Kalapani River

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Kalapani River
CountryIndia, Nepal
Basin features
River systemKarnali River

The Kalapani River is an eastern headwater of the Sharda River, near the border between Nepal and India. It is fed by numerous small springs and underground waters.[1] The river borders the Nepalese zone of Mahakali and the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

Kalapani disputed area[edit]

The Kalapani disputed area is located in the Greater Himalayas along the border of India, China and Nepal. It is located near the headwaters of the main Kali River and has long been controlled by India over objections by Nepal. Nepal claims that the river to the west of Kalapani is the main Kali, hence the area belongs to Nepal. But India claims that a small River named Pankhagad, to the south of Kalapani, and the ridgeline on the east side of the Kalapani area is the true border, hence the Kalapani area belongs to India. This dispute has remained unsettled from at least 1962 until the present. A joint team by both countries working in the late 2000s has not ascertained the main river (and thus the boundary) due to various problems.

The Kali River runs through this disputed area of about 400 km2 (150 sq mi) near the source of the river.[2] The exact size of the disputed area varies from source to source.[3]

In 1815, the whole of the lowlands between the rivers Kali and Rapti, and between the Rapti and the Goruckpore district were ceded to the British Government in accord with Article III of the Sugauli Treaty signed in December 1815.[4] Subsequent maps drawn by British surveyors show the source of the boundary river at different places. This discrepancy in locating the source of the river led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps supporting their own claims. Nepal claims that the source of the Kali River is to the west of Kalapani, while India claims it is to the east.[5]

Kalapani has been administered by India's Indo-Tibetan border security forces since the Sino-Indian War with China in 1962. Along its long border with Nepal, India attempts to maintain a strict border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities.[2] The Kalapani issue was raised again after India and Nepal signed an agreement in 1996 to exploit the border river for hydroelectric power and irrigation.


  1. ^ Negi, S. S. (1991). Himalayan rivers, lakes and glaciers. Page 82. Indus Publishing, New Delhi.
  2. ^ a b "Field Listing - Disputes - international". CIA World Factbook. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "India's Boundary Disputes with China, Nepal, and Pakistan". International Boundary Consultants website. Archived from the original on 7 April 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  4. ^ Panta, S. D. (2006). Nepal-India border problems. Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant Institute for Rural Development, Kathmandu.
  5. ^ "Defining Himalayan borders an uphill battle". FindArticles.com. Archived from the original on 27 November 2004. Retrieved 23 March 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]