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Brahmaputra River Map

Route Map of River Brahmaputra

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Route Map of River Brahmaputra
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* Route map of river Brahmaputra along with its tributaries. Disclaimer
The mighty Brahmaputra River, which is one of the largest rivers in the world, is known by different names based on the region it flows through. In Hindi, Brahmaputra, literally means, 'the son of Brahma' who is one of the supreme divinity in Hinduism - Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh; it is also known as Tsangpo (Purifier inTibetan). It is a trans-boundary river and one of the most important rivers of India. The Brahmaputra Rivers usually include the Tista, Subansiri, Tsang-Po, and Jamuna (Bangladesh) - which is not the same as Yamuna of India.

Rivers in India are considered feminine and also named so, but Brahmaputra is considered a male river based on many mythological stories associated with it. However the masculinity ends when it reaches Bangladesh where it is given a feminine name, Meghna.

About the Brahmaputra

Brahmaputra River has its source in southwest Tibet. It flows there with the name Yarlung Tsangpo River (flowing from the crest/ summit). The river runs across south Tibet to penetrate the Himalayan mountain ranges in huge canyons and subsequently into Arunachal Pradesh (India). In Arunachal Pradesh, it is called as Dihang. The river runs to the southwest across the Assam Basin as Brahmaputra and towards the south through Bangladesh as the Jamuna (you should not confuse it with Yamuna of India). In this territory, it fuses with the Ganga to create a huge delta, which is known as the Sunderbans.

The overall length of the Brahmaputra River is approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 km). The river is a major resource for shipping and water supply. The upper route/ course of the river was not known for an extensive period of time, and it was believed to source from Chemayungdung Glacier; only after a geographic expedition in 1884-86 was it known that Angsi Glacier in Tibet Autonomous Region was the source of Brahmaputra. On many occasions, the river is named as Tsangpo-Brahmaputra River. The Brahmaputra River collectively refers to the Brahmaputra and its major tributaries such as Tista, Subansiri, Tsang-Po, and Jamuna.

The average depth of the Brahmaputra River is 124 feet (38 meters) and utmost depth is 380 feet (120 meters). The Brahmaputra River fuses with the Ganges in Bangladesh and bifurcates into two: the Meghna and Padma River.

The Brahmaputra River is passable for the majority of its span. The lower portion of the river basin is holy to Hindus. The Brahmaputra River is disaster-prone in spring, when the snow on the Himalayan mountain ranges dissolves. The average flow of the river is around 19,300 cubic meters/sec.(680,000 cubic foot/sec). Inundation levels can attain more than 100,000 cubic meters/sec. (3,500,000 cubic foot/sec.). The Brahmaputra River is also one of the limited numbers of rivers in the world that display a tidal bore; which can be defined as 'a tidal phenomenon in which the leading edge of the incoming tide forms a wave (or waves) of water that travel up a river against the direction of the current.' A Tidal bore causes intense turbulence in the water and may be dangerous leading to sudden increase in water level and flooding.

Itinerary of the Brahmaputra Rivers


The Yarlung Tsangpo has its source in the Jima Yangzong glacier located close to Mount Kailash in the North Himalayan Ranges. The river subsequently runs eastward for around 1,700 km (1,100 miles), at an average height of 4,000 meters (13,000 ft), and is therefore the tallest of the important rivers in the world. The Tsangpo travels along the common area amid the Indian subcontinent and Eurasian plate in Tibet. At its eastmost point, the Brahmaputra twists near Mount Namcha Barwa to create the Yarlung Tsangpo gorge, which is regarded as the deepest gorge in the world.

Assam and bordering areas

After the river moves into Arunachal Pradesh, the name of the river changes to Siang and takes an extremely speedy plunge from its original elevation in the Tibetan Territory. The river ultimately emerges in the plateaus, where it is named Dihang. The stream runs for around 35 kilometres (22 miles) and is met by two other streams: Lohit and Dibang. From this place of meeting of the three streams, the river gets quite broad and is named Brahmaputra.It is here that the river becomes mighty - 'Mahabahu' The river meets the Jia Bhoreli River (known as the Kameng River in areas where it runs from Arunachal Pradesh) in Sonitpur District and runs through the whole state of Assam . On certain occasions, the river is as broad as 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) in Assam. Amid Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh districts, the river splits into two canals - the northern Kherkutia canal and the southern Brahmaputra canal. The two waterways meet once more around 100 kilometres (62 mi) downstream, creating the Majuli Island. The Brahmaputra travels across the stones of the Shillong terrain, close to the religious hub of Hajo at Guwahati. The river is at minimum width of 1 km (1,100 yard) bank-to-bank. The Battle of Saraighat took place in this area fought between the Mughals and the Ahoms (Assamese) led by Lachit Borphukan. Saraighat is a landmark in the history of Assam because of the victory over Mughals.The oldest, the first rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra was inaugurated for passage at Saraighat in April 1962.

The surroundings of the Brahmaputra floodplains in the state of Assam have been portrayed as the Brahmaputra basin semi-evergreen forests eco-region. Comparing it with the other important rivers in India, the river has a lower extent of contamination. However, the Brahmaputra River has its own difficulties: petroleum refineries discharge majority of the toxic industrial wastes into the catchment area together with other small and medium scale industries. The principal crisis on the river drainage area is that of regular inundating. Deluges have been taking place more frequently over the last few years with cutting down of trees, excessive rainfall and other human actions like encroachment of river banks and wetlands for unplanned urban growth being the main reasons.


The Brahmaputra divides into two branches in Bangladesh, the much bigger division moves on to the south and the name of the branch is Jamuna (Jomuna). It pours into the Lower Ganges, locally known as Padma (Podda). At the same time, the older tributary bends to the southeast with the name Bromhoputro (lower Brahmaputra) and pours into the Meghna. Both courses ultimately meet again close to Chandpur and pour into the Bay of Bengal. Nevertheless, about 250 years back, the Brahmaputra River essentially traversed the Mymensingh and Jamalpur districts, a huge earthquake resulted in its current itinerary. Supplied by the waters of the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, this river system creates the Ganges Delta, which is the biggest river delta in the world.


Inundations are a regular feature of this river during the monsoon months (June-October). Cutting down of trees in the Brahmaputra catchment basin has led to higher degree of deposit, flash floods, and land corrosion in vital downstream locales like the Kaziranga National Park in central Assam. Sporadically, huge levels of inundation result in large-scale damages to life, food grains, and properties. Intermittent deluging is a common occurrence, which is environmentally significant since it assists in preserving the plain grasslands and connected flora and fauna. Sporadic deluges also silt new alluvial soil refilling the productive soil of the Brahmaputra River Basin. Hence inundation, cultivation, and farming operations are directly associated.

Navigation and conveyance

Till India became independent in 1947, the Brahmaputra River was utilized as an important shipping canal. In the 1990s, the length amid Dhubri and Sadiya in India was proclaimed as National Waterway No.2, and it offers facilities for freight carriage. Over the past few years, a small growth in the number of river tours has been noticed with the launch of the cruise liner, "Charaidew," by Assam Bengal Navigation.

Cooperation on the Brahmaputra Rivers

The waters of the Brahmaputra River are distributed among China, Bangladesh, and India. Also, there is possibility for China, Bangladesh, and India to build up hydroelectric power projects and water passage across the borders.

Tributaries of Brahmaputra


Tista or Teesta is one of the important rivers in northeast India. The river is located in the state of Sikkim in India. It is stated to be the lifeline of Sikkim, running through nearly the whole stretch of the state. On its itinerary, the river forms the lush green moderate and humid river basins of the Himalayan mountain ranges. The colour of the waters of this river is emerald green and the river creates the boundary between West Bengal and Sikkim prior to meeting the Brahmaputra in the form of a tributary in Bangladesh. The overall length of the Tista River is 315 km (196 miles). A number of Dams have been proposed on the river. The Tista River has its source in the Cholomo Lake in northern Sikkim. Subansiri

The Subansiri River is the biggest tributary of the Upper Brahmaputra. Also called the Gold River; Subansiri is the lifeline for a large number of people living in Dhemaji and Lakhimpur districts and a broad variety of biodiversity, which includes the imperilled Gangetic dolphin. The river moves down through the green tropical rainforest in Arunachal Pradesh. River rafting is a popular adventure sport on the Subansiri River.


Tsang-Po River is also known as Yarlung Zango River. It is one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. The river has its origin in South Tibet. After originating from the South Tibet basin, the river traverses Arunachal Pradesh and the name of the river in this state is Dihang. Kayaking is a popular adventure sports activity on the waters of this river.


The Jamuna is one of the key tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. It is also one of the three major rivers in Bangladesh. The river meets the Padma River in Bangladesh. After fusing with the Meghna River, the river pours into the Bay of Bengal as the Meghna River.

Last Updated on : September 20, 2017



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