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Bageshwar view 01.jpg
Sarayu river at Bageshwar, Kumaon
Country India
Physical characteristics
 • locationIndian Himalayas
 • elevation4,150 m (13,620 ft)
 • location
Tributary of Sharda River
Length350 km (220 mi)

The Sarayu is a river that originates at a ridge south of Nanda Kot mountain in Bageshwar district in Uttarakhand, India. It flows through Kapkot, Bageshwar, and Seraghat towns before discharging into the Sharda River at Pancheshwar at the India—Nepal border. Sharda river (also known as Kali river) then flows into Ghaghara river in Sitapur District, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Lower Ghaghara is also popularly known as Sarayu in India. Especially while it flows through the city of Ayodhya, the birth place of Hindu deity Rama. The river is mentioned various times in the ancient Indian epic of Ramayana.


The Sarayu rises at Sarmul (or Sarmool), which is located in the extreme north of the district Bageshwar of Uttarakhand on the southern slope of a ridge of the Nanda Kot. It flows through the Kumaon Himalayas, passes by the towns of Kapkot, Bageshwar and Seraghat before flowing into the Sharda River at Pancheshwar.[1]


The name is the feminine derivative of the Sanskrit root सर् sar "to flow"; as a masculine stem, saráyu- means "air, wind", that is, "that which is streaming".


In the epic Ramayana, Sri Rama along with the residents of Ayodhya went to vaikunth lok from this river and became deities in heaven afterwards.[2]

In fiction[edit]

Sarayu is also the name of the river that flows by the fictional town of Malgudi created by the Indian writer R. K. Narayan.

Sarayu is the name given to the personification of the Holy Spirit in "The Shack" created by American Novelist William P. Young.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Negi, S. S. (1991). Himalayan Rivers, Lakes, and Glaciers. New Delhi: Indus Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 9788185182612.
  2. ^ Valmiki Ramayana English Prose Translation in 7 volumes by Manmatha Nath Dutt 1891 to 1894. Retrieved 20 April 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°21′N 81°23′E / 27.350°N 81.383°E / 27.350; 81.383