Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2019

Indus Valley of Kashmir and Pakistan

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It is little wonder that a river that begins its life high up on the Himalayas would create a land of extremes further south in Pakistan, from deep gorges to wide plains.

Where the Indus River Begins

The Indus River, the longest in Pakistan, is named from Sanskrit “Sindhu” meaning “defender” but was known in ancient Hindu legend as the Lion River, as it was thought that the river issued from a lion’s mouth. In fact, the Swedish explorer, Sven Hedin, discovered that this river is born from but a trickle 17,000 feet (52,000 metres) high up on a slope on the Tibetan Kailas Range in the Himalayas.

The Indus Valley is a dramatic setting, barricaded by the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram Ranges. The Indus River cuts through a gorge that drops 12,000 feet (36,660 metres) in 350 miles (560 kilometres). At the foot of the Nanga Parbat, otherwise known as the Naked Mountain, the gorge is 15,000 feet (4,600 metres) deep where in some places is impenetrable to the sun. But at Kalabash, at the Attock Gorge, the valley opens out to plains 10 miles (16 kilometres) wide over the Punjab plains.

The Sindhu Plains

The world’s largest irrigation system can be found at the Sindhu plains where the Indus River is joined by five other tributaries and innumerable canal systems. In the summer, the temperatures rise to a blistering 50ºC (122ºF). Melting snow and monsoons causes floods to the plains transforming the area into a small sea.

Indus Valley of Kashmir and Pakistan

In September 1922, mass floods drowned over 2,000 people and ruined thousands of miles of cropland. It might come as some surprise that farmland had existed here for over 4,000 years. Excavations have revealed the ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, the latter meaning “Mound of the Dead.” These ancient civilisations existed for over 1,000 years around the time of the Egyptians and Mesopotamia. Incredibly, the complex drainage systems, the grid-like streets and the brick buildings are still in remarkably good condition. Plates, figurines and jewellery amongst many other artefacts have been recovered. Alexander the Great sailed to the Indus valley in 327 – 326BC, where he conquered the land now known as Pakistan and built a bride across the Attock Gorge.

Where the Indus River Ends

The mighty Indus River does not end without ceremony. After travelling 1,740 miles (2,800 kilometres) the waters of the Indus River encounter the Arabian Sea near the port of Karachi in a massive delta thousands of miles square. This huge marshy area is dotted with many islands, festooned with mangroves. Its tidal bore, one of the few in the world, can be felt here. Due to the vast amount of erosion of the Karakoram Mountains and the Himalayas, the delta forms the second largest sediment body on earth. For this reason, the waterways are stained red. But this would explain the remarkable fertility of the soil and why vast civilisations have remained within the valley for thousands of years.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

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