General Knowledge

Main RIVERS OF PAKISTAN

RIVERS OF PAKISTAN

RIVERS OF PAKISTAN

Astor River
Chenab River
Dasht River
Dashtiari River
Gambila River
Ghaggar-Hakra River
Ghizar River
Gilgit River
Gomal River
Hub River
Hungol River
Hunza River
Indus River
Jhelum River
Kabul River
Swaan River
Kundar River
Kunhar River
Kurram River
Lyari River
Malir River
Panjkora Panjnad River
Ravi River
Shigar River
Shimshal River
Sutlej River
Swat River
Tochi River
Zhob River
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Astor River

The Astore River a tributary of the mighty Indus rises from a glacier of the great Himalayan range near the Burzil Pass in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. It flows in a northwesterly direction and joins the Indus River at Bunji. Many small streams fall into the Astor River in its short course. Its catchment area is not covered by the vegetation but possess glacial moraines, cirques and steep slopes. This river drains the area lying to the east of Nanga Parbat.
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Chenab River

The Chenab River is formed by the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tandi located in the upper Himalayas in the Lahul and Spiti District of Himachal Pradesh, India. In its upper reaches it is also known as the Chandrabhaga. It flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, forming the boundary between the Rechna and Jech interfluves (Doabs in Persian). It is joined by the Jhelum River at Trimmu and then by the Ravi River. It then merges with the Sutlej River near Uch Sharif to form the Panjnad or the 'Five Rivers', the fifth being the Beas River which joins the Satluj near Ferozepur, India. The Satluj then joins the Indus at Mithankot. The total length of the Chenab is approximately 960 kilometers. The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.

The river was known to Indians in the Vedic period as Ashkini or Iskmati and as Acesines to the Ancient Greeks. In 325 BC, Alexander the Great allegedly founded the town of Alexandria on the Indus (present day Uch Sharif or Mithankot or Chacharan) at the confluence of the Indus and the combined stream of Punjab rivers (currently known as the Panjnad River).

The Chenab has the same place in the consciousness of the people of the Punjab as, say, the Rhine holds for the Germans or the Danube for the Austrians and the Hungarians. It is the iconic river around which Punjabi consciousness revolves, and plays a prominent part in the tale of Heer Ranjha, the Punjabi national epic and the legend of Sohni Mahiwal.

This river has been in the news of late due to the steps taken by the Indian government to build a number of hydropower dams along its length (in India) most notably the Baglihar Hydel power project (expected time of completion 2008). This is a result of the Indus Basin Project. These planned projects on Chenab have been hotly contested by Pakistan which says that India is breaking the terms and clauses of the Indus water treaty by storing and channelling the waters of this river, a claim totally rejected by the Indian government.
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Dasht River

Dasht River is located in Gwadar District, Balochistan, Pakistan. Mirani Dam is being built on Dasht River to provide drinking water to Gwadar city.
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Dashtiari River

Dashtiari River is located in Gwadar District, Balochistan, Pakistan.
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Gambila River

Gambila River, also called the Tochi River, is located in Bannu District, North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan.

It's source are the hills six miles south of the Sufed Koh, the source of the Kurram River, which it runs parallel too and finally joins.

The Gambila is an important river for the inhabitants of the Dawar valley, as it serves to irrigate a large area of land that it runs through. Particularly that belonging to the Bakkakhel Wazirs, Miri and Barakzai Bannuchis.
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Ghaggar-Hakra River

The Ghaggar is an intermittent river in India, flowing during the monsoon rains. It originates in the Shivalik Hills of Himachal Pradesh and flows through Punjab and Haryana to Rajasthan; just southwest of Sirsa in Haryana and by the side of Tibi in Rajasthan, this seasonal river feeds two irrigation canals that extend into Rajasthan.

The present-day Sarasvati River originates in a submontane region (Ambala district) and joins the Ghaggar near Shatrana in PEPSU. Near Sadulgarh (Hanumangarh) the Naiwal channel, a dried out channel of the Sutlej, joins the Ghaggar. Near Suratgarh the Ghaggar is then joined by the dried up Drishadvati (Chautang) river.

The wide river bed of the Ghaggar river suggest that the river once flowed full of water, and that it formerly continued through the entire region, in the presently dry channel of the Hakra River, possibly emptying into the Rann of Kutch. It supposedly dried up due to the capture of its tributaries by the Indus and Yamuna rivers, and the loss of rainfall in much of its catchment area due to deforestation and overgrazing. This is supposed to have happened at the latest in 1900 BCE, but perhaps much earlier.

In India there are also various small or middle-sized rivers called Sarasvati or Saraswati. One of them flows from the west end of the Aravalli Range into the east end of the Rann of Kutch.
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Ghizar River

The Ghizar River is an important tributary of the Gilgit River. It rises as a small snow-melt channel from the glaciers on the northern slopes of the great Himalayan range. Rising from the glaciers the Ghizar valley many small tributaries join the Ghizar River at various places along its course. It flows eastwards to join the Gilgit River flowing in from the north.

The entire catchment area of the Ghizar River is bleak and desolate. The slopes are devoid of a vegetative cover.
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Gilgit River

The Shigar River is a tributary of the Indus River that rises from the Hispar glacier at the base of the Haramosh and Kanjut Sar peaks in northern Ladakh. It flows towards southeast and joins the Indus at Skardu.

A tributary rising from Baltoro glacier at the base of Masharbrum peak also falls into the Shigar River therefore, it contains waters of two of the most important glaciers of the Karakoram Range. No vegetation is seen on the catchment area because of its high altitude.
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Gomal River

Gomal River is a river in Afghanistan and Pakistan, with its headwaters in the south-east of Ghazni.

The headwater springs of the Gomal's main leg come together close to the fort of Babakarkol in Katawaz, a district inhabited primarily by Kharoti and Suleiman Khel Pashtuns.

The Gomal's chief tributary is the Zhob River. Within Pakistan, Gomal river surrounds South Waziristan agency, forms the boundary between the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan. The river passes then through the Damaan plain in Kulachi Tehsil and later on through Dera Ismail Khan Tehsil and then finally falls in river Indus.
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Hub River

Hub River is located in Lasbela, Balochistan, Pakistan. It forms the provincial boundary between Sindh and Balochistan, west of Karachi. Hub Dam is a large water storage reservoir constructed in 1981 on the Hub River in the arid plains north of Karachi. The reservoir supplies water for irrigation in the Lasbella district of Balochistan and drinking water for the city of Karachi. It is an important staging and wintering area for an appreciable number of water birds and contains a variety of fish species which increase in abundance during periods of high water. The Mahseer (Tor putitora), an indigenous riverine fish found in the Hub River, grows up to 2m in length and provides for excellent angling.
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Hungol River

Hungol River or Hingol River is located in Makran, Balochistan, Pakistan.

The Hungol valley has fantastic scenery of towering cliffs, pinnacles and buttresses, the river winding between. Some 350 miles in length, the Hungol is Balochistan's longest river. Unlike most other streams in Balochistan which only flow during rare rains, the Hungol always has flowing water in it. The water is crystal–clear, reflecting the incredible blue of the sky. It makes for picture–postcard scenery. Hungol River and valley are located in Hungol National Park
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Hunza River

Hunza River is the principal river of Hunza, in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is formed by the confluence of the Kilik and Khunjerab nalas (gorges) which are fed by glaciers. It is joined by the Gilgit River and the Naltar River before it flows into the Indus River.

The river cuts through the Karakoram Range, flowing from north to south. The Karakoram Highway crosses the Hunza River near Hunza and Nagar valleys.
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Indus River

The Indus River is the longest and most important river in Pakistan and one of the most important rivers on the Indian subcontinent and has given the country India its name. Originating in the Tibetan plateau in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar, the river runs a course through Ladakh district in Kashmir and Northern Areas, flowing through the North in a southerly direction along the entire length of country, to merge into the Arabian Sea near Pakistan's port city Karachi. The total length of the river is 3200 kilometers (2000 miles).
The river has a total drainage area exceeding 1,165,000 square kilometers (450,000 square miles). The river's estimated annual flow stands at around 207 cubic kilometers. Beginning at the heights of the world with glaciers, the river feeds the ecosystem of temperate forests, plains and arid countryside. Together with the rivers Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej, Jhelum, Beas and the extinct Sarasvati River, the Indus forms the Sapta Sindhu ("Seven Rivers") delta in the Sindh province of Pakistan. It has 20 major tributaries.

The Indus provides the key water resources for the economy of Pakistan - especially the breadbasket of Punjab province, which accounts for most of the nation's agricultural production, and Sindh. It also supports many heavy industries and provides the main supply of potable water in Pakistan.

The ultimate source of the Indus is in Tibet; it begins at the confluence of the Sengge and Gar rivers that drain the Nganglong Kangri and Gangdise Shan mountain ranges. The Indus then flows northwest through Ladakh-Baltistan into Gilgit, just south of the Karakoram range. The Shyok, Shigar and Gilgit streams carry glacial waters into the main river. It gradually bends to the south, coming out of the hills between Peshawar and Rawalpindi. The Indus passes gigantic gorges 4500 - 5200 meters (15,000-17,000 feet) high near the Nanga Parbat massif. It swiftly flows across Hazara, and is dammed at the Tarbela Reservoir. The Kabul River joins it near Attock. The remainder of its route to the sea is in plains of the Punjab and Sind, and the river becomes slow-flowing and highly braided. It is joined by Panjnad River at Mithankot. Beyond this confluence, the river, at one time, was named as Satnad River (sat = seven, nadi = river) as the river was now carrying the waters of Kabul River, Indus River and the five Punjab rivers. Passing by Jamshoro, it ends in a large delta to the east of Thatta.

The Indus is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibit a tidal bore. The Indus system is largely fed by the snows and glaciers of the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges of Tibet, Kashmir and Northern Areas of Pakistan. The flow of the river is also determined by the seasons - it diminishes greatly in the winter, while flooding its banks in the monsoon months from July to September. There is also evidence of a steady shift in the course of the river since prehistoric times - it deviated westwards from flowing into the Rann of Kutch.
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Jhelum River

Jehlum River or Jhelum River is the largest and most western of the five rivers of Punjab, and passes through Jhelum District. It is a tributary of the Indus River.

The river Jhelum was called Vitasta by the ancient Indians in the Vedic period and Hydaspes by the ancient Greeks. The Vitastā is mentioned as one of the major river by the holy scriptures of the Indo-Aryans—the Rigveda. It has been speculated that the Vitasta must have been one of the seven rivers (sapta-sindhu) mentioned so many times in the Rigveda. The name survives the Kashmiri name for this river as Vyath.

The river was regarded as a god by the ancient Greeks, as were most mountains and streams; the poet Nonnus in the Dionysiaca (section 26, line 350) makes the Hydaspes a titan-descended god, the son of the sea-god Thaumas and the cloud-goddess Elektra. He was the brother of Iris the goddess of the rainbow, and half-brother to the harpies, the snatching winds. Since the river is in a country foreign to the ancient Greeks, it is not clear whether they named the river after the god, or whether the god Hydaspes was named after the river.

Alexander the Great and his army crossed the Jhelum in 326 BC at the Battle of the Hydaspes River where he defeated the Indian king, Porus. According to Arrian (Anabasis, 29), he built a city "on the spot whence he started to cross the river Hydaspes", which he named Bukephala (or Bucephala) to honour his famous horse Bukephalis which was buried in Jalalpur Sharif. It is thought that ancient Bukephala was near the site of modern Jhelum City. According to a historian of Gujrat district, Mansoor Behzad Butt, Bukephala was buried in Jalalpur Sharif, but the people of Mandi Bahauddin, a district close to Jehlum, believed that their Tehsil Phalia was named after Bucephala, Alexander's dead horse. They say that the name Phalia was the distortion of the word Bucephala. The waters of the Jhelum are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.
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Kabul River

Kabul River or Kabal River is a river that rises in the Sanglakh Range of Afghanistan, separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass. It is the main river in the eastern part of Afghanistan. It flows 700 km before joining the Indus River near Attock . It passes through the cities of Kabul, Chaharbagh, Jalalabad, and (flowing into Pakistan some 30 km north of the Khyber Pass) Nowshera. The major tributaries of the Kabul River are the Logar, Panjshir, Kunar and Alingar rivers.

The Kabul River itself is little more than a trickle for most of the year, but swells in summer due to melting snows. Its largest tributary is the Kunar, which starts out as the Mastuj River, flowing from the Chiantar glacier in Chitral, Pakistan and once it flows south into Afghanistan it is met by the Bashgal River flowing from Nurestan. The Kunar meets the Kabul near Jalalabad. In spite of the Kunar carrying more water than the Kabul, the river continues as the Kabul River after this confluence, mainly for the political and historical significance of the name.

This river is attested in the Rig Veda, the earliest scripture of Hinduism, under the name Kubhā (many of the rivers of Afghanistan are mentioned in the Rig Veda). The Sanskrit word later changed to Kābul.
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Kundar River

Kundar River is located in Balochistan, Pakistan. The melt water from the Sulaiman Mountains forms Kundar River and it flows through Balochistan and drains into Gomal River.

The two principal drainage channels of the Zhob district are the Zhob River and the Kundar River, both flows into the Gomal River. The general direction of the rivers is from Southwest to northeast. The Zhob River rises at Tsari Mehtarazai pass, the watershed a distance of about 400 kilometers. The broad plain of the Zhob River is occupied by the alluvial formation. The Kundar River rises from the central and highest point of the TobaKakar range, a few kilometers northeast of the Sakir. It constitutes boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan territory for a considerable length. The other subsidiary rivers or streams are the Baskan, Chukhan, Sri Toi, Sawar, Surab, etc.
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Kunhar River

Kunhar River is located in North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. A main source of the river is Lulusar Lake, nearly 48km from Naran Valley. Glaciers of Malka Parbat and Makra Peak and the waters of Saiful Muluk Lake feed the river. The Kunhar flows through the entire Kaghan Valley through Jalkhand, Naran, Kaghan, Jared, Paras and Balakot, and joins the Jhelum River.

The Kunhar river trout is considered to be the best throughout the sub-continent.
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Kurram River

The Kurrum River flows in the Kurrum Valley, stretching across the Afghan-Pakistani border west to east (crosses from the Paktia Province of Afghanistan into the Kohat border region of Pakistan) at 33°49′N, 69°58′E, about 150 km west-to-south-west of the Khyber Pass.
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Lyari River

Lyari River is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Lyari River passes through the city of Karachi from north east to the center and drains into the Arabian Sea. Lyari River is one of the two rivers passing through Karachi and the other is Malir River.
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Malir River

Malir River is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Malir River passes through the city of Karachi from northeast to the centre and drains into the Arabian Sea. Malir River is one of the two rivers passing through Karachi and the other is River. It has two other little river help one is Thadho and other is Sukhan. In a rainy season this river flow with lot of water and millions of gallons of water waste in Arabian Sea. If the government becomes serious to this matter and construct a dam on this river, it will benefit the whole of Karachi a great deal.
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Panjkora River

The Panjkora River rises high in the Hindu Kush at latitude 35.45 and joins the Swat River near Chakdara, Malakand, NWFP, Pakistan. Its name is derived from the Persian for 'panj' (meaning 'five') and 'kora' (meaning 'river').
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Panjnad River

Panjnad River (panj = five, nadi = river) is a river in Punjab, Pakistan. Panjnad River is formed by successive confluence of the five rivers of Punjab, namely Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Jhelum and Ravi join Chenab, Beas joins Sutlej, and then Sutlej and Chenab join to form Panjnad near Uch Sharif. The combined stream runs southwest for approximately 45 miles and joins Indus River at Mithankot. The Indus continues into the Arabian Sea. A dam on Panjnad has been erected; it provides irrigation channels for Punjab and Sind provinces south of the Sutlej and east of the Indus rivers.

Beyond the confluence of Indus and Panjnad rivers, the Indus river was known as Satnad (Sat = seven) carrying the waters of seven rivers including Indus river, which is believed to be in ealrlier times the Saraswati/Ghaggar/Hakra river which eventually dried and became a seasonal river due to seismic shifts in the glacial region of Himachal Pradesh where it originated and later on Kabul river and the five rivers of Punjab.
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Ravi River

The Ravi River is a river in India and Pakistan. It is one of the five rivers which give Punjab its name. The Ravi was known as Parushani or Iravati to Indians in Vedic times and Hydraotes to the Ancient Greeks. It originates in the Himalayas in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh following a north-westerly course. It turns to the south-west, near Dalhousie, and then cuts a gorge in the Dhaola Dhar range entering the Punjab plain near Madhopur. It then flows along the Indo-Pak border for some distance before entering Pakistan and joining the Chenab River. The total length of the river is about 720 km. The waters of the Ravi River are allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan and the resulting Indus Basin Project. It is also called 'The river of Lahore' since that great city is located on its eastern bank. On its western bank is located the famous tomb of Jahangir.
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Shigar River

Shigar River is located in Baltistan, Northern Areas, and Pakistan. The Shigar River is formed from the melt water of the Baltoro Glacier and Biafo Glacier. The river is tributary to Indus River and meets the Indus in Skardu valley.

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Shimshal River

The Shimshal river a tributary of the Hunza River, rises from a glacier from the northern base of the Kanjut Sar massif in the area to the north of the Karakoram range. Small snow-fed tributaries join the river at various places. Two main streams of this river originate in different depressions of an offshoot of the Karakoram Range. They merge where the two valleys meet and flow as the main stream of the Shimshal towards west to join with the Hunza River upstream of Baltit.

There is an increase in the discharge of this river in late summer when the glacier melts at a faster pace. Flash floods may occur in mid-afternoon during this season when the water level rises abruptly.

The entire catchment area of the Shimshal River is devoid of a vegetative cover. Human habitation is restricted to the banks of the Hunza River.
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Sutlej River

Sutlej River is the longest of the five rivers that flow through the historic cross-road region known as the Punjab in northern India as well as Pakistan, and is located north of the Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the Himalayas, and east of the Central Makran range in Pakistan. Its source is in Tibet near Mount Kailash, and its terminus in Pakistani Punjab near the port city of Karachi via the Indus.

It is the easternmost tributary river of the Indus River, which overall, drains the ancient and historically important region of Greater Punjab. Located in the shadow of the Vindhya Range, the region to its south and east is arid and known in different regions as the Great Indian Desert or Thar Desert, which more or less parallels both the river and the border between Pakistan and Rajistan. Flowing generally south-southwest from its headwaters, the Sutlej River joins first with the Beas River in the state of Punjab, India and continues south-westerly into Pakistan to mix with the Chenab River, forming the Panjnad River south of ancient Multan. From the confluence near Khanpur, the Panjnad joins the Indus River at Mithankot, where after the large river flows through a gorge near Sukkur and flows through a fertile plains region known as the Sind until it reaches the Arabian Sea.

A heavy freight canal, known as the SLY (Sutlej-Yamuna Link), is being built eastwards through Punjab near an ancient caravan route and highlands pass from the Sutlej watershed to connect near the source of the largest tributary of the Ganges, the Yamuna river, and when complete will allow shipping from India's east coast to the west coast.
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Swaan River

The Swaan River is the most important stream of the Pothohar region of Pakistan. It drains much of the water of Pothohar. It starts near a small village Bun in the foothills of Patriata and Murree. It provides water to Simlbee Dam, which is reservoir of water for Islamabad. Near Pharwala Fort it cuts through a high mountain range and that is a wonderful phenomenon of nature. The place is called Swan Cut. No stream can cut such a high mountain. It proves the Swaan was there before the formation of this range. And when the mountain rose through millions of years, the stream continued its path by cutting the rising mountain. Ling stream, following a relatively long course though Lehtrar and Kahuta falls in the Swaan near Sihala.

Islamabad Highway crosses this stream near Sihala where famous bridge Cock Pull is constructed over it. Another famous, Lai stream joins this stream near Swaan Camp. After walking a tortuous path and creating a big curve, the stream reaches Kalabagh where it falls into the Indus River. This relatively small stream is more than 250 kilometers long. Due to its mountainous course and shallow bed, it is hardly used for irrigation purposes. For grinding wheat, you can find ancient types of flour mills near Chakian. Fishing is not possible in this stream as a profession. Rohu is the main species of fish in this stream. Kingfisher hunts here too.
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Swat River

Swat River flows from Hindu Kush Mountains through Kalam valley and merges into Kabul River in Peshawar valley Sarhad, Pakistan.

Swat River irrigates vast area of Swat District and contributes to fishing industry of the region. Saidu Group's of teaching hospitals also located at the banks of Swat River. Malamjaba ski resort is about 10 miles away from the river. Ayub Bridge is one of the attractions for visitors. The scenery attracts many tourists from all over Pakistan during the summer.

It is said that Alexander the Great crossed the Swat River with part of his army and before turning south to subdue the locals at what are now Barikoot and Odegram. Also, the banks of this river, which was earliest known as Shrivastu, later Suvastu and currently the present name, is the place of origin of the Shrivastava sub-clan of the Indo-Aryan Kayastha clan.

Some 30 years ago, the water was fit for drinking even in Mingora (100 km downstream from Kalam), but now it is not safe even in Kalam.

Swat River joins the Kabul river near Charsadda, Peshawar valley. There are two main hydro-electric power projects on canals from the swat river which generates electricity for local usage.
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Tochi River

Tochi river is located in North Waziristan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan. Tochi river flows eastward, in North Waziristan, to join the Kurram River and the Indus. It surrounds Waziristan in the North while the Gomal River surrounds South Waziristan.

It is also sometimes referred to as the Gambila River.


Zhob River

Zhob River is located in Balochistan, Pakistan. The melt water from the Sulaiman Mountains forms Zhob Rivers and it flows through Balochistan and drains into Gomal River. Zhob city is located on banks of Zhob River.

The two principal drainage channels of the Zhob district are the Zhob River and the Kundar River, both flow into the Gomal River. The general direction of the rivers is from Southwest to northeast. The Zhob River rises at Tsari Mehtarazai pass, the watershed a distance of about 400 kilometers. The broad plain of the Zhob River is occupied by the alluvial formation. The Kundar River rises from the central and highest point of the TobaKakar range, a few kilometers northeast of the Sakir. It constitutes boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan territory for a considerable length. The other subsidiary rivers or streams are the Baskan, Chukhan, Sri Toi, Sawar, Surab, etc.

Rivers Region Length in Miles (Kms) Height of Snout Ft/M (Approx.)
Indus 2,896 km. 45 (72.4) 12,150 (3,703.3)
Jhelum 825 km. 38 (61.2) 10,500 (3,200.4)
Chenab 1,242 km. 27 (59.5) 10,366 (3,159.6)
Ravi 901 km.
Sutlej 1,551 km. 36 (57.9) 11,580 (3,529.6)
Beas (tributary of Sutlej) 398 km. 40 (64.4) 8,030 (2,447.5)