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This article is about the tributary of the Ganges. For the distributary in West Bengal, see Bhāgirathi-Hooghly.
Bhāgīrathī River
River
Sacred bathing ghats on Bhagirathi River at Gangotri
Name origin: "Bhagirathi" (Sanskrit, literally, "caused by Bhagiratha")
Country  India
State Uttarakhand
Region Garhwal division
District Uttar Kashi District, Tehri District
Source Gaumukh (gou, cow + mukh, face), about 18 km (11.2 mi) from the town of Gangotri
 - elevation 3,892 m (12,769 ft)
Source confluence Alaknanda River
Length 205 km (127 mi)
Basin 6,921 km2 (2,672 sq mi)
Discharge
 - average 28.32 m3/s (1,000 cu ft/s)
 - max 3,800 m3/s (134,196 cu ft/s)
Map showing the Himalayan headwaters of the Bhagirathi river. The numbers in parentheses refer to the altitude in meters.
[1]

The Bhāgīrathī is a turbulent Himalayan river in the state of Uttarakhand, India, that is the source stream of the Ganges—the major river of the Gangetic plain of Northern India and the holy river of Hinduism.

Contents

Etymology

The word "Bhagirathi" (Sanskrit, literally, "caused by Bhagiratha") refers to a mythological Sagar Dynasty prince who, to gain the release his 60,000 great-uncles from the curse of saint Kapila, brought the goddess Ganga in the form of the river Ganges, from the heavens to the earth.[2]

Course

The headwaters of the Bhagirathi are formed at Gaumukh (elevation 3,892 metres (12,769 feet)), at the foot of the Gangotri glacier and Khatling glaciers in the Garhwal Himalaya. It is then joined by its tributaries; these are, in order from the source:

  • the Kedar Ganga at Gangotri (elevation 3,049 m (10,003 ft)),
  • the Jadh Ganga at Bhaironghati (elevation 2,650 m (8,694 ft)),
  • the Kakora Gadand Jalandhari Gad near Harsil (elevation 2,745 m (9,006 ft)),
  • the Siyan Gad near Jhala (elevation 2,575 m (8,448 ft)),
  • the Asi Ganganear Uttarkashi (elevation 1,158 m (3,799 ft)),
  • and finally the Bhilangna near Old Tehri (elevation 755 m (2,477 ft)).

The Bhilangna itself rises at the foot of the Khatling Glacier (elevation 3,717 m (12,195 ft)) approximately 50 km (31 mi) south of Gaumukh.

The river flows from its source for 205 km (127 mi) before meeting the Alaknanda River at an elevation of 475 m (1,558 ft) in the town of Devprayag. Downstream of this confluence, considered holy by Hindus, the river is known as the Ganga Ji or Ganges River by westerners. The controversial Tehri dam lies at the confluence of the Bhāgirathi and the Bhilangna, at 30°22′32″N 78°28′48″E / 30.37556°N 78.48°E / 30.37556; 78.48, near Tehri.

Dams

There are 18 dams along the Bhāgirathi River, either in operation, under construction or planned. These are, in order from the source:

Hydroelectric Dams on the Bhāgirathi River[3]
Abbreviations: KW: electrical output capacity(Kilowatts), Ht: dam height(M) FRL: full reservoir level (MSL), MWL:maximum water level(MSL), HRT: head race tunnel length(KM), TRT: tail race tunnel length(KM), TWL: tail water level(MSL), RBL: river bed level at dam site(MSL)
# Name Ht KW Status FRL MWL HRT TRT TWL RBL Coordinates
1 Karmoli Dam 140 planned 8.6
2 Gangotri Dam 55 planned 5.2
3 Jadhganga Dam 50 planned 1.1
4 Bhaironghati I Dam 380 planned
5 Bhaironghati II Dam 65 planned
6 Harsil Dam 210 planned 5.06
7 Loharinag Pala Dam 600 construction 2,147 1,667 13.85 .51 1.665 30°49′6″N 78°37′5″E / 30.81833°N 78.61806°E / 30.81833; 78.61806
8 Pala Maneri I Dam 78 480 construction 1,665 1,667 12.563 1.378
9 Maneri Bali I Dam 38 90 operation 8.631
10 Maneri Bali II Dam 304 construction [4] 16.0
11 Bhilangana II Dam 11 planned
12 Bhilangana I Dam 22.5 planned 2.0
13 Tehri PSS Dam 1,000 planned
14 Tehri Dam 260.5 2,400 operation 830 835 1.634 .8625 30°22′40″N 78°28′50″E / 30.37778°N 78.48056°E / 30.37778; 78.48056
15 Koteshwar Dam 97.5 400 construction
16 Kotli Bel 1A Dam 82.5 195 construction
17 Kotli Bel 1B Dam 90 320 construction
18 Kotli Bel II Dam 82 530 construction

Notes

  1. ^ Catchment Area Treatment:, Bhagirathi River Valley Development Authority, Uttaranchal
  2. ^ Mankodi, Kirit (1973) "Gaṅgā Tripathagā"Artibus Asiae 35(1/2): pp. 139-144, p. 140
  3. ^ "Map of the Bhagirathi River showing dams". Dams, Rivers & People. South Asian Network on Dams Rivers & People(sandrp.in). August 2008. http://www.sandrp.in/rivers/Bhagirathi_is_DISAPPEARING.pdf. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Minimum Water Flow Photo

References

  • Wilson, W. (1860) A summer ramble in the Himalayas: with sporting adventures in the Vale of Cashmere Hurst and Blackett, London, OCLC 58410561, available on microfilm
  • Heske, Franz (1937) Im heiligen Lande der Gangesquellen (In the Holy Lands of the Source of the Ganges) J. Neumann, Neudamm, Germany, OCLC 35036471, in German
  • Sharma, Man Mohan (1997) Through the Valley of Gods: Travels in the Central Himalayas (2nd ed.) Vision Books, New Delhi, OCLC 4547622

External links

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