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Chenab River is one of the major rivers in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chenab is born through the confluence of two streams, namely the Chandra and Bhaga. This confluence occurs in Tandi, which is located within the upper Himalayas in Lahaul and Spiti district in Himachal Pradesh, at an elevation of 2,286 meters. The Chandra stream rises from South-East of Bara Lacha pass, while the Bhaga rises from North-West of Bara Lacha pass. In the upper reaches, the river is also known as the Chandrabhaga. The Chandrabhaga and Marau River join at Bhandera Kot, at a distance of 12 kilometers from the Kishtwar Town within Jammu and Kashmir. From here on it becomes the Chenab and courses through the Jammu region in Jammu and Kashmir. It flows into the Punjab plains of Pakistan devising the boundary between Rechna as well as Jech interfluves. The Chenab river actually means Moon River, with (Chan) signifying Moon and (aab) signifying river. The length of the Chenab River is estimated to be approximately 960 kilometers. The Chenab flows within Himachal for approximately 122 kilometers and has an impressive 61,000 square kilometers catchment area, of which approximately 7,500 square kilometers is located within Himachal Pradesh. The Jhelum River joins the Chenab River at Trimmu, following which the Chenab is also joined by Ravi River Ahmedpur Sial. After this the Chenab merges with Sutlej River at an area near Uch Sharif in Pakistan. The Panjnad or Five Rivers is formed with the inclusion of Beas River which joins Satluj River near Ferozepur in India. Finally the Chenab also joins Indus river at Mithankot. As per the terms of the Indus Water Treaty, the waters of Chenab have been allocated to Pakistan. Baglihar Dam also called Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Project was constructed in two phases on Chenab River in the southern Doda district. There was a great deal of design controversy, with Pakistain claiming that the project violated the terms of Indus Water Treaty. However, in 2010 all the related issues were amicably resolved. The Chenab River holds an important place in the life of people of Punjab and plays a crucial role in the iconic Heer Ranjha and Sohni Mahiwal tales.
After the confluence of Chandra and Bhaga, the Chandrabhaga or Chenab flows northwest for approximately 46 kilometers, before receiving the first important tributary, Miyar Nalla. The Chenab continues in north-west direction for approximately 90 kilometers through Pangi valley in Himachal Pradesh and gains entry in the Padder region of the Doda district within Jammu. Continuing in north-west direction for a distance of approximately 56 kilometers, the Chenab is joined by Marusudar in Bhandalkot. It turns south at Bengawar, and then moves through a gorge across the Pir-Panjal range. It then enters a valley between the Dhauladhar and Pir-Panjal ranges. Flowing through the southern base of the ranges, the river flows up to Akhnoor and here it gains entry into the Sialkot area of Pakistan. The total length of the river from the Chandra and Bhaga confluence up to Akhnoor is approximately 504 kilometers.
The tributaries of the Chenab River include Miyar Nalla, Sohal, Thirot, Bhut Nalla, Marusudar and Lidrari. Marusudar is regarded as the biggest tributary of Chenab and joins Chenab in Bhandalkot. Kalnai, Neeru, Bichleri, Raghi and join the Chenab between Kishtwar and the Akhnoor region. Chenab is joined by Tawi as well as Manawar Tawi within Pakistan.
The Marusudar is recognized as the largest right bank tributary joining the Chenab River. Originating from elevation of 5175 meters, the Marusudar comprises of two streams, Gumbar and Batkot that meet to form the Warwan River. This Warwan River is called Marusudar in its lower reaches. The Marusudar reach is entirely through rough terrain with sharp bends as well as steep slopes.
The Miyar Nalla
The Miyar Nalla originates in the Himalayas near Lopen Jot and flows in south-east direction for approximately 35 kilometers. Taking a large loop, it turns in south-west direction and flows for another 60 kilometers before joining the Chenab on the right bank opposite Udaipur.
The Bhut Nalla
The Bhut Nalla is created near Matsel by two streams, one of which flows from the north-west direction, while the other flows from the south-east direction. The Bhut Nalla flows from Matsel in south-west direction and joins Chenab River after approximately 25 kilometers.