• The Karnali River, called Ghaghara River in India, Mapcha Tsangpo in Tibet, and the lower Ghaghara in Awadh called Sarayu River, is a perennial trans-boundary river.
  • At an elevation of 4800 metres, the Ghaghara River originates in the Mapchachungo glaciers near Mansarovar Lake.
  • Ghaghara River originates in the northern slopes of the Himalayas in the Tibetan Plateau, cuts through the Himalayas in Nepal and joins the Sharda River at Brahmaghat in India. Together they form the Ghaghara River, a major left-bank tributary of the Ganges.
  • With a length of 507 km (315 mi), it is the longest river in Nepal. The total length of the Ghaghara up to its confluence with the Ganges at Revelganj in Bihar is 1,080 km (670 mi).
  • It is the largest tributary of the Ganges by volume and the second largest by length after Yamuna.
  • The catchment area of the Ghaghara River is 127,950 km2. It is distributed across India and Nepal, with about 55 percent in Nepal and 45 percent in India.
  • The Sarayu River, also known as Lower Ghaghara, is mentioned in the Ramayana. Ayodhya is located on the right bank of the river.
    • The battle between Amin Khan Aitigin and Tughral Tughan Khan took place in the Ghaghara.
Ghaghara River

River Course of Ghaghara River

  • The river begins on the southern slopes of the Himalayas in Tibet, in the Mapchachungo glaciers, at an elevation of about 3962 metres. The river flows south through Nepal as the Karnali River, passing through one of Nepal’s most desolate and unexplored regions.
  • The Seti River, which drains the western part of the catchment and joins the Karnali River in Doti north of Dundras Hill, is a 202-kilometer-long stream that feeds this river.
  • The Bheri River, which runs for 264 kilometres through the eastern part of the Catchment and converges with the Karnali River near Kuineghat in Surkhet, is another feeder stream.
  • As it travels south through the Siwalik Hills, it splits into two branches, the Geruva on the left bank and the Kauralia on the right bank near Chisapani, before rejoining south of the Indian border and forming the Ghaghra proper.
  • The West Rapti, the Kali (or Mahakali) and the little Gandak are other tributaries that originate in Nepal.
  • The Sarayu River in India is another important tributary of Ghaghara. This tributary is known for having Ayodhya (King Dasarath’s Kingdom’s capital) on its banks. It flows southeast through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, eventually joining the Ganga near Chapra after a 1080-kilometer journey.
  • Before it converges, it carries more water than the Ganga. Sarayu River is said to be identical to or a tributary of the modern Ghaghara River.

Tributaries of Ghaghara River

  • Left bank tributaries: Bheri, Kuwana, Rapti, Chhoti Gandak
  • Right bank tributaries: Seti, Dahawar, Sarda, Budhi Ganga
  • The major tributaries of Ghaghara River – the Kuwana, the Rapti, and the Little Gandak rivers – all flow into the Ghaghara from the mountains to the north.
  • Chhoti Gandak is a groundwater-fed meandering river originating near Dhesopool, Maharajganj district of Uttar Pradesh.
    • It travels a distance of about 250 kilometres (160 mi) and joins Ghaghara near Guthani, Siwan district of Bihar.
  • Right bank tributaries are Khekhra, Hirna, Jethan, Maun, Duhari, Kanchi and Koilar rivers.
  • Khanua river joins from the left bank.
  • The main tributaries of the Karnali are Seti and Bheri.

Protected areas

  • Bardia National Park is the largest and most undisturbed protected area in the Karnali River basin on the southern slopes of the Sivalik Hills.
    • It is bordered in the south by the Babai River, and to the west by the Girwa River, a tributary of the Karnali.
    • The park is famous for two Asian elephant herds, several deer species, gaur, nilgai, Himalayan tahr, serow and goral. The Karnali supports the endangered mugger crocodile, the gharial, a few remaining South Asian river dolphins and the golden mahseer.
  • Other protected areas include Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sarda River

  • Sarda River, river of northern India and western Nepal. It rises as the Kali River in far northern Uttarakhand state in the Great Himalayas on the eastern slopes of the Nanda Devi massif.
  • The river then flows generally south-southwest, where it constitutes the border between Uttarakhand state and Nepal. Descending from the mountains, it enters the Indo-Gangetic Plain at Barmdeo Mandi (Nepal), widening there above the Sarda Barrage. Below that point it is known as the Sarda River.
  • The Sarda then continues southeastward into India through northern Uttar Pradesh state before joining the Ghaghara River southwest of Bahraich, after a course of about 300 miles (480 km).
  • Its major tributaries are the Dhauliganga, Goriganga, and Sarju.
  • The Sarda Barrage (dam), near Banbasa (Uttarakhand), is the source of the Sarda Canal (completed 1930), one of the longest irrigation canals in northern India.

Sarayu River

  • The Sarayu (Kumaoni: Sarjy) is a river in Uttarakhand, India, that originates on a ridge south of the Nanda Kot mountain.
  • It flows through the towns of Kapkot, Bageshwar, and Seraghat before emptying into the Sharda River at Pancheshwar, Nepal.
    • In Sitapur District, Uttar Pradesh, India, the Sharda river (also known as the Kali river) flows into the Ghaghara river.
  • Sarayu is another name for Lower Ghaghara in India. Especially as it passes through Ayodhya, the birthplace of the Hindu god Rama. The river is mentioned several times in the Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic.
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