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Rivers in Indian have always been considered important and are personified in most parts of the country and worshipped in several parts as well. The basic explanations behind this are that rivers have been the birthplace of civilizations and have fostered growth in terms of agriculture and other commerce for time immemorial.
In the western states of India, where the climate is predominantly dry and arid; the rivers play a vital role in sustaining life. Quite a few number of rivers run across the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan, but most of them are known to be seasonal in nature. One such important river in West India is the River Banas originating in Rajasthan and flowing down to the little wetlands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
The Banas too is known to be of seasonal nature; nevertheless it is vital for the lives of people living in the areas like Sirohi, Mount Abu, Banaskantha and Patan. The only source of flowing water in these regions; the Banas River is also responsible for the filling of several ponds in the area of its basin. The Banas River has several ongoing projects, but one of the most important dams on the river is the Dantiwada Dam, that is a source of water for about 111 villages in the region and also is the chief source of irrigation water.
Another notable feat in this area is the recent addition of Narmada dam water into the Banas River, although the Banas River had gone partly dry during the last decade, this diversion from the Narmada dam revived around 150 kilometers of the river.
The Banas River has its birthplace in the southern Aravalli Range in the district of Sirohi in Rajasthan. It flows south into Gujarat and towards its mouth in the little Rann of Kutch region. The Banas River is approximately over 260 kilometers in length and this creates a total catchment area of about 8674 sq. km.
As with most rivers, Banas too has significant number of tributaries, but only a few are feeding water to the main river in significant quantity. Sipu is the only significant right bank tributary, whereas the major tributaries on the right bank are the Khari, Sukli, Balaram, Suket, Sevaran and the Batriya.
The Banas River runs its course from the origin to its mouth for over 260 kilometers. Its origin lies in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan; the southern Aravalli Range is where the Banas gets its water from. Its course towards its mouth runs across two states, it flows southwards into Gujarat and finally forms the mouth in little Rann of Kutch.
Along the journey of the Banas River, as it feeds over 111 villages and towns, it is joined by many tributaries. Sipu on the right bank and Khari, Sukli and Balaram on the left bank are the notable ones.
Numerous river projects are underway or already running on the Banas and its tributaries; for instance the Dantiwada Dam constructed on the main Banas River is at 105 kilometers from the river source. Its catchment area is approximately 2862 sq. km.
Another important project is built upon the right bank tributary of Sipu; the Sipu dam is located at 60 kilometer distance on the Sipu stream; this dam creates a catchment area of 1222 sq. km. These river projects are very much necessary to facilitate the utilization of water in the area, as most of the rivers are seasonal. The Banas River is able to support millions of lives with these river projects which maximize the area covered and water availability for growing crops and other necessities of life.
The Sipu river runs for over 70 kilometers before it joins to compliment the Banas River; the Sipu runs through the Banaskantha district and provides water to over 25 villages in the area; besides Banaskantha region, it also supports smaller nearby districts to some extent.
The Sipu Dam is a major project that is built upon the tributary. It is at 60 kilometers from the source of the Sipu and it provides a catchment area of 1222 sq. km. The water from the Sipu dam is mainly utilized to irrigate crops to make up for the low rains in the region.
Besides the Sipu, there are some other tributaries of the Banas on the left bank as well; some of the most notable one among them are the Khari, Sukli, Balaram, Suket, Sevaran and the Batriya.