Chenab River

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"Chenab" redirects here. For the village in Iran, see Chenab, Iran.
River Chenab1.jpg
Chenab near Sialkot
Country India, Pakistan
Source Bara Lacha pass
Length 960 km (597 mi) approx.
Discharge for Akhnoor
 - average 800.6 m3/s (28,273 cu ft/s) [1]

The Chenab River (Punjabi: ਚਨਾਬ, چناب, Urdu: درياۓ چناب‎, Hindi: चनाब, (/əˈnɑːb/, canāb) literally: 'Moon (Chan) ਚਨ, चन, چن River (aab) ਆਬ, आब, آب' is a major river of India and Pakistan. It forms in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, Pakistan. The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.[2][3]


Chandra river (shown) is an upper tributary of Chenab.
Bhaga River near Jispa, Lahaul

The waters of the Chenab start from snow melt from the Bara Lacha Pass, 32°44′N 77°26′E / 32.733°N 77.433°E / 32.733; 77.433, in Himachal Pradesh. The waters flowing south from the pass are known as the Chandra River and those that flow north are called the Bhaga River. Eventually the Bhaga flows around to the south joining the Chandra at the village of Tandi. A motorable road runs along the Bhaga River, from Khokhsar to Tandi. The Chandra and Bhaga meet to form the Chandrbhaga River at Tandi. It becomes the Chenab when it joins the Marau River at Bhandera Kot, 12 kilometres (7 mi) from Kishtwar Town in Jammu and Kashmir.

It flows from 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 تریمو and then by the Ravi River Ahmedpur Sial احمدپور سیال. It then merges with the Sutlej River near Uch Sharif, Pakistan to form the Panjnad or the 'Five Rivers', the fifth being the Beas River which joins the Sutlej near Ferozepur, India. The Chenab then joins the Indus at Mithankot. The total length of the Chenab is approximately 960 kilometres (600 mi).

A view of River Chenab near Gujrat
A View of Marala Headworks on Chenab near Sialkot
A view of Chandrabhagha River through Pangi valley in Himachal Pradesh


The river was known to Indians in the Vedic period[4] as Chandrabhaga (Sanskrit: चंद्रभाग), also Ashkini (Sanskrit: अश्किनि) or Iskmati (Sanskrit: इस्कामति) and as Acesines to the Ancient Greeks.[5] In 325 BC, Alexander the Great allegedly founded the town of Alexandria on the Indus (present day Uch Sharif or Mithankot or Chacharan in Pakistan) at the confluence of the Indus and the combined stream of Punjab rivers (currently known as the Panjnad River).[6]

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 and the legend of Sohni Mahiwal.[citation needed]

Chenab today[edit]

Chenab in Indian city of Akhnoor

This river has been in the news of late due to the steps taken by the Indian government to build a number of hydroelectric power dams along its length in India, notably Baglihar Dam, as part of the Indus Basin Project. These planned projects on Chenab have been contested by Pakistan, though Pakistan's objections have been dismissed by the Indian government.


There are several road and railway bridges on Chenab.

(31°45′13″N 72°57′7″E / 31.75361°N 72.95194°E / 31.75361; 72.95194).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gauging Station - Data Summary". ORNL. 
  2. ^ "River Chenab" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  3. ^ "Indus Waters Treaty". The World Bank. Retrieved 2007-06-17. 
  4. ^ Yule, Henry; Arthur Coke Burnell; William Crooke. "Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of Anglo-Indian colloquial words & phrases and of kindred terms". Pg.741. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  5. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica article on the Chenab
  6. ^ Alexandria (Uch)
  7. ^ "Highest railway bridge in J&K to be ready by 2015". The Times Of India. 18 June 2012. 


- The Heaven on Earth

Coordinates: 31°11′20″N 72°11′57″E / 31.18889°N 72.19917°E / 31.18889; 72.19917