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Sone River (Saun)
Country India
States Madhya Pradesh, Jhakhrand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar
Region Baghelkhand
 - left Ghaghar River
 - right Banas River, Gopad River, Rihand River, Kanhar River, Koel River
Cities Sidhi, Dehri on sone, Patna
Landmark Indrapuri Barrage
 - location Amarkantak

, Madhya Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh

 - elevation 600 m (1,969 ft)
Mouth Ganga River
 - coordinates 25°42′9″N 84°51′54″E / 25.7025°N 84.865°E / 25.7025; 84.865
Length 784 km (487 mi)
This is about the river in India, for a river in Vietnam, see Son River (Vietnam)

Son River (also spelt Sone) (Hindi: सोन नदी) of central India is the largest of the Ganges' southern tributaries. A British 1850s diary shows that the river was written in English as Soane.[1][2]



The Son originates only from Madhya Pradesh state, just east of the headwater of the Narmada River, and flows north-northwest through Madhya Pradesh state before turning sharply eastward when it encounters the southwest-northeast-running Kaimur Range. The Son parallels the Kaimur Range, flowing east-northeast through Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar states to join the Ganges just above Patna. Geologically, the lower valley of the Son is an extension of the Narmada Valley, and the Kaimur Range an extension of the Vindhya Range. Dehri on sone is the major town situated on sone river.

The Son river at 784 kilometres (487 miles) long, is one of the largest rivers of India. Its chief tributaries are the Rihand and the Koel. The Son has a steep gradient (35-55 cm per km) with quick run-off and ephemeral regimes, becoming a roaring river with the rain-waters in the catchment area but turning quickly into a fordable stream. The Son, being wide and shallow, leaves disconnected pools of water in the remaining part of the year. The channel of the Son is very wide (about 5 km at Dehri on sone) but the floodplain is narrow, only 3 to 5 km wide. In the past, the Son has been notorious for changing course, as is traceable from several old beds on its east. In modern times this tendency has been checked with the anicut at Dehri, and now more so with the Indrapuri Barrage.

Sone railway bridge between Patna and Arrah

An initial survey of the bridge site was made on 17 February 1851 by George Turnbull, Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company: he determined that the river then was 5350 feet across — the completed bridge in 1862 was 5280 feet across. He settled on the site near Pures "where the banks are well defined, and the channel had evidently for ages been confined within certain limits, proved by the existence of old Hindoo temples, far before the Mohammaden works at Muneer, built about 200 years [before 1851]."[1]

By November 1859, both abutments and 16 of the 26 piers were being built and the well-sinking for the remaining piers progressing. By 21 December 1860, three of the iron spans were in place; 4572 tons of the estimated 5683 final tons of iron-work for the bridge had arrived from England.[3]

George Turnbull inspected the bridge and judged it complete on 4 November 1862. On 5 February 1863, a special train from Howrah took Turnbull, the Viceroy Lord Elgin, Lt Governor Sir Cecil Beadon and others over two days to Benares: they alighted at the bridge and inspected it.[4] In Benares there was a durbar on 7 February to celebrate the building of this the railway and particularly the bridging of the largest tributary of the Ganges.[1]

Indrapuri Barrage

Indrapuri Barrage on Sone River is one of the longest dams in India,[citation needed] located at Dehri on sone, Bihar, storing a large amount of water. It is located nearly 5 km from main town. From it flow 2 major and several other small canals which supply the whole of western and central Bihar with water for irrigation.


  1. ^ a b c Diaries of George Turnbull (Chief Engineer, East Indian Railway Company) held at the Centre of South Asian Studies at Cambridge University, England
  2. ^ George Turnbull, C.E. 437-page memoirs published privately 1893, scanned copy held in the British Library, London on compact disk since 2007
  3. ^ The Early History of the East Indian Railway (pages 136-137) Hena Mukherjee, first published 1994 by Firma Private Limited, Calcutta
  4. ^ Page 35 of History of the East Indian Railway by George Huddleston 1906.


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