Jammu and Kashmir Rivers & Lakes


The Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir is home to many rivers and lakes. Most of the rivers of the state have their origin in the Himalayas. The Jhelum River is the sole important river in the Himalayan mountain range that runs across the Kashmir basin. The Tawi, Indus, Chenab, and Ravi are the other important rivers running across the state.

Major rivers in Jammu and Kashmir



The longest rivers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus. All these rivers have their headwaters in the Himalayan Mountain Range. The Ganges and Yamuna are two great rivers of India that also have their sources in the same mountain range. The Indus River has its source in the Mansarovar lake, situated in the Tibetan territory.

Given below is a list of the major rivers in Jammu and Kashmir:
  • Chenab River
  • Doda River
  • Dras River
  • Indus River
  • Jhelum River
  • Markha River
  • Neelum River
  • Nubra River
  • Ravi River
  • Shingo River
  • Shyok River
  • Suru River (Indus)
  • Tawi River
  • Tsarap River
  • Yapola River
  • Zanskar River

Indus River



Indus River is a Trans Himalayan river. It originates from the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet. It starts its itinerary at the meeting point of the Gar and Sengge rivers and penetrates the famous mountain range in southeast Ladakh, close to its meeting point with the Gurtang River. The altitude of the meeting point is 4,200 meters. Subsequently, Indus River traverses as per a north by northwest itinerary in the middle of the Zanskar Mountain Range and the lofty Ladakh Mountain Range to the north. The state of Jammu and Kashmir is home to many residential colonies in Ladakh beside the Indus River and they are as follows:
  • Marol
  • Leh
  • Bunji
  • Skardu

The Indus River features an extensive and meandering itinerary and traverses the territory of Kashmir. The river is an outstanding location for adventure sports like whitewater rafting. The banks of this river are home to lofty mountains and deodar and pine forests. The overall length of the river is 1,980 miles or 3,180 km.

The branches or tributaries of the Indus River are as follows:
  • Astor River
  • Nagar River
  • Dras River
  • Balram River
  • Ghizar River
  • Gar River
  • Gumal River
  • Gilgit River
  • Kurram River
  • Kabul River
  • Shigar River
  • Panjnad River
  • Sohan River
  • Shyok River
  • Zanskar River
  • Tanubal River
The basin of the river is famous for its diversity of exotic flora and fauna.

Markha River



The Markha River flows through Ladakh in India. The river is a branch of the Zanskar River. The basin of the Markha River is a famous hiking trail in the territory.

Jhelum River



The Jhelum River runs for an extensive stint across the Jammu region and ultimately pours into the Indus River. The water of the river contains a lot of mud and it is a popular traveler destination, particularly for the nine historic bridges on it. Among the five rivers of Punjab, it is the longest stream which traverses the Jhelum district. The river is a branch of Chenab and it is approximately 813 km or 505 miles long. The river features a number of barrages and dams such as the Rasul Barrage, the Mangla Dam, and the Trimmu Barrage.

Chenab River



The confluence of two rivers in the Himalayas creates the river Chenab and these rivers are known as the Bhaga and the Chandra River. As a result of this, the Chenab River is famously called as Chandrabhaga. This river is also well known for its historical importance. The Chenab River is about 960 km long. The source of the river is located in the Lahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh.

Dras River



The Dras River is a branch of the Suru River. The source of the river lies at the Machoi glacier, which is close to the Zo-Zila Pass.

Doda River



The Doda River originates from the Drang Drung glacier. It traverses the Ladakh region and is also known as the Stod.

Suru River



The Suru River is a river in the state of J&K which creates the northern and western fringes of the Zanskar Mountain Range. It originates in the Zanskar area of Ladakh.

Shingo River



The Shingo River runs across the Ladakh area and is a branch of the Suru River.

Ravi River



The Ravi River is a river which crosses the boundary of India and Pakistan. It runs across the eastern parts of Pakistan and Northwestern areas of India. The Ravi River is one of the six streams of the Indus River system in Punjab. The length of the river is 450 miles or 720 km.

Nubra River



The Nubra River is a branch of the Shyok River. It runs across the Nubra area in Ladakh.

Neelum River



The Neelum River is also known as Kishanganga. It joins the Jhelum River near Muzaffarabad.

Shyok River



This river runs across the northern areas of Ladakh and some parts of Pakistan (Ghanghche district) for approximately 340 miles or 550 km. It is a major branch of the Indus River. The source of the Shyok River is the Rimo glacier. Major tributaries of the Shyok River are as follows:
  • The Galwan River
  • The Chang Chen Mo River
  • The Saltoro River
  • The Nubra River

Tawi River



The Tawi River runs across the city of Jammu. It is regarded as a very sacrosanct river like the majority of other rivers in the country. It is a principal tributary of the Chenab River and flows through its left banks. The source of the Tawi River is closely located to the Kali Kundi glacier.

  1. Tsarap River
    The Tsarap River is a major river in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Also known as Tsarap Chu, it runs across the Zanskar area in Ladakh.

  2. Yapola River
    The Yapola River is also named the Wanla River. It is a river in the Ladakh region of the state and pours into the Indus River at Lamayuru.

  3. Zanskar River
    The Zanskar River is a tributary of the Indus River. It runs to the north of the Indus and it has two principal branches. The first branch is known as the Doda River and the second branch is created by the Kargyag River and Tsarap River. The river is an ideal location for river rafting tours.

Lakes in Jammu and Kashmir



Some of the major lakes in the state of Jammu and Kashmir are the Dal Lake, Manasbal Lake, and Wular Lake. The Dal Lake is the second biggest lake in the state. Famous for its houseboats, it is a popular tourist destination. The Manasbal Lake lies at a distance of 30 km from Srinagar, the summer capital of the state. The Wular Lake is the biggest freshwater lake in the country. Situated in Bandipore district, the lake is popular for adventure sports activities like water sports, yachting, and water skiing. The Manasbal Lake is a popular birdwatching area. It is the deepest lake in the Kashmir basin. Located at a distance of 62 km from Jammu, the Mansar Lake is another famous and sacred tourist spot in the state.

Last Updated on : 5 March 2013