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Indus River is the longest river in Pakistan and largely regarded as one of the major rivers in Asia. The Indus River originates near the Lake Manasarovar within the Tibetan Plateau. The river also courses through Ladakh region within Jammu and Kashmir. Indus River is also considered to be one of the longest rivers in the world and has a total length of 3,189 kilometers. Approximately 1,114 kilometers length of the Indus flows within India. The drainage area of the Indus is an impressive 450,000 square miles and the annual flow of the river is 207 billion cubic meters. This makes the annual flow of the Indus River twice as large as that of the Nile River. The word Indus is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Sindhu' which signifies river, ocean or stream. The river originates in a mountain spring and receives water from glaciers as well as rivers within the Himalayas. It also receives water from the melting glaciers and snow in the Hindu Kush as well as the Karakoram ranges. The flow of the river tends to diminish during the winter and this is followed by persistent flooding of the banks during the monsoon season from the period of July to September. The source of the Indus is 'Senge Khabab', also called the Lion's mouth, which is a continuously flowing spring located close to the sacred Mount Kailash. Here the Senge and Gar rivers meet and the resulting waters flow in north-west direction. The Indus is an important water source in Pakistan, meeting the water requirements of the farm lands in the Punjab province. The Indus is also mainly responsible for supplying potable water and for supporting heavy industries within Pakistan. India has constructed several dams, link canals as well as barrages that help in distributing water from Indus tributaries in India to Punjab and other states. Pakistan has constructed Mangala Dam on Jhelum River and Tarbela Dam on Indus River as a part of Indus Basin project.
With the confluence of Senge and Gar rivers flowing in the Nganglong Kangri and the Gangdise Shan mountains, the Indus turns north-west through Baltistan and also Ladakh to reach Gilgit located to the south of Karakoram Range. Continuing from the south, river flows through the hills between Rawalpindi and Peshawar. The river continues coursing through huge ravines approximately 4,500 to 5,200 meters of height near Nanga Parbat. Indus then courses through Hazara. At Attock the Indus is met by the Kabul River and then it flows through plains of Punjab as well as Sind. At Mithankot the Indus meets the Panjnad which is the confluence of five rivers namely Chenab, Jhelum, Beas, Sutlej and Ravi. The name of this river in erstwhile times was the Satnad River. At this time, it included five rivers flowing in the state of Punjab besides Indus itself.
The Indus finally flows into the Arabian Sea near Karachi in Sind. After the earthquake of 1816, the Indus changed its course westwards from flowing into Rann of Kutch bordering the Banni grasslands. It was reported in the year 2010, that the course of River Indus changed slightly. It was due to floods and heavy rains in Pakistan.
Indus being a major river system in Asia is fed by several tributaries including Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab, Sutlej, Beas, Gumal, Gilgit, Kabul, Shigar, Astor, Ghizar, Gar, Shing, Zhob, Panjnad as well as Parbati among others.
Jhelum is one of the five rivers that flow in the Punjab plains and meet the Indus. Jhelum which originates in south-east area of Jammu and Kashmir flows through Wular Lake and moves to Punjab. It flows for approximately 480 miles.
Born out of confluence of Chandra and Bhaga streams, the Chenab flows parallel to Pir Panjal range and meets with Jhelum near Akhnoor. Chenab is 960 kilometers and it also meets Ravi and Sutlej before meeting the Indus.
It originates from Rakshas Lake, which is linked to Manasarovar Lake. The Sutlej River flows into Pakistan and eventually meets Chenab.
The source of the Ravi River is located near Rohtang pass in Himalayan ranges. It flows in north-west direction and shifts south-west near Dalhousie. After flowing along a section of India Pakistan border, the Ravi River moves into Pakistan and meets the Chenab River.