|- left||Sind River, Lidder River|
|- location||Krishansar Lake at Sonamarg, India|
|- elevation||3,710 m (12,172 ft)|
|- location||Jehlum River at Muzaffarabad, Pakistan|
|- elevation||750 m (2,461 ft)|
|Length||245 km (152 mi)|
|- average||465 m3/s (16,421 cu ft/s)|
The Neelum River (Hindi: नीलम नदी, Urdu: دریائے نیلم), or Kishanganga (Sanskrit/Hindi: कृष्णगंगा नदी, Urdu: کرشن گنگا ندی), is a river in the Kashmir state of India where it enters into Jhelum river and ultimately enters Pakistan.
The Neelam River originates from Krishansar Lake in the vicinity of Sonamarg and runs northwards to Badoab village where it meets a tributary from the Dras side and runs westwards along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It is fed by many glacial tributary streams on its way. It enters Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in the Gurez sector of the Line of Control, and then runs west until it meets the Jhelum River in Muzaffarabad. The Neelum River is 245 kilometers long, it covers 50 kilometers in Jammu and Kashmir and the remaining 195 kilometers in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Variety of fishes
There are different kinds of fishes found in abundance in the Neelum River. As the river almost entirely runs across the Line of Control, being the main cause for Kashmir conflict there is a feeling of uncertainty among the inhabitants, many of them have emigrated to safer places, which has left the river banks scarcely populous and kept the river in perfect conditions for growth of fish. The most famous among the different variety of fishes found in Neelum River are:
- Brown trout (Salmo trutta)
- Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
- Snow trout (Schizothorax plagiostomus)
The Neelum Valley is a Himalayan gorge in the Kashmir region, along which the Neelum River flows. This green and fertile valley is 250 km in length and stretches its way from Muzaffarabad all the way to Athmuqam and beyond to Taobutt. It is one of the most attractive tourists places, like Swat and Chitral, but due to poor road system is yet veiled to the outside world. This area was badly affected by the 2005 earthquake and was cut off from the outside world as the roads and paths were filled with rubble. Now construction of an international standard road is in progress. Neelum has had a great importance before and after the partition of India due to its beauty. Sharada Peeth was once most advanced and international standard institution during the Hindu and Buddhist era.
It is named after the river Neelum, which is famous for its crystal bluish water and that is the reason for its name Neelum. Some traditionalists[who?] say that the valley is named after a precious stone neelum (sapphire). It enters in the Neelum from Taobutt and continues its journey through narrows and mountains different streams in the way add its strength and finely tributes into river Jhelum at a spot at Domail in Muzaffarabad.
There are two entrances for Neelum valley, one Neelum Road by Muzaffarabad and the other by Kaghan the Jalkhad Road. Generally Neelum valley starts just after Muzaffarabad but in political division the area from Muzaffarabad to Chelhana is named Kotla valley in election division. District Neelum starts from Chelhana and goes to Taobutt. The valley is famous for its lush greenery, fir forests, slop hills and waterfalls. Specially in summer a large number of tourists visit the valley.
In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the construction work on the 330 MW Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant project has started, after being defunct for eighteen years. Recently, the project was awarded to Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) with a timeline of seven years. The 330 MW Kishanganga hydro-electric power project involves damming of Kishanganga or Neelam River and the proposed 37 metre reservoir will submerge some parts of the Gurez valley of Kashmir. The water of Kishen Ganga River will be diverted through a 24 kilometre tunnel dug through the mountains to Bandipore where it will join the Wular Lake and then Jhelum River.
Similarly, Pakistan is constructing the 969 MW Neelum–Jhelum Hydropower Plant; the country has placed the project in the hands of a Chinese consortium. Pakistan claims that the Indian dam project will violate the Indus Waters Treaty and has pursued formal arbitration proceedings against India over the matter.
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