The Indian state of Punjab is called the “Land of Five Rivers”.
The word “Punjab” is made from the combination of two Persian words- ‘Panj’ which means five and ‘Ab’ meaning water, giving the actual meaning to the phrase “Land of Five Rivers”. The five rivers which gave Punjab its name are Beas, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, and Sutlej. These rivers flowing through Punjab constitute an important geographical feature of the state.
Let us discuss these rivers in detail:
Sutlej (or Satluj) is the eastern-most tributary of the River Indus. The river originates from the Rakshastal lake in Tibet and then enters India, firstly, in Himachal Pradesh and then in Ropar district of Punjab. It is almost 1,500 km long and considered the longest river in Punjab.
Beas river is mentioned in the Vedas by the name Arjikiya and called Vipasa in Sanskrit. The river originates from Beas Kund (also called Vyas Kund) in Himachal Pradesh and enters the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. The total length of the river is almost 470 Km.
Ravi river is named as Purushini in Vedas and Iravati in Sanskrit. It rises in the Himalayas in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh and enters Punjab near Madhopur. It then flows along the international Indo-Pakistan border for some distance before entering Pakistan and joining the Chenab river. The total length of the river is about 720 Km.
The river is known by the name Askani in Vedas and Chandrabahga in Sanskrit. The river originates from the upper Himalayas in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, flows through the Jammu region, and then finally enters into Punjab state in Pakistan. It does not flow on the Indian side of the state of Punjab. The complete length of the river is around 960 Km.
The river Jhelum is called Vitasta in Vedic and Sanskrit language. It is the western-most river among the five rivers of Punjab and is a tributary of the Chenab river. The river originates from Verinag Spring located in Kashmir, flows through Srinagar and the Wular Lake, and then finally enters into Punjab state in Pakistan. It does not flow on the Indian side of the state of Punjab. The complete length of the river is almost 725 Km.