Beas River is a river in the northern part of India. The river
rises in the Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh, India, and
flows for about 470 km to the Sutlej River in the Indian state
of Punjab. Its total length is about 470 km and its drainage
basin is 20,303 square kilometres (7,839 sq mi) large.
Beas River is one of the five rivers that give the Punjab
(“Five Rivers”) its name. It rises at an altitude of 14,308
feet (4,361 metres) at Rohtang Pass in the Punjab Himalayas,
in central Himachal Pradesh. From there it flows south through
the Kulu valley, receiving tributaries from the adjoining
mountains, and then turns west to flow past Mandi into the
Kangra valley. After crossing the valley, the Beas enters
Punjab state and turns south and then southwest to its
convergence with the Sutlej River at Harike after a course of
about 290 miles (470 km). The Beas River was the approximate
eastern limit of Alexander the Great’s invasion of India in
History of Beas River
Beas River marks the eastern-most border of Alexander's
conquests in 326 BC. It was also one of the rivers which created
problem in Alexander's invasion towards India. His troops
mutinied here in 326 BCE, refusing to go any further; they had
been away from home for eight years. Alexander shut himself in
his tent for three days, but when his men did not change their
wishes he gave in, raising twelve huge altars to mark the limit
and splendor of his voyage. According to the Kavyamimansa of
Rajasekhara, the kingdom-territories of the Gurjara-Pratihara
monarch Mahipala extended as far as the upper course of the
river Beas in the north-west.
In the 20th Century, the river was developed under the Beas
Project for irrigation andhydro electric power generation
purposes. The second-phase Pong Dam was completed in 1974
followed by the first-phase 140 km upstream, Pandoh Dam in 1977.
The Pong Dam served initially to primarily provide irrigation
below Talwara but was soon developed as well for power
generation; its power station has a 360 MW installed capacity.
The Pandoh Dam diverts the river through a system of channels
and tunnels to the 990 MW Dehar Power Station on the Sutlej
River, connecting both rivers.
Etymology of Beas River
river was also known as Arjikuja of the Vedas, or Vipasa to the
ancient Indians, and the Hyphasis to the Ancient Greeks. The
present name "Beas" is thought to be a corruption of the older
name and original name "Vipasha" in Sanskrit. The river got this
name, Vi-pasha, the "one who removes the bondage" (pasha in
Sanskrit). According to ancient texts, the river was named after
the incident in the life of the sage Vasistha. Vasistha was
angry at the death of his 100 sons, he tried to end his life
jumping into this river, after binding himself with a rope or an
ivy. But as soon as the sage fell into the river, the kindly
river (feminine) untied all the knots, and he was safely set on
the banks. Hence, the river gained the name Vipasha in Himachal,
especially called so in the Puranas (myths) and the history.
Course of Beas River
The river rises on the southern face of Rohtang Pass in
Kullu about 13,326 feet above the sea-level, from the Beas
Kund lake. It pass through the Mandi District and enters
Kangra District at Sanghol, 1,920 feet above sea-level.
During its lower hill course the Beas is crossed by
several ferries, at many of which the means of
communication consist of inflated skins (darais). Near Reh
in Kangra District it divides into three channels, which
reunites after passing Mirthal 1,000 feet above sea-level.
On meeting the Sivalik Hills in Hoshiarpur, the river
sweeps sharply northward forming boundary between that
district and Kangra District. Then bending round the base
of Sivalik Hills, it takes the southerly direction
separating the district of Hoshiapur and Gurdaspur. After
touching the Jullundur district for a few miles the river
forms the boundary between Amritsar and Kapurthala
district. Finally the Beas joins the river Satulej at the
south-western boundary of Kapurthala district of Punjab
after a total course of 290 miles. The main tributaries of
the river are Bain, Banganga, Luni and Uhal.
Main Attractions of Beas River
attraction of the river has been so great that whoever came
here, remained to stay. The great sages Vishwamitra, Narad,
Prashar, Parshuram, Vyas, Kanav and Vashisht came here on
different occasions and meditated on the banks of this river.
Till today their temples exist in this valley of Vyas.
The Beas forms the world famous valleys of Kullu and Kangra.
This river bears evidence of those historical events which do
not find mention in the recorded history. It has played a vital
role in the development of peculiar hill culture which encompass
the life of hill people living in the towns and surrounding
villages since ages. We have to owe to this sacred river in
terms of our economy, culture and social life. The important
settlement on the bank of Beas river are Mandi, Pandoh, Kullu,
Bajaura, Sujanpur Tihra, Nadaun and Dehra-Gopipur. The total
lenght of this river is 460 km.
Important Tributaries of Beas River
Luni river rises from the South slopes of Dhauladhar in the
Kangra valley. It merges with the river Beas in the central part
of Kangra valley.
It rises in the snowy Wastes upstream of Manikaran on the
foothills of the main Himalayan range in Kullu district. It
joins the river Beas at Shamshi in Kullu valley.
Suketi river is a tributary of the Beas river in the Kangra
valley. It rises from the South facing slopes of Dhauladhar
range. A number of small channels join the Suketi river in its
Uhl River rises as two feeder channels in the area to the North
of the Dhauladhar range in Himachal Pradesh. Thereafter the two
channels cross this huge mountain barrier and merge at the base
of the Southern slopes to form the main channel of the Uhl river
in Kangra area. It flows for a considerable distance along the
base of the Dhauladhar range. Then turns towards the South-East
to merge with the Beas near the town of Mandi.
Awa River rises from the Dhauladhar range in the Kangra valley
of Himachal Pradesh. It flows in a South-Westerly direction
before joining the river Beas.
It is a tributary of the Beas river and drains the central part
of the Kangra valley.
The general direction of flow of the Banner River is towards
It joins the Beas river in the Kangra valley. It rises from the
Southern slopes of the Dhauladhar range.
It rises as a small stream from the snows on the Southern slopes
of the Dhauladhar range in Kangra district. A number of small
streams form the Gaj Khad. The Gaj river joins the Beas river a
little upstream of the Pong dam lake now known as Maharana
Pratap Sagar .
It drains the South-Western part of Himachal Pradesh. The Chakki
river rises as a small snow-fed and rain fed stream from the
Southern slopes of the Dhauladhar range. The river enters Punjab
near Pathankot and joins the Beas river.
Harla river rises as a small channel from the snows in the
depression of the North-Western plank of Kullu valley. It joins
the river Beas near Bhuntar. Numerous snow-fed streams join the
Patlikuhal river is a tributary of the Beas river in the Mandi
area of Kullu district. It rises from the snow on the Southern
slopes of the Pir Panjal range and thereafter it flows into the
Beas river upstream of Kullu.
It is a tributary of the Beas river. It rises from the base of
an offshoot of the great or main Himalayan range to the
South-East of Kullu.
It rises from the Southern slopes of the Dhauladhar range and
joins the river Beas. Steep slopes form the upper catchment of
the Manuni river.
It rises from the water divide of the Beas and Satluj rivers in
the lower ranges of the main Himalayas to the East of Kullu.
Thereafter it flows towards South-West to join the Beas river.