brahmaputra has become a river of sorrow for the people here. In the past two years, it has devoured more than 40 young lives, bringing under public glare a vital question: shouldn’t the government do something immediately to ensure safety for the riders to the mighty river?
Brahmaputra floods: 9 lakh people affected in 15 districts
Nearly nine lakh people are affected in 15 districts in Assam as incessant rains over the last two days (August 27 and 28 August) have meant that Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark. Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in various districts to assist state administration in relief and evacuation work.
The increasing water levels in Brahmaputra and its tributaries have also forced the Inland Water Transport (IWT) department to temporarily suspend river transportation in many places, including Guwahati, Jorhat and Dhubri.
Also Read : How to Cook Healthy Food Taste Delicious
Turn Brahmaputra into vibrant waterway: Abdul Kalam
Bhupen Hazarika, a music legend
Indo-British joint venture Assam Bengal Navigation, that had started its operations in 2003 offering long-distance cruises on Brahmaputra in Assam, initiated its river cruises on the river Hugli (a tributary of Ganges) in 2007, extending it to the Ganges in 2010. In recent times Assam Bengal Navigation has had an increasing share of clients from Australia, North America and Japan as well. The company currently has offices in Guwahati and the UK. Assam Bengal Navigation has two luxury river boats – the ‘ABN Charaidew’, and ‘ABN Sukapha’. The Brahmaputra cruises are in operation from end-September till end of April and the Hugli and Ganges cruises operation from July till end of April.
Brahmaputra cruises feature attractions such as wildlife viewing (both by jeep and on elephant back), village walks, visits to tea gardens, exploring country towns in cycle rickshaws, barbecues on deserted river islands, dance performances, and visits to craft workshops. Between October and April a combination of seven-night, 10-night and four-night cruises are offered. Cruises can be combined to give durations up to 14 nights.