Brahmaputra River System Study Notes: Check here the Study Material of Brahmaputra River System!

By Ritesh|Updated : October 21st, 2021

Brahmaputra River System Study Notes: The Brahmaputra River also known as the Yarlung Tsangpo is one of the largest rivers in India. The Brahmaputra originates in the lake Mansarovar near Mount Kailash in Himalaya as river Tsangpo after which it breaks into Tibet through the Himalayas. making its way through Arunachal Pradesh, Assam (as the Brahmaputra), south of Bangladesh (as Jamuna) and finally merging with the Ganges before emptying at the Bay of Bengal. The Brahmaputra river is the 9th largest river in the world and is about 3848 km long with an average depth of about 30m and a maximum depth of about 135m. The Brahmaputra traverses a distance of about 3000 km, the majority of which is in Tibet, about 1000 km in India while the remaining distance of 300 km in Bangladesh. Like the Ganga river, the Brahmaputra is important for the people for various reasons like irrigation, transportation. The livelihood of more than 600000 people depends on the river.

Table of Content

The Course of Brahmaputra River

The Brahmaputra river originates from Mansarovar Lake and empties into the Bay of Bengal. During its course, it flows through the Indo-Nepal Border, Tibetan Plateau, Southeast of Tibet, Patkai Bum Hills, Meghalaya Hills, Assam Plains, and the northern part of Bangladesh. Various stoppages or known points in the course of the Brahmaputra river are given below:

  • Tibet: The Brahmaputra originates from the Angsi Glacier near Mount Kailash in the Himalayas of Tibet in Burang County. From its origin point, it covers about 1100 km toward the east between the main ranger of the Himalayas and the Kailash Range of Tibet. After passing through Tibet, the river flows through the gorge commonly known as "Tsangpo Grand Canyon" during which it crosses the line of control between Indian and China and enters the Arunachal Pradesh where it is commonly called as Dihang River. 
  • Arunachal Pradesh: After entering Arunachal Pradesh, the river flows about 35 km after which it is joined by the Lohit River, after which it gets its name the Brahmaputra, and then it enters the state of Assam
  • Assam: During the course of the river in Assam, the river becomes as wide as 20 km. Even in the dry season, the river is big. The River is divided into 2 channels, the Kherkutia channel and the Brahmaputra Channel. The river passes through Guwahati and Shillong Plateau finally making its way to Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh: In Bangladesh, Brahmaputra is joined by the river Tista. The Brahmaputra is divided into 2 branches. One of the branches goes south as the Jamuna and merges with the Ganga river. Another branch goes southeast to join the Meghna River in Dhaka. 
  • The Jamuna river joins the Ganga near the Goalundo Ghat, and the combined water flows to the southeast covering a distance of 120 km finally entering the Bay of Bengal. 

On its way from Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, Brahmaputra receives a number of Tributaries some of which are listed below:

  • Raka Zangbo 
  • Nyang Qu 
  •  Nyang River 
  • Subansiri
  • Kameng
  • Sarabhanga
  • Sankosh Rivers
  • Burhi Dihing
  • Disang
  • Kopili
  • Dhaleswari

Some Interesting Facts about the River Brahmaputra

  • Brahmaputra River is sacred to Hindu and as it is one of the largest rivers in the world it is the only river in India that has a male name while all other rivers have a female name (Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati). 
  • The name Brahmaputra is a Sanskrit word meaning Son of Brahma (Hindu God). 
  • The identity of Brahmaputra as the Yarlung Tsangpo was not known till the late 1800s. 
  • Kanchenjunga is the highest point within the Brahmaputra Basin.
  • It is one of few rivers in the world which has a tidal bore. 

List of Dams and Other Hydro-Infrastructure Built on the Brahmaputra River

Various Dams and Hydropower stations have been constructed on the Brahmaputra river. Some of them are listed below:

List of Infrastructure Built in India:

  • Subansiri Lower Dam
  • Ranganadi Dam
  • Rangit Dam
  • Dibang Dam

List of Infrastructure Built-in China:

  • Yamdrok Hydropower Station
  • Zangmu Dam
  • Pangduo Hydro Power Station
  • Jiacha Hydropower Station
  • Zhikong Hydro Power Station

List of Various Bridges Built on Brahmaputra River:

  • Sankosh Bridge
  • Chilarai Bridge 
  • Old Saraighat Bridge
  • Sankosh Railway Bridge 
  • Kolia Bhomora Setu
  • Dhola–Sadiya Bridge
  • Parshuram Kund
  • Ranaghat Bridge 
  • New Saraighat Bridge

The above mentioned are some of the bridges built on the river. Apart from that many plans have been proposed and are under construction right now.

Ganga Brahmaputra Delta

The Ganga Brahmaputra is formed by the combined water of several river systems mainly of Brahmaputra and Ganga and is the largest river delta in the world. Also, it is one of the most fertile lands in the world. The area is a high-risk zone for flood and despite that more than 100 million people live on the delta and it is believed that the delta supports the lives of more than 300 million people. The delta has not only fertile lands but is also home to wildlife like Bengal Tiger, Elephant, Ganga river Dolphin, birds like kingfisher, eagle, woodpecker, and various others.

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  • Kolia Bhomora Setu and Dhola–Sadiya Bridge is the two rivers built on Brahmaputra River.

  • The Brahmaputra River is 3848 km long.

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