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<< Indian Himalayas << About Himalayas >> << Rivers of Himalayas >> << Indus River >>

Indus River

Northwestern Frontiers Of Indian Subcontinent
Indus
Sindhu
India’s Name Was Derived From This Rivers Name

In the Rivers of Himalayas the Trans Himalayan Indus River rises near the Mansarovar Lake on the Tibetan plateau. This beautiful lake is the examples of stunning beauty It enters the Himalayas in southeastern Ladakh near its confluence with the River Gurtang at an elevation of 4,200m. Thereafter it follows a north by northwest course between the towering Ladakh range in the north and the Zanskar Range in the south. There are a number of human settlements that lie along the Indus River in Ladakh, namely Leh, Marol, Skardu and Bunji. The lion river, the Indus derives its name from the Sanskrit word,  Sindhu, which means a large water body, a sea or an ocean. In Greek, it is called “Sinthos” and in Latin, the “Sindus”. The name gradually came to represent the people who lived beyond it and the name Hindus was born. It took less time to derive the name - Indus gave people a lot more.

In the Rig Veda, there is a reference to “Sapta Sindhus”, where Sapta means seven and Sindhus, refers to rivers. The seven rivers are the Indus, her five tributaries and the river Saraswati. The Rig Veda is also said to enumerate and many medicinal plants found on the banks of the river Indus.

The Mahabharata, another ancient Indian epic refers to Sindhu and the king who ruled the region that nestled on the banks of the river. While dating epics and texts are still arbitrary, the great Indus Valley Civilization at Harappa and Mohenjodaro, now in Pakistan, are eloquent testament of the culture and people of the region. A site similar to that and liked to that period has been unearthed at Lothal Gujarat, India.

The Invaders to Go Across

This water continued to charm the people and rulers like Akbar and Jehangir built canals from its tributaries to feed huge and beautiful Persian gardens. Even if the Sikhs once spread their empire far enough to build another fort on the other side of river Indus, invaders like Nadir Shah from Persia and Mahmood of Ghazni continued to gallop and ravage the wealth of India. While the Indus was a valiant guardian at the northwest frontier, it was not so difficult to overpower. It roared and spread itself, but it never hurt.

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