Yamuna River System

Yamuna basin1.jpg

Yamuna River

Yamunotri, which is north of Haridwar in the Himalayan Mountains, is the source of the Yamuna. The river Yamuna, a major tributary of river Ganges, originates from the Yamunotri glacier near Banderpoonch peaks (380 59' N 780 27' E) in the Mussourie range of the lower Himalayas at an elevation of about 6387 meters above mean sea level in district Uttarkashi (Uttranchal).The track along the river bank is quite magnificient dominated by wide panorama of mountains. It is said that the temple of Yamunotri was built by Maharani Gularia of Jaipur in the last decade of the 19th century. In 1923, this was destroyed, with only the idols left, and was rebuild. It was once again damaged in 1982. A hot water pool at Yamunotri is used for the prepartion of “PRASAD”. Normally, rice and potatos are cooked in cloth bags by dipping them in the hot water. In its first 170 km stretch, the tributaries Rishi Ganga Kunta, Hanuman Ganga, Tons and Giri join the main river.

The Tons, largest tributary of the Yamuna, has some magical spots in it's upper reaches. Forests of Alder and Blue pine lead to the famous Har-ki-Dun catchment area, source of another tributary, the Rupin. Har-ki-Dun is a spectacular valley high up, an amphitheatre ringed on three sides by spurs of the Great Himalaya. A wonderland with vast grassy alps that inspire a sense of solitude that only the high Himalaya can inspire. The Rupin makes a spectacular precipitous descent through a narrow valley.

Fortunately the valley of the Tons has been protected, by whatever fates, from the surrounding human depredations.In the upper reaches of the Tons river is situated the Gobind Pashu Vihar Sanctuary, a high altitude preserve and is approached from the Rupin valley near Natwar. This spectacular sanctuary, ringed by high peaks and hemmed in on three sides by ice fields and snow beds, this amphitheatre is the source of the Tons river and home to many high altitude bird species like snow cock, snow partridge and the Monal pheasant.

Another little known fact about the Yamuna is that it is the frontier of the Indian elephant. West of the Yamuna, there is no elephant in 900 Km of the western Himalaya or its foothills. The forests of the lower Yamuna offer ideal corridors for elephant movement and the principal forests to be found here are of Sal, Khair Sissoo trees and the Shivalik chir- pine forests.

Arising from the source, river Yamuna flows through a series of valleys for about 200 Kms, in lower Himalayas and emerges into Indo-Gangetic plains. In the upper reaches, the main valley is overlooked by numerous hanging valleys, carved by glaciers during the last ice ages. The gradient of the river is steep here and the entire geomorphology of the valley has been influenced by the passage of the river. In the upper stretch of 200 Km, it draws water from several major streams. The combined stream flows through the Shivalik range of hills of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal states of India and enters into plains at Dak Pathar in Uttranchal where the river water is regulated through weir and diverted into canal for power generation. From Dak Pathar it flows through the famous Sikh religious place of Poanta Sahib. On the right side of the Yamuna basin is the Mussourie spur-along which, lies sprawled, the hill station of Mussourie. Flowing through Poanta Sahib it reaches Hathnikund/Tajewala in Yamuna Nagar district of Haryana state, where the river water is again diverted into Western Yamuna canal and Eastern Yamuna canal for irrigation. During dry season, only environmental flow of 160 cusec is allowed to flow in the river downstream to Tajewala barrage and the river remains dry in some stretches between Tajewala & Delhi. The river regain water because of ground water accrual, contributions of feeding canal through Som nadi (seasonal stream) upstream of Kalanaur and through drain no.8 upstream of Palla. It enters Delhi near Palla village after traversing a route of about 224 Km.

Distinguished Independent Segments of River Yamuna

Himalayan Segment -From origin to Tajewala Barrage (172 kms)

Upper Segment- Tajewala Barrage to Wazirabad Barrage (224 kms)

Delhi Segment- Wazirabad Barrage to Okhla Barrage (22 kms)

Eutriphicated Segment -Okhla Barrage to Chambal Confluence (490 kms)

Diluted Segment Chambal Confluence to Ganga Confluence (468 kms)

The river is again tapped at Wazirabad through a barrage for drinking water supply to Delhi. Generally, no water is allowed to flow beyond Wazirabad barrage in dry season, as the pond level is being maintained at Wazirabad as per Hon’able Supreme Court Order. Whatever water flows in the downstream of Wazirabad barrage is the untreated or partially treated domestic and industrial wastewater contributed through several drains along with the water transported by Haryana Irrigation Department from Western Yamuna Canal (WYC) to Agra Canal via Nazafgarh Drain and the Yamuna.

After 22 Km downstream of Wazirabad barrage there is another barrage, Okhla barrage, through which Yamuna water is diverted into Agra Canal for irrigation. Whatever water flows in the river beyond Okhla barrage is contributed through domestic and industrial wastewater generated from East Delhi, Noida and Sahibabad and joins the river through Shahdara drain. The Yamuna after receiving water through other important tributaries joins the river Ganga and the underground Saraswati at Prayag (Allahabad) after traversing about 950 Km. Thus, Yamuna river cannot be designated as continuous river particularly in dry seasons (almost 9 months), but can be segmented in five distinguished independent segments due to characteristic hydrological and ecological conditions. The catchments of Yamuna river system cover parts of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Delhi states.

Tributaries of River Yamuna

The tributaries of Yamuna account for 70.9% of the catchment area; the balance of 29.1% area directly drains into the Yamuna River or is occupied by smaller streams. Further, the catchment area of Yamuna amount to 40.2% of the area of Ganga Basin and 10.7% of the land area of India.

The important tributaries of the Yamuna River are Tons, Chambal, Hindon, Betwa and Ken. Other small tributaries of the Yamuna River include the Giri, Sind, Uttangan, Sengar and the Rind. The main Yamuna and Tons are fed by glaciers, viz., the Bandar Punch Glacier and its branches and originates from the Great Himalayan range.

Tons River

The Tons is the longest tributary of the Yamuna River and its flows through Garhwal , the western part of the Himalayan state of Uttaranchal. The river originates at an elevation of 3900 m and join the Yamuna below Kalsi near Dehradun, Uttarakhand. It is one of the most major perennial Indian Himalayan rivers. It is the biggest tributaries of the Yamuna.

Giri River:

The river Giri is an important tributary of the Yamuna River. It is the main source of water in the South-Eastern Himachal Pradesh. The Giri is famous in the Jubbal, Rohru hills that rises from Kupar peak just above Jubbal town after flowing across the heart of Shimla hills and then flows down in the southeastern direction dividing the Sirmaur district into equal parts that are known as Cis-Giri and Trans-Giri region and joins Yamuna upstream of Paonta below Mokkampur.

Hindon River

Hindon River is an important tributary of Yamuna River. In fact, this river is sand-witch between two major rivers: Ganga on the left and Yamuna on the right. Hindon originates from upper Shiwalik (Lower Himalayas). It lies between the latitude 280 04’ to 350 05’ N and longitudes 770 08’ to 770 04’E. It is a purely rain fed river with catchment area of about 7,083 sq. km. This river has a total run of about 400 km. The width of Hindon River ranges from 20 m to 160 m.

Betwa River

The Betwa River is a tributary of Yamuna River. Its basin extends from longitude 770 to 810 and latitude 230 8’ to 260 0’N. The Betwa river originates at an elevation of 470 m in the Bhopal District in Madhya Pradesh. After traversing a distance of 590 km, the river joins the Yamuna River near Hamirpur at an elevation of 106,68 m. The total catchment area of the Betwa River is 46,580 sq km of which 31,971 sq km (68.64%) lies in M.P. and 14,609 sq km (31.36%) lies in U.P. The basin is saucer shaped with sandstone hills around the perimeter. The river has 14 principle tributaries out of which 11 are completely in Madhya Pradesh and 3 lies partly in Madhya Pradesh and partly in Uttar Pradesh. The Halali and Dhasan River are the important tributaries of the Betwa River.

Dhasan River

The Dhasan River is a right bank tributary of the Betwa River. The river originates in Begumganj tehsil of Raisen district in Madhya Pradesh state in central India. The river forms the southeastern boundary of the Lalitpur District of Uttar Pradesh state. Total length of the river is 365 km, out of which 240 km lies in Madhya Pradesh, 54 km common boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and 71 km in Uttar Pradesh. The river was known as the Dasharna in ancient period. There is a water quality station at Garrloi on River Dhasan.

Ken River

Ken is an inter-state river, flowing through the state of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Its basin lies between north latitudes 230 20’ and 250 20’ and east longitude of 780 30’ and 800 32’. The river originates near the village Ahirgawab in Jabalpur District of Madhya Pradesh at an altitude of 550 m above near sea level and joins the Yamuna River, near Chilla village of U.P. at an elevation of about 95 m. It forms the common boundary between Panna and Chattarpur district of M.P. and Banda district (U.P.). The river has a total length of 427 km, out of which 292 km lies in M.P., 84 km in U.P. and 51 km forms the common boundary. The total catchment area of the Ken river basin is 28,058 sq km, out of which 24,472 sq km lies in M.P. and the balance 3,386 sq km in Uttar Pradesh. The important tributaries of the Ken River are Sonar, Bearma, Kopra, Bewas, Urmil, Mirhasan, Kutni, Kali, Gurne, Patan, Siameri, Chandrawal, Banne, etc, among others. The longest tributary is Sonar which is 227 km in length and lies wholly in M.P. The catchment area of the Sonar river is 12,620 sq km.

Sind River

River Sind is one of the second largest right bank tributaries of Yamuna. It rises at a height of 543 m above sea level in Vidisha District of Madhya Pradesh. It flows generally in north- east direction for a distance of 415 km before joining Yamuna 20 km upstream of Auraiya. Important tributaries of Sind are Parwati and Kunwari on its left bank and Pahuj on the right bank. It is probably river Sindhu mentioned in epic Vishnu Purana.

River Chambal

The Chambal River, called Charmanvati in ancient times, is the largest of the rivers flowing through Rajasthan state. This tributary of Yamuna is 960km long. The total area drained by the Chambal up to its confluence with the Yamuna is 143,219 sq km out of which 76,854 sq km lies in M.P. state, 65,264 sq km in Rajasthan state and 1,101 sq km in Uttar Pradesh. River Chambal, the biggest tributary of Yamuna rises in Vindhyan range near Mhow in Indore District of Madhya Pradesh at an elevation of 354 m at north latitude 22° 28' and east longitude 75° 40'. Chambal basin is bound on north by the ridge separating it from Luni and Yamuna basins, on the south by Vindhyan range and on the west by Aravali range, on east lies the ridge separating it from Kunwari and Sind rivers of Yamuna basin Chambal basin lies between north latitudes 22° 27' and 27° 20' and east longitudes 73° 20' and 79° 15'. Its total catchment area is 1,39,468 sq.km. It flows initially in north direction for a length of 320 km upto Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan Border. In this reach Chamla, Siwan and Ratlam rivers join river Chambal from the left and Sipra and Chhoti Kalisindh from the right. The river then enters Rajasthan and after flowing for a distance of 38 km turns clockwise and takes a north easterly course. At 428 km from its origin, it receives its major tributary Kalisindh from the right near the village Laban and further 22 km below another tributary Mej from the left. The river continues to flow in north easterly direction for a further distance of 40 km when it is joined by another major right bank tributary Parwati near village Pali. Thus, the river flows in Madhya Pradesh for a length of 320 km. River Chambal then forms a common boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for a length of 251 km River Banas, a major left bank tributary joins Chambal in this reach near village Rameshwar. Thus, the river flows in Rajasthan for a length of 226 km The river then forms common boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for 117 km and continues in northeasterly direction upto village Pinhat. It then gradually turns right and flows in south –easterly direction to enter in Uttar Pradesh, north west of village Chakar Nagar. After flowing for 46 km in Uttar Pradesh, the river outfalls into Yamuna southeast of village Sehon in Etawah District of Uttar Pradesh. Topographically, out of total area of 1,39,468 sq km of the basin, about 3083 sq km around the origin of the river can be classified as hilly and rest as plains. Three major dams and one barrage have been constructed on this river forming a series of hydraulic structures known as Chambal Project. Gundhi Sagar is the first dam located on the boundary of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan . Rana Pratap Sagar is second dam located in Rawat Bhata (Rajasthan) 48 km downstream of Gandhi Sagar Dam. Jawahar Sagar Dam is third, 22 km downstream of Rana Pratap Sagar Dam. Last one in the series is Kota Barrage near Kota city which is 48 km downstream of Rana Pratap Sagar Dam.

Tributaries of Chambal River:

Kali Sindh:

It’s originated in the northern slopes of Vindhya Hills. Flowing in the M.P., it enters in the Rajasthan near Bindha village in Jhalwara District. After flowing 145 km in Rajasthan its joins Chambal River near Nonera village of Kota District. The catchment area of the Kalisindh River is 7944 sq km.

Parwan River:

The Parwan River is the important tributaries of Kalisindh River. The Parwan originate in the Malwa Plateau and after flowing for about 186 km in M.P., its enter in Rajasthan near Kharibor village in Jhalwara District. Its join Kali Sindh near Ramgarh village in Kota district. The catchment area of the Parwan River is 2892 sq km.

Parwati River:

The Parwati river originates in the northern slopes of the Vindhyan hills in M.P. where it forms a boundary between MP and Rajasthan for about 18 km, and then enters Rajasthan near Chatarpura village in Baran District. Therefore, it flows for about 83km in Rajasthan before again forming the boundary between MP and Rajasthan for a distance of about 58 km up to Pali village in Kota District, where it joins the Chambal. The river catchment in Rajasthan is situated in Kota and Jhalawar District. Major tributaries of the Parwati River are Lhasi, Berni, Bethli, Andheri, Retri, Dubraj, Bilas and Kunu.

Banas River

The Banas River originates in the Khamnor hills of the Aravali range (about 5km from Kumbhalgarh) and flows along its entire length through Rajasthan.Banas is a major tributary of the Chambal River, the two rivers meeting near village Rameshwar in Khandar Block in Sawai Madhopur District. The total length of the river about 512 km and the catchment area is 45,833 sqkm. The main tributaries of the Banas River are Berach and Menali on the right bank and Kothari, Khari, Dai, Dheel, Sohadara, Morel and Kalisil on the left bank.

The Banas River itself has many big tributaries. The Berach river originates in the hills northeast of Udaipur city. It flows northeast for about 157 km in Udaipur, Chittorgarh and Bhilwara district before joining Banas near Bigod village in Mandalgarh Tehsil of Bhilwara District. The catchment area of the river is 7502 sq km, which lies between 700 25’ and 750 02’ east longitudes and 240 29’ and 250 14’ north latitudes. The Berch flow in a hilly region up to Badgaon reservoir and then through plains. This river receives flow from Ayar, Wagli Wagon, Gambhiri and Orai Rivers.

Sipra River

The Sipra River is also call Ksipra (Markandeya). It flows in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The river is famous for the sanctity associated with it. According to the legend, the river has originated from the blood of Lord Vishnu. In the time of Mughal King Akbar, it was believed that the river used to flow with milk. Probably this means that the region where it flowed was very prosperous.

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