Sutlej

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This article is about the river in Punjab. For the Royal Navy vessels named after it, see HMS Sutlej. For the river known as River Sutlej in Hong Kong, see River Sutlej (Hong Kong).
Sutlej
River
Country India, Pakistan
Source Lake Rakshastal
Length 1,500 km (932 mi) approx.
Discharge for Ropar
 - average 500 m3/s (17,657 cu ft/s) [1]
The Sutlej is a tributary to the Indus
River Sutlej in Rupnagar Punjab India

The Sutlej River (alternatively spelled as Satluj River) (Punjabi: ਸਤਲੁਜ, Hindi: सतलुज, Sanskrit : शतद्रु (shatadru) Urdu: درياۓ ستلُج‎ ) is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads 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 River is also known as Satadree.[2]

The Sutlej is sometimes known as the Red River. It is the easternmost tributary of the Indus River. Its source is Lake Rakshastal in Tibet. From there, under the Tibetan name Langqên Zangbo (Elephant River), it flows at first west-northwest for about 260 kilometres (160 mi) to the Shipki La pass, entering India in Himachal Pradesh state. It then turns slightly, heading west-southwest for about 360 kilometres (220 mi) to meet the Beas River near Makhu, Firozpur district, Punjab state.

Continuing west-southwest, the Sutlej enters Pakistan about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of Bhedian Kalan, Kasur District, Punjab province, continuing southwest to water the ancient and historical former Bahawalpur princely state.[citation needed]

About 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of Uch Sharif, the Sutlej unites with the Chenab River, forming the Panjnad River, which finally flows into the Indus river about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of the city of Bahawalpur. The area to the southeast on the Pakistani side of the Indian border is called the Cholistan Desert and, on the Indian side, the Thar Desert.[citation needed]

The Indus then flows through a gorge near Sukkur and the fertile plains region of Sindh, forming a large delta region between the border of Gujarat, India and Pakistan, finally terminating in the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi, Pakistan.

Contrary to the claims of Punjab state in India, a small part of Panchkula district in Haryana state is part of the Sutlej river basin area.[3]

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.[4] There are several major hydroelectric projects on the Sutlej, including the 1,000 MW Bhakra Dam, the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo Hydroelectric Plant, and the 1,530 MW Nathpa Jhakri Dam.[5] There has been a proposal to build a 214-kilometre (133 mi) long heavy freight canal, to be known as the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL),[6] in India to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. The project is intended to connect the Ganges, which flows to the east coast of the subcontinent, with points west, via Pakistan. When completed, the SYL would enable inland shipping from India's east coast to its west coast (on the Arabian sea) without having to round the southern tip of India by sea, vastly shortening shipping distances, alleviating pressures on seaports, avoiding sea hazards, creating business opportunities along the route, raising real estate values, raising tax revenue, and establishing important commercial links and providing jobs for north-central India's large population. However, the proposal has met with obstacles and has been referred to the Supreme Court of India.

History[edit]

The Upper Sutlej Valley was once known as the Garuda Valley by the Zhangzhung, the ancient civilization of western Tibet. The Garuda Valley was the centre of their empire, which stretched many miles into the nearby Himalayas. The Zhangzhung built a towering palace in the Upper Sutlej Valley called Kyunglung, the ruins of which still exist today near the village of Moincêr, southwest of Mount Kailash (Mount Ti-se). Eventually, the Zhangzhung were conquered by the Tibetan Empire.

Today, the Sutlej Valley is inhabited by nomadic descendants of the Zhangzhung, who live in tiny villages of yak herders.[citation needed]

The Sutlej was the main medium of transportation for the kings of that time. In the early 18th century, it was used to transport devdar woods for Bilaspur district, Hamirpur district, and other places along the Sutlej's banks.[citation needed]

Geology[edit]

The Sutlej, along with all of the Punjab rivers, is thought to have drained east into the Ganges prior to 5 mya.[7]

There is substantial geologic evidence to indicate that prior to 1700 BC, and perhaps much earlier, the Sutlej was an important tributary of the Ghaggar-Hakra River (thought to be the legendary Sarasvati River) rather than the Indus, with various authors putting the redirection from 2500-2000 BC,[8] from 5000-3000 BC,[9] or before 8000 BC.[10] Geologists believe that tectonic activity created elevation changes which redirected the flow of Sutlej from the southeast to the southwest.[11] If the diversion of the river occurred recently (about 4000 years ago), it may have been responsible for the Ghaggar-Hakra (Saraswati) drying up, causing desertification of Cholistan and the eastern part of the modern state of Sindh, and the abandonment of Harappan settlements along the Ghaggar. However, the Sutlej may have already been captured by the Indus thousands of years earlier.

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.[12] 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.[13]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sutlej valley". The Free Dictionary. 
  2. ^ Asiatic Society of Bengal. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 17, Part 1. p. 210, paragraph two. 
  3. ^ "Dams & barrages location map in India, Central Water Commission, GoI". Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power Project, India". power-technology.com. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  6. ^ http://india.gov.in/sectors/water_resources/sutlej_link.php Sutlej-Yamuna Link
  7. ^ Clift, Peter D.; Blusztajn, Jerzy (December 15, 2005). "Reorganization of the western Himalayan river system after five million years ago". Nature 438 (7070): 1001–1003. doi:10.1038/nature04379. PMID 16355221. 
  8. ^ Mughal, M. R. Ancient Cholistan. Archaeology and Architecture. Rawalpindi-Lahore-Karachi: Ferozsons 1997, 2004
  9. ^ Valdiya, K. S., in Dynamic Geology, Educational monographs published by J. N. Centre for Advanced Studies, Bangalore, University Press (Hyderabad), 1998.
  10. ^ *Clift et al. 2012. "U-Pb zircon dating evidence for a Pleistocene Sarasvati River and capture of the Yamuna River." Geology, v. 40. [2]
  11. ^ K.S. Valdiya. 2013. "The River Saraswati was a Himalayan-born river". Current Science 104 (01). [3]
  12. ^ Thiede, Rasmus; Arrowsmith, J. Ramón; Bookhagen, Bodo; McWilliams, Michael O.; Sobel, Edward R.; Strecker, Manfred R. (August 2005). "From tectonically to erosionally controlled development of the Himalayan orogen". Geology 33 (8): 689–692. doi:10.1130/G21483AR.1. 
  13. ^ Grasemann, Bernhard; Fritz, Harry; Vannay, Jean-Claude (July 1999). "Quantitative kinematic flow analysis from the Main Central Thrust Zone)NW-Himalaya, India: implications for a decelerating strain path and the extrustion of orogenic wedges". Journal of Structural Geology 21 (7): 837–853. doi:10.1016/S0191-8141(99)00077-2. 

Coordinates: 29°23′N 71°02′E / 29.383°N 71.033°E / 29.383; 71.033