How Many Rivers Are In Pakistan?

Rivers play an important role in transportation, agriculture and other activities in Pakistan. They also help control flooding by carrying floodwaters downstream while purifying groundwater through natural filtration. These rivers also  provide habitat to thousands of different species of animals and plants. Pakistani rivers are the most significant geographic feature of Pakistan. These are Six major Rivers in Pakistan which flow from Indian-held Kashmir through Pakistani territory :

River NameLength In Miles
Indus River1976 miles
Chenab River597 miles
Jhelum River450 miles
Ravi River447 miles
Sutlej River901 miles
Beas River292 miles

Indus River

The Indus River is one of the longest rivers in Asia, which runs through India and Pakistan. Indus water treaty was first signed between the Indus basin countries in 1960 to share the waters of Indus River. All these tributaries join Indus at different places before running into the Arabian Sea through its extensive network of canals that irrigates most parts of India. Indus enters into Pakistan after passing through Indian states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi & Sindh province & finally reaches Arabian Sea near Karachi city in Pakistan. Jhelum (جہلم), Chenab (چناب) and Sutlej (سٹلج) are three major tributaries of Indus River which join Indus at different places before running downstream towards the Arabian Sea. Its lenght is 1,976 miles (3180 Kilometers) There are total five Indus River sources which include Jhelum River, Chenab River, Ravi River, Sutlej River and Beas River.

Indus River

Tributary of the Indus River

Theb tributary of Indus River are:

  • Astor River
  • Balram River
  • Gilgit River
  • Kabul River
  • Tanubal River
  • Zanskar River

Jhelum River

Jhelum River is a river that flows in India and Pakistan. It is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District. The waters of the Jhelum are allocated to Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty. The Jhelum River, the only river that is solely used for irrigation purposes in Pakistan. The Jhelum River (Urdu: دریائے جہلم ‎), called Vitastā in the Rigveda and Hydaspes by the ancient Greeks.  It is the westernmost of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Srinager in Jammu and Kashmir. There are several lakes attached to the River Jhelum. The lakes include:

  • Wular Lake
  • Dal Lake
  • Manasbal Lake
  • Gangabal Lake
  • Nigeen Lake
  • Anchar Lake

Jhelum River

Chenab River

The Chenab River(دریائے چناب) is a major river of India and the Punjab region. It forms in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows into Pakistan where it eventually merges with the Indus River. The Chenab River is called the Chandrabhaga in Himachal, and the Chandrabhaga or Chenab in Punjab. This river remained underused for a long time, except for small irrigation uses. The total length of this river is 597 mi (960 Kilometers).  It meets with River Jgelum (دریائے جہلم)  at Trimmu in the Jhang District.

Chenab River

Ravi River

The Ravi River is a transboundary river of India and Pakistan. It is one of the Indus System in Punjab region (Punjab means “Five Rivers”). The waters of Ravi are allocated to India under Indus Water Treaty. It flows through Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh states in northern India. This river gives rise to the Ravi River which joins the Beas River, a major tributary of Indus River, at Hari-ke-Pattan village about 15 km from State capital Shimla. Ravi River is one of the rivers whose water supply in India is affected by Pakistan. Ravi river flows southeast and debouches into the Chenab River, south of the town of Ahmadpur Sial.

Ravi River

Sutluj River

The Sutlej River (دریائے ستلج) (in Punjabi, pronounced as “Sutluj”) is located in India and Pakistan. Sutlej was named after the Sikh guru, Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji . Sutlej River starts from Tibet (China), flows through Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and finally merges into the Arabian Sea near the city of Karachi in Pakistan. Sutlej River has a total length of around 1450 km (901 miles) and basin size of around 148,000 square kilometers (57,000 square miles).

It was an important trade route during ancient times for Buddhist monks who used to travel from Tibet to Nalanda (in Bihar, India) in order to spread Buddhism. It is one of the five rivers of the Punjab region, all originating from the Himalayas. Not only that, but it flows through many significant Indian cities including Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. Sutlej passes three major Pakistani cities including Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan.

Indus River System - Jhelum-Chenab-Sutjaj-Ravi-Beas | Indian river map, Geography map, India world map

Sutlej River was one of the most vital rivers for Pakistan but now became a major headache as Sutlej River water is being diverted to India from a huge Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal project, which is causing lots of controversy between two countries regarding water disputes. Sutlej River is also a sacred river for Sikhs and a pathway to heaven. It  goes through many small villages where people earn their livelihood from it.

Sutlej during monsoon season causes devastating floods in Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan while in winter makes the area of Sutlej Valley freezing and harsh. This is the major source of irrigation for Sutlej Valley, where the Sutlej Valley Canal Project was constructed in 1894 to irrigate lands from Sutlej River water. Sutlej River is one of the most polluted rivers in India and Pakistan. Sutlej River pollution is mainly caused by industrial waste, effluent, domestic effluent, sewage effluent, deforestation and climate change.

Beas River

The River Beas is a river in Punjab, India. A tributary of River Sutlej, which is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads region of Punjab, it merges into the Sutlej River near Harika and Munak, about 10 kilometres from Amritsar city in India. River Beas is the only river that flows through the Harmandir Sahib (popularly called as Golden Temple) and hence provides water for all religious rituals inside the temple complex. The channel of River Beas is called “Siri River”, which is just outside the temple complex. It has had many major bridges like Bagli bridge on River Sutlej in Pakistan, Khojki Railway Bridge across the River Sutlej in India.

Beas River

 

Things To Remember:

Jhelum and Ravi join Chenab, Beas joins Sutlej, and then Sutlej and Chenab join to form Panjnad, 10 miles north of Uch Sharif in Muzaffar Garh district. The combined stream runs southwest for approximately 44 miles and joins the Indus River at Mithankot.

Small Rivers in Pakistan

  1. Astor River
  2. Rupal River
  3. Gilgit River
  4. Hunza River
  5. Kunhar River
  6. Misgar River
  7. Kabul River
  8. Swat River
  9. Neelam River
  10. Hispar River
  11. Swan River
Master Pakistan Staff
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