Jammu and Kashmir is renowned for its diverse and picturesque landscapes, including a complex drainage system shaped by the region’s topography and geological features. The drainage system in Jammu and Kashmir:
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Jhelum River: The Jhelum is one of the major rivers in the region, originating from the Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It flows through the Kashmir Valley, entering Pakistan, and eventually joins the Chenab River.
Chenab River: Originating from the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, the Chenab is a significant river in Jammu and Kashmir. It flows through the state, receiving waters from various tributaries, including the Jhelum and the Ravi, before merging with the Sutlej in Pakistan.
Indus River: While the primary basin of the Indus River lies in Pakistan, its tributaries flow through parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Notable among them are the Shyok and Nubra rivers, both originating from the Karakoram Range.
Tawi River: Tawi is a major river in the Jammu region. It originates in the Kali Kundi glacier of the Himalayas and flows through the plains of Jammu before joining the Chenab River.
Ravi River: The Ravi River, originating in the Himachal Pradesh region, serves as one of the tributaries of the Chenab River. It flows through the southern parts of Jammu and Kashmir, contributing to the overall drainage system.
Lidder River: The Lidder River is a tributary of the Jhelum, originating from the Kolahoi Glacier in the Himalayas. It flows through the scenic Betaab Valley in Kashmir and merges with the Jhelum.
Sindh River: Originating from the Mansar Lake in the Udhampur district of Jammu, the Sindh River is a tributary of the Jhelum. It flows through the Kashmir Valley before joining the Jhelum near Shadipur in Pakistan.
Kishanganga River: Also known as the Neelum River in Pakistan, the Kishanganga originates from the Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It flows through the Gurez Valley and eventually joins the Jhelum River in Pakistan.
The region is characterized by numerous glaciers, contributing to the formation of glacial rivers. These rivers, such as the Lidder and Sindh, originate from the melting snow and glaciers in the Himalayan and Pir Panjal ranges.
Lakes and Wetlands
The state is home to several lakes and wetlands that play a crucial role in the local drainage system. Dal Lake, Wular Lake, and Manasbal Lake are notable examples. These water bodies act as natural reservoirs, receiving water from rivers and precipitation.
Natural Drainage Basins
The state is divided into natural drainage basins, each drained by its primary river and its tributaries. The Jhelum River basin covers the Kashmir Valley, while the Chenab River basin covers regions like Jammu and Kishtwar.
Monsoonal Influence on Drainage System in Jammu and Kashmir
The drainage system in Jammu and Kashmir is influenced by the monsoonal rainfall patterns. During the monsoon season, rivers and streams receive increased water flow, impacting the overall drainage dynamics.
Human Impact on Drainage System in Jammu and Kashmir
Human activities, including urbanization, deforestation, and agriculture, can influence the drainage patterns in the region. Alterations to natural landscapes may lead to changes in river courses and the overall flow of water.
Floods and Landslides
The region is susceptible to floods and landslides, especially during the monsoon season. Heavy rainfall, combined with the steep terrain, can result in flash floods and landslides, impacting the drainage system and posing challenges for infrastructure and human settlements.
Strategic Importance of Drainage System in Jammu and Kashmir
The rivers in Jammu and Kashmir hold strategic importance, and their waters are a source of contention between India and Pakistan. The Indus Water Treaty, signed in 1960, regulates the use of the Indus River and its tributaries between the two countries.
In summary, the drainage system in Jammu and Kashmir is characterized by the presence of major rivers, glacial rivers, lakes, and wetlands. The intricate network of water bodies is influenced by the region’s topography, climatic conditions, and human activities, making it a vital aspect of the area’s geographical and environmental dynamics.