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Flowing into endorheic basins


Rakshan River

The Rakshan River rises at the Nidoki pass, south-west of Shireza, district Washuk, Balochistan, Pakistan. Under the name of Nag, and running south-westward, it unites with the lop stream at a point to west of Nag-e-Kalat. It then flows west-south-west through the centre of the long valley comprising the Panjgur District, Makran, and parallel with the Siahan Range on the north and Zangi Lak hills on the south. In Rakshan it possesses little or no water, in Panjgur, however, it expands into a series of bright clear pools (kor joh) connected with each other by small water channels running over a pebbly bed. The banks are here bordered with numerous date palms and most of the water is used for irrigation. To the west of Kallag, the last village in Panjgur is Dabbag, where there are more pools and much long grass, tamarisk and kahur trees in which wild pigs were to be found in the early 20th century.


The only considerable tributaries joining the river west of Panjgur are the Mazan Dashtuk from the west, the Askani from the east, and the Gwargo from the south. After traversing Panjgur, the main stream turns northward and joins the Mashkel River from Kuhak on the Iranian side just south of the point where it bursts through the Koh-e-Sabz range by the Tank-e-Grawag or Grawag defile.

The Mashkel River crosses the Siahan Range at Tank-e-Zurrati and runs along the western side of Kharan to the Hamun-i-Mashkel, the total length from the source of the Rakshan being 258 miles.

Physical features

Through a considerable water course, the banks of the Rakshan are low, shelving and irregular, consisting of hard clay known as kork in the Balochi language. In Panjgur the average depth is about 1/2 miles. It carries high floods, but owing to its breadth they never do much harm. The bed contains a little tamarisk or grass to relieve the monotony of the barren region which it traverses. Though the river is easy to cross, dangerous quicksands exist in some places.

Sixteenth-century dam

In the times of the Malik rulers in the 16th century the river is said to have been dammed by the large band close to Bonistan village, the western part of Issai, the remains of which are still known as Band-e-Gillar.

Sistan Basin

  • Helmand River (Iran/Afghanistan)
    • Arghandab River (Afghanistan)

Sistan Basin

The Sistan Basin is an inland endorheic basin encompassing large parts of southwestern Afghanistan and southeastern Iran, one of the driest regions in the world and an area subjected to prolonged droughts. Its watershed is a system of rivers flowing from the highlands of Afghanistan into freshwater lakes and marshes and then to its ultimate destination: Afghanistan's saline Godzareh depression, part of the extensive Sistan terminal basin. The Helmand River drains the basin's largest watershed, fed mainly by snowmelt from the mountains of Hindu Kush, but other rivers contribute also.[1][2]

basalt hill, known as Mount Khajeh, rises beside the lakes and marshes of the basin.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Map of the Sistan/Helmand River drainage basin



The lowest part of the Sistan Basin contains a series of shallow lakes, known as hamuns. It appears that in the past there was a single Hamun Lake,[3] but there are now three separate lakes. From north to south the lakes are:

Hamun-e Puzak

The Hamun-e Puzak lies mostly in Afghanistan. It receives water from the Shelah Charkh channel of the Helmand River, and also from the Khash River and other small rivers.[4]

Hamun-e Sabari                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Satellite image of southern Afghanistan and Iran in dust storm

The Hamun-e Sabari is spit between Iran and Afghanistan. It receives water from the Parian branch of Helmand River, the Farah River and the Harut River.[4]

Hamun-e Helmand

The largest proportion of the Helmand River's waters flow into the Hamun-e Helmand, which is entirely in Iran, by a channel known as the Rud-e Sistan.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   


In times of flood the hamuns join into one large lake, and once every 20 years or so the floodwaters create an overflow from the Hamun-e Helmand by a normally dry river known as the Shela Rud, terminating in the Godzareh depression. In 1885 there was an exceptional flood, and the floodwaters filled the depression for three years.[4]

In recent years, particularly during a drought from 1998 to 2005, the hamuns have dried up completely.[4]

Ecological importance

Since the economy of the region is based on agriculture, subsistence depends on snowmelt and rainfall in the high mountains to sustain the health of the Sistan Basin and its wetlands. This source of water severely fluctuates over time and therefore has resulted in fundamental problems of survival for human settlements in the area. A severe drought began at the turn of twenty-first century and as of 2005 has lasted six years with extreme consequences for the populations.[1]

The region's economic survival is dependent on the wetland's products. For example, beds of reeds provide livestock food, cooking and heating fuel, and the raw materials for structures and handicrafts. Water availability affects the income derived from fishing and hunting, an important source of income. The result of the drought has been the collapse of the local economy as well as destruction of the wetland's ecological system, causing damage to the agriculture in the delta based on the Helmand River's irrigation.[5]


For more than 5,000 years the Sistan basin has been inhabited by sophisticated cultures and thus contains some key archaeological sites. The Shahr-i Sokhta, or "Burnt City", in Iran, built in 3100 B.C. near a currently dried-up branch of the Helmand River, was abandoned one thousand years later, most likely due climate changes that altered the river course. Kang and Zaranj in Afghanistan were major medieval cultural hubs, now covered by sand. Here, signs of historical irrigation systems, including canals, are still visible in the Dasht-e-Margo and Chakhansur areas while elsewhere canals are filled with silt and agricultural fields buried by shifting sand. Today the area is sparsely populated.[1]

Excavations have also revealed a citadel complex, and the remains of a Zoroastrian fire temple, on Mount Khajeh.


  1. Jump up to: a b c "History of Environmental Change in the Sistan Basin 1976 - 2005". Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  2. Jump up ^ "Restoration, Protection and Sustainable Use of the Sistan Basin". Retrieved 2007-07-20.
  3. Jump up ^ "9: The issue of Lake Hamun and the Hirmand River"Central Eurasian water crisis: Caspian, Aral, and Dead Seas. United Nations University. 1998. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  4. Jump up to: a b c d Whitney, John (2006). "Geology, Water, and Wind in the Lower Helmand Basin". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2010-08-31.
  5. Jump up ^ "History of Environmental Change in the Sistan Basin". Retrieved 2007-07-20

External links


Indus Plains

Thar Desert

Ghaggar-Hakra River

The Ghaggar-Hakra River (Devnagri: घग्गर हकरा, Gurmukhi: ਘੱਗਰ ਹਕਰਾ, Shahmukhi: گهگـر هکره) is an intermittent river in India and Pakistan that flows only during the monsoon season. The river is known as Ghaggar before the Ottu barrage and as the Hakra downstream of the barrage.[1] The Ghaggar-Hakra is generally identified with the Vedic Sarasvati River by most scholars, though it is disputed whether all Rigvedic references to the Sarasvati should be taken to refer to this river. The identification of the Vedic Sarasvati River with the Ghaggar-Hakra River was accepted by Christian Lassen,[2] Max Müller,[3] Marc Aurel Stein, C.F. Oldham,[4] and Jane Macintosh.[5]

Contents                                                                                                                                                                                               Ghaggar river flowing through Panchkula in Haryana in North India

The Ghaggar is an intermittent river in India, flowing during the monsoon rains. It originates in the Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh and flows through Punjab and Haryana states into Rajasthan;[6] just southwest of Sirsa, Haryana and by the side of Talwara Lake in Rajasthan. This seasonal river feeds two irrigation canals that extend into Rajasthan.

The present-day Sarsuti (Saraswati River) originate in a submontane region (Ambala district) and joins the Ghaggar near Shatrana in Punjab. Near Sadulgarh (Hanumangarh) the Naiwal channel, a dried out channel of the Sutlej, joins the Ghaggar. Near Suratgarh the Ghaggar is then joined by the dried up Drishadvati (Chautang) river.

The wide river bed (paleo-channel) of the Ghaggar river suggest that the river once flowed full of water during the great meltdown of the Himalayan Ice Age glaciers, some 10,000 years ago, and that it then continued through the entire region, in the presently dry channel of the Hakra River, possibly emptying into the Rann of Kutch. It supposedly dried up due to the capture of its tributaries by the Indus system and the Yamuna river, and later on, a

dditionally, the loss of water in much of its catchment area due to deforestation and overgrazing.[7] This is supposed by some to have happened at the latest in 1900 BCE, but actually took place much earlier [8][9]


Puri and Verma (1998) have argued that the present-day Tons River was the ancient upper-part of the Sarasvati River, which would then had been fed with Himalayan glaciers. The terrain of this river contains pebbles of quartzite and metamorphic rocks, while the lower terraces in these valleys do not contain such rocks.[10] However, recent studies show that Bronze Age sediments from the glaciers of the Himalayas are missing along the Ghaggar-Hakra, indicating that the river did not or no longer have its sources in the high mountains.[11]

In India there are also various small or middle-sized rivers called Sarasvati or Saraswati. One of them flows from the west end of the Aravalli Range into the east end of the Rann of Kutch.


Hakra River                                  

         The Hakra is the dried-out channel of a river near Fort Abbas City in Pakistan that is the continuation of the Ghaggar River in India. Several times, but not continuously, it carried the 

water of the Sutlej and Sarasvati during the Bronze Age period.[12] Many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation have been found along and inside the river beds of the Ghaggar and Hakra rivers.


According to some palaeo-environmental scientists and Archaeologists,between 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE some tectonic disturbances caused tilt in topography of Northwest India resulting in the migration of river. The Sutlej moved westward and became a tributary of the Indus River while the Yamuna moved eastward and became a tributary of the Ganges. The Yamuna shifted its course eastwards, supposedly in the early 2nd millennium BCE, allegedly reaching its current bed by 1st millennium BCE, while the Drishadvati bed retained only a small seasonal flow. The Sutlej several times over shifted its channel northwards and was eventually captured by the Indus system. The water loss due to these movements caused the Sarasvati river to dry up in the Thar Desert.[13][14]

However, Henri-Paul Francfort, utilizing images from the French satellite SPOT already two decades ago, found that the large river Sarasvati is pre-Harappan altogether and started drying up already in the middle of the 4th millennium BC; during Harappan times only a complex irrigation-canal network was being used. The date should therefore be pushed back to c 3800 BC. R. Mughal (1997), summing up the evidence, concludes that the Bronze Age Ghaggar-Hakra sometimes carried more, sometimes less water (for example derived from the Sutlej). The latter point agrees with a recent isotope study.[15][16] Painted Grey Ware sites (ca. 1000 BCE) have been found in the river bed and not on the banks of the Ghaggar-Hakra river, which suggests that river was certainly dried up by this period.[17][18]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Course of Sarasvati river


The Rig Vedic hymn X 75, however, gives a list of names of rivers where Sarasvati is merely mentioned while Sindhu receives praise. It is commonly agreed that the tenth Book of the Rig Veda is later than the others. Some revisionists think, ahistorically, that this may indicate that the Rig Veda could be dated to a period after the first drying up of Sarasvati (c. 3500 BCE) when the river lost its preeminence.[19][20]

Scholars, however, commonly date the Rig Veda to after the Indus Valley culture, arguing for example, that the lack of clear evidence of domesticated equids at Indus Valley culture sites contrasts with the Rig Veda's frequent references to domesticated horses. Scholars also interpret frequent use in the Rig Veda of the word "ratha", which in later Sanskrit can mean any kind of carriage, to be references specifically to horse-drawn, spoked-wheeled war chariots, whereas the only carts (called 'anas' in Vedic) found at Indus Valley culture sites are solid-wheeled bullock carts. There are indeed a number of mentions in the Rig Veda of spoked (ara) wheels, horse-drawn chariots and the use of chariots in sport, competition and battle, including also the deity Indra's vehicle. Indra is described as throwing his vajra weapon from a heavenly "ratha" pulled by two "hari" horses, a noun form of "bay".The many archeological sites along the bed of Sarasvati (variously given as 414 or even 600) dwarf the number of sites so far recorded along the Indus River, which number less (about three dozen). However, most of the Harappan sites along the Sarasvati are found in desert country, and have remained undisturbed since the end of the Indus Civilization. This contrasts with the heavy alluvium of the Indus and other large Panjab rivers that have obscured Harappan sites, including part of Mohenjo Daro. About 80 percent of the Sarasvati sites are datable to the fourth or third millennium BCE, suggesting that the river was flowing during (part of) this period, which is also indicated by the fact that some Indus sites are found inside the bed of the Ghaggar-Hakra.

Association with the Harappan civilization

Some estimate that the period at which the river dried up range, very roughly, from 2500 to 2000 BC, with a further margin of error at either end of the date-range. This may be precise in geological terms, but for the mature Indus Valley Civilization (2600 to 1900 BC) it makes all the difference whether the river dried up in 2500 (its early phase) or 2000 (its late phase). By contact with remnants of the IVC like the Cemetery H culture, legendary knowledge of the event may have been acquired.

Along the course of the Ghaggar-Hakra river are many archaeological sites of the Indus Valley Civilization; but not further south than the middle of Bahawalpur district. It has been assumed that the Sarasvati ended there in a series of terminal lakes, and some think that its water only reached the Indus or the sea in very wet rainy seasons. However, satellite images contradict this: they do not show subterranean water in reservoirs in the dunes between the Indus and the end of the Hakra west of Fort Derawar/Marot.[21] It may also have been affected by much of its water being taken for irrigation.[citation needed]

In a survey conducted by M.R. Mughal between 1974 and 1977, over 400 sites were mapped along 300 miles of the Hakra river.[22] The majority of these sites were dated to the fourth or third millennium BCE.[23]

S. P. Gupta however counts over 600 sites of the Indus civilization on the Ghaggar-Hakra river and its tributaries.[24][25] For ereason stated above, only 90 to 96 Indus Valley sites have been discovered on the Indus and its tributaries (about 36 sites on the Indus river itself.)[26][27][28] V.N. Misra[29] states that over 530 Harappan sites (of the more than 800 known sites, not including Late Harappan or OCP) are located on the Ghaggar-Hakra.[30] The other sites are mainly in Kutch-Saurashtra (nearly 200 sites), Yamuna Valley (nearly 70 Late Harappan sites) and in the Indus Valley, in Baluchistan, and in the NW Frontier Province (less than 100 sites).

Most of the Mature Harappan sites are located in the middle Ghaggar-Hakra river valley, and some on the Indus and in Kutch-Saurashtra. However, just as in other contemporary cultures, such as the BMAC, settlements move up-river due to climate changes around 2000 BCE. In the late Harappan period the number of late Harappan sites in the middle Ghaggar-Hakra channel and in the Indus valley diminishes, while it expands in the upper Ghaggar-Sutlej channels and in Saurashtra. The abandonment of many sites on the Ghaggar-Hakra between the Harappan and the Late Harappan phase was probably due to the drying up of the Ghaggar-Hakra river.

Painted Grey Ware sites (ca. 1000 BCE) have been found in the bed and not on the banks of the Ghaggar-Hakra river.[17][18]

Because most of the Indus Valley sites known so far are actually located on the Ghaggar-Hakra river and its tributaries and not on the Indus river, some Indian archaeologists, such as S.P. Gupta, have proposed to use the term "Indus Sarasvati Civilization" to refer to the Harappan culture which is named, as is common in archaeology, after the first place where the culture was discovered.

Ancient tributaries

Satellite photography has shown that the Ghaggar-Hakra was indeed a large river that dried up several times (see Mughal 1997). The dried out Hakra river bed is between three and ten kilometers wide. Recent research indicates that the Sutlej and possibly also the Yamuna once flowed into the Ghaggar-Hakra river bed. The Sutlej and Yamuna Rivers have changed their courses several times.[31]

Paleobotanical information also documents the aridity that developed after the drying up of the river. (Gadgil and Thapar 1990 and references therein). The disappearance of the river may additionally have been caused by earthquakes which may have led to the redirection of its tributaries.[32] It has also been suggested that the loss of rainfall in much of its catchment area as well as deforestation and overgrazing may have also contributed to the drying up of the river. However, a similar phenomenon, caused by climate change, is also seen at about the same period north of the Hindu Kush, in the area of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex.


There are no Harappan sites on the Sutlej in its present lower course, only in its upper course near the Siwaliks, and along the dried up channel of the ancient Sutlej,[24] which indicates the Sutlej did flow into the Ghaggar-Hakra at that time.

At Ropar the Sutlej river suddenly turns sharply away from the Ghaggar. The narrow Ghaggar river bed itself is becoming suddenly wider at the conjunction where the Sutlej should have met the Ghaggar river. There also is a major paleochannel between the turning point of the Sutlej and where the Ghaggar river bed widens.[23][33]

In later texts like the Mahabharata, the Rigvedic Sutudri (of unknown, non-Sanskrit etymology)[34] is called Shatudri (Shatadru/Shatadhara), which means a river with 100 flows. As mentioned, the Sutlej (and the Beas and Ravi) have frequently changed their courses. The Beas probably joined the Sutlej (as in Rgveda 3.33) further downstream from where it joins that river today. Before that time, the Sutlej is said to have flowed into Ghaggar.[12]


There are no Harappan sites on the present Yamuna river. There are however Painted Gray Ware (1000 - 600 BC) sites along the Yamuna channel, showing that the river must have then flowed in the present channel.[35] The sparse distribution of the Painted Gray Ware sites in the Ghaggar river valley indicates that during this period the Ghaggar river had already dried up.

Scholars like Raikes (1968) and Suraj Bhan (1972, 1973, 1975, 1977) have shown that based on archaeological, geomorphic and sedimentological research the Yamuna may have flowed into the Sarasvati during Harappan times.[36] There are several dried out river beds (paleochannels) between the Sutlej and the Yamuna, some of them two to ten kilometres wide. They are not always visible on the ground because of excessive silting and encroachment by sand of the dried out river channels.[37] The Yamuna may have flowed into the Sarasvati river through the Chautang or the Drishadvati channel, since many Harappan sites have been discovered on these dried out river beds.[38]

Identification with the Rigvedic Sarasvati

The identity of the dried-up Ghaggar-Hakra with the late Vedic and post-Vedic Sarasvati is widely accepted. The identification of the early Rigvedic Sarasvati with the Old Ghaggar is another matter, and the subject of recent dispute. The identification with the Sarasvati River is based the mentionings in Vedic texts (e.g. in the enumeration of the rivers in Rigveda 10.75.05 - the order is Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Sutudri Sutlej), Parusni, etc. - and other geological and paleobotanical findings. This however, is disputed. The Victorian era scholar C.F. Oldham (1886) was the first to suggest that geological events had redirected the river, and to connect it to the lost Sarasvati: "[it] was formerly the Sarasvati; that name is still known amongst the people, and the famous fortress of Sarsuti or Sarasvati was built upon its banks, nearly 100 miles below the present junction with the Ghaggar."[39] It also is alleged that the Nara is still called the Sarasvati[citation needed] by rural Sindhis and its dried up delta in Kutch is still regarded as that of Sarasvati by the locals.

  • Between 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE,Some techtonic disturbances caused tilt in topography of Northwest India resulting in the migration of rivers. The Sutlej moved westward and became a tributary of the Indus River while the Yamuna moved eastward and became a tributary of the Ganges. The water loss due to these movements caused the river to dry up in the Thar Desert, without reaching the sea.[13][14] Later Vedic texts record the river as disappearing at Vinasana (literally, "the disappearing") or Upamajjana, and in post-Vedic texts as joining both the Yamuna and Ganges as an invisible river at Prayaga (Allahabad). Some claim that the sanctity of the modern Ganges is directly related to its assumption of the holy, life-giving waters of the ancient Saraswati.
  • The identification is also justified by post-Vedic literature like Mahabharata.According to Adi Parvan of the Mahabharata(1.90.25-26),it is mentioned that "Many kings performed yajña (sacrifice) in Fire altars at the bank of Sarasvati river,[40][41][42] which is connected with the alleged Harappan fire altars at Kalibangan, a town located on the left or southern banks of the Ghaggar River.[43][44] They are even assumed by some to be Vedic [45][46][47] and that the structures may perhaps have been used for ritual purposes.[45][46]
  • The Mahabharata says that the Sarasvati dried up in a desert (at a place named Vinasana or Adarsana).[48] According to the Mahabharata, the river dried up in order that the Nishadas and Abhiras might not see her.[49] The Mahabharata also states that Vasishtha committed suicide by throwing himself into the Sutlej and that the Sutlej then broke up in a 100 channels (Yash Pal in S.P. Gupta 1995: 175). This myth seems to be related with the changing of the course of the Sutlej river. According to the Mahabharata (3.81.115), Kurukshetra is south of the Sarasvati and north of the Drishadvati. In the Sabha Parvan of the Mahabharata (2.29.8) it is mentioned that "Nakula conquered the Shudra and Abhira who lived at the bank of the Sarasvati near the Sindhu (Indus) river.

The Sarasvati River is mentioned in all books of the Rigveda except the fourth. It is the only river with hymns entirely dedicated to it: RV 6.61, RV 7.95 and RV 7.96.It is mentioned as a divine and large river,which flows "from the mountains to the samudra," which some take as the Indian Ocean. Talageri states that "the references to the Sarasvati far outnumber the references to the Indus" and "The Sarasvati is so important in the whole of the Rigveda that it is worshipped as one of the Three Great Goddesses".[19] However, the reason for the predominance of the Sarasvati in the Rigveda is the late Harappan (1900-1300 BCE) population shift eastwards to Haryana;[50] the latter part of the period corresponds to the common scholarly opinion of the date of this text.

Another reference to the Sarasvati is in the geographical enumeration of the rivers in the late Rigvedic Nadistuti sukta (10.75.5, this verse enumerates all important rivers from the Ganges in the east up to the Indus in the west in a strict geographical order), as "Ganges, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Shutudri", the Sarasvati is placed between the Yamuna and the Sutlej, consistent with the Ghaggar identification. It is clear, therefore, that even if the river had unmistakably lost much of her former prominence, the Sarasvati remained characterized as a river goddess almost throughout the Rigveda.

See also


  1. Jump up ^ Britannica, Dale Hoiberg, Indu Ramchandani. Students' Britannica India, Volumes 1-5. Popular Prakashan, 2000. ISBN 978-0-85229-760-5. "... The Ghaggar River rises in the Shiwalik Range, northwestern Himachal Pradesh State, and flows about 320 km southwest through Haryana State, where it receives the Saraswati River. Beyond the Otu Barrage, the Ghaggar River is known as the Hakra River which loses itself in the Thar Desert. Just southwest of Sirsa it feeds two irrigation canals that extend into Rajasthan. ..."
  2. Jump up ^ Indische Alterthumskunde
  3. Jump up ^ Sacred Books of the East, 32, 60
  4. Jump up ^ Oldham 1893 pp.51–52
  5. Jump up ^ The ancient Indus Valley:new perspectives By Jane McIntosh
  6. Jump up ^ "Sarasvati: Tracing the death of a river". Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  7. Jump up ^
  8. Jump up ^ Mughal, M. R. Ancient Cholistan. Archaeology and Architecture. Rawalpindi-Lahore-Karachi: Ferozsons 1997, 2004
  9. Jump up ^ J. K. Tripathi et al., “Is River Ghaggar, Saraswati? Geochemical Constraints,” Current Science, Vol. 87, No. 8, 25 October 2004
  10. Jump up ^ Puri, V. M. K.; Verma, B.C. (1998). "Glaciological and Geological Source of Vedic Saraswati in the Himalayas". Itihas Darpan IV (2): 7–36.
  11. Jump up ^ Tripathi, J. K.; Bock, Barbara; Rajamani, V.; Eisenhauer, A. (October 2004). "Is River Ghaggar, Saraswati? Geochemical constraints". Current Science 87 (8): 1141–1145.
  12. ^ Jump up to: a b Mughal 1997
  13. ^ Jump up to: a b Hydrology and Water Resources of India By Sharad K. Jain, Pushpendra K. Agarwal, Vijay P. Singh
  14. ^ Jump up to: a b The ancient Indus Valley: new perspectives By Jane McIntosh
  15. Jump up ^ Tripathi et al. 2004
  16. Jump up ^
  17. ^ Jump up to: a b Bryant 2001, p. 168
  18. ^ Jump up to: a b Gaur, R. C. (1983). Excavations at Atranjikhera, Early Civilization of the Upper Ganga Basin. Delhi.
  19. ^ Jump up to: a b
  20. Jump up ^
  21. Jump up ^ Valdiya, K. S. (2003). Saraswati, the River that Disappeared. Hyderabad. pp. late 4.
  22. Jump up ^ M. R. Mughal in Gupta 1995
  23. ^ Jump up to: a b Bryant 2001
  24. ^ Jump up to: a b Gupta, S. P. (1999). Pande, G. C. (ed.), ed. The dawn of Indian civilization. D.P. Chattophadhyaya (ed.): History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, I (1). New Delhi: Centre for Studies in Civilizations.
  25. Jump up ^ Gupta 1995, p. 183
  26. Jump up ^ Misra, Virendra Nath (1992). Indus Civilization, a special Number of the Eastern Anthropologist. pp. 1–19.
  27. Jump up ^ Gupta 1995
  28. Jump up ^ V.N. Misra has noted that in the Indus Valley and the valleys of its main tributaries 50 Early and Mature IVC sites were found. And 40 Early and 174 Mature IVC sites were found at Cholistan (in Pakistan) in the Hakra valley. Parpola, Asko et al. (eds.), ed. (1994). "Indus Civilization and the Rigvedic Sarasvati". South Asian Archaeology 1993. Helsinki. Cited from Lal 2002
  29. Jump up ^ in Gupta 1995, p. 144
  30. Jump up ^ An earlier survey (Joshi; et al. (1984). "The Indus Civilization". In Lal, B. B., et al. (eds.). Frontiers of the Indus Civilization. ) found 137 Early and 109 Mature sites in the valleys of the GHR and its tributaries.
  31. Jump up ^ (see for example Studies from the Post-Graduate Research Institute of Deccan College, Pune, and the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI), Jodhpur. Confirmed by use of MSS (multi-spectoral scanner) and Landsat satellite photography. Note MLBD NEWSLETTER (Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass), Nov. 1989.)
  32. Jump up ^ Lal 2002, p.24
  33. Jump up ^ Yash Pal; et al. (1984). "Remote Sensing of the "Lost" Sarasvati River.". In Lal, B. B., et al. (eds.). Frontiers of the Indus Civilization. p. 494. "Our studies thus show that the Satluj periodically was the main tributary of the Ghaggar and that subsequently the tectonic movements may have forced the Satluj westward and the Ghaggar dried."
  34. Jump up ^ Mayrhofer, Manfred. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen. p. 646.
  35. Jump up ^ V. N. Misra in Gupta 1995, p. 153
  36. Jump up ^ V. N. Misra in Gupta 1995, p. 149
  37. Jump up ^ V. N. Misra in Gupta 1995, pp. 149–50
  38. Jump up ^ V. N. Misra in Gupta 1995, p.155
  39. Jump up ^ Oldham 1893, pp.51–52
  40. Jump up ^ Mhb 1.90.26
  41. Jump up ^; sanskrit verse 1.90.25-26
  42. Jump up ^; English translation,page-203,1st paragraph
  43. Jump up ^ Lal, BB (2002). [The Homeland of Indo-European Languages and Culture: Some Thoughts The Homeland of Indo-European Languages and Culture: Some Thoughts] |chapter-url= missing title (help). Puratattva. Indian Archaeological Society. pp. 1–5.
  44. Jump up ^; First paragraph
  45. ^ Jump up to: a b Lal, BB (1984). Frontiers of the Indus civilization. Sir Mortimer Wheeler commemoration volume. pp. 57–58.
  46. ^ Jump up to: a b; Last paragraph
  47. Jump up ^; Second last paragraph
  48. Jump up ^ Mhb. 3.82.111; 3.130.3; 6.7.47; 6.37.1-4., 9.34.81; 9.37.1-2
  49. Jump up ^ Mhb 3.130.3-5; 9.37.1-2
  50. Jump up ^ J. Shaffer, in: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande (eds.), Aryans and Non-Non-Aryans, Evidence, Interpretation and Ideology. Cambridge (Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 3) 1999

Tarim Basin

Shaksgam River

The Shaksgam River (Hindi: शक्सगाम नदी) is a left tributary of the Yarkand River. The river is also known as the Kelechin River and Muztagh River.[1] It rises in the Gasherbrum, Urdok, Staghar, Singhi and Kyagar Glaciers in the Karakoram.[2] It then flows in a general northwestern direction parallel to the Karakoram ridge line in the Shaksgam Valley. The river valley was explored in 1889 by Francis Younghusband (who referred to the Shaksgam as the Oprang).,[3] and again in 1926 by Kenneth Mason, who confirmed the sources of the river.[4]

The upper river valley is used by climbers approaching the north face of K2. The approach requires a crossing of the river, which is hazardous. Between its confluence with the Shimshal Braldu River and its confluence with the Oprang River the river forms the border between China and Pakistan.[1] The area is used as winter pastures by yak herdsmen from the village of Shimshal, and is the only part of Pakistan in the Tarim Basin.[5]

Administratively, the Chinese part of the valley is within the southernmost portions of Yarkand County (the source) and the Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County (lower course).

The average annual temperature in the region can fall below freezing. The Shaksgam River is the longest flowing river at 15,000 feet above sea level.

See also


Ancient rivers

  • Ghaggar-Hakra River: An intermittent river in India and Pakistan that flows only during the monsoon season. While it is often identified with the Sarasvati River,[2] this is not a consensus view.[3] The Hakra is the dried-out channel of a river in Pakistan that is the continuation of the Ghaggar River in India. Several times, but not continuously, it carried the water of the Sutlej during the Bronze Age period [4] Many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilisation have been found along the Ghaggar and Hakra rivers.
  • Saraswati River: Also known as Sarasvati River. This river was one of the major rivers of Ancient India which no longer exists.


  1. Jump up ^ Wildlife of Pakistan website
  2. Jump up ^ Oldham, R. D. (1893). "The Saraswati and the Lost River of the Indian Desert". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: 49–76.
  3. Jump up ^ Agarwal, Vishal (2003). "A Reply to Michael Witzel's ‘Ein Fremdling im Rgveda’" ([dead link]). Journal of Indo-European Studies 31 (1–2): 107–185. "It may be noted that the Nara is still called the Sarasvati by rural Sindhis and its dried up delta in Kutch is still regarded as that of Sarasvati by the locals."
  4. Jump up ^ Mughal 1997[citation needed]

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