Pradesh provides water to both the Indus and Ganges basins. The drainage
systems of the region are the Chandra Bhaga or the Chenab, the Ravi, the
Beas, the Sutlej and the Yamuna. These rivers are perennial and are fed
by snow and rainfall. They are protected by an extensive cover of
Beas river and mountains as seen from Van Vihar, Manali
Beas River in Himachal Pradesh
The Beas rises in the Pir Panjal range near the Rohtang Pass and flows
about 256 km in Himachal Pradesh. The river is formed by a numerous of
tributaries; the major tributaries are the Parbati, the Hurla, the Sainj,
the Uhl, the Suheti, the Luni, the Banganga and the Chaki. The northern
and eastern tributaries of the river are snow fed and perennial, while
the southern ones are seasonal. During the month of August, increase in
the inflow sometimes results in floods.
The Chandrabhaga or Chenab (Vedic name Askni), the largest river (in
terms of volume of water) is formed after the meeting of two streams
namely, Chandra and Bhaga at Tundi, in Lahul. It flows 122 km and covers
an area of 7,500 kmē. in Himachal, before entering Kashmir. The Chandra
passes through the barren tribal land.
The Ravi is born in Bara Banghal, Kangra district as a joint stream
formed by the glacier fed Bhadal and Tantgari. The river is of about 158
km in length and has a catchment area of nearly 5,451 kmē. Chamba lies
on its right bank.
Sutlej Valley from Rampur ca. 1857
The Sutlej originates in distant Tibet. The river cuts through both the
great Himalayan and the Zaskar ranges and crosses the Indo-Tibetan
border (near Shipkila). Then the river Spiti joins Sutlej from the
north. Passing through gorges it emerges from the mountains at Bhakra.
The catchment area of Sutlej in Himachal Pradesh is about 20,000 kmē.
The Yamuna has its origin in Yamunotri in Uttarkashi district,
Uttarakhand. Its total catchment area in Himachal Pradesh is 2,320 kmē.
Its tributaries are the Tons, the Giri and the Bata.