The Indus river system

Indus is one of the major Himalayan rivers. It is part of the three largest rivers of India, the others being Ganga and Brahmaputra.

The Indus river system

The Indus rises near lake Mansarovar, near Tibet.

From the Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir, it enters India.

A beautiful gorge is formed at the part where the Indus enters India in Ladakh.

Tributaries of the Indus

In Kashmir, it is joined by many tributaries, such as the Zaskar and Nubra.

It emerges through the mountains at Attock, after flowing through Baltistan in Pakistan.

Near Mithankot in Pakistan, the five rivers of Punjab join and flow into the Indus.

These rivers are the Satluj, Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab, and Beas.

The Jhelum originates from a spring in southeast Kashmir, and joins Chenab in Trimmu.

The Ravi, however, joins up with the Chenab above Rangpur, having originated from Kullu hills near the Rohtang pass.

The Beas is the only tributary of the Indus that lies entirely within India.

The deep gorges of some of these rivers, like the Satluj, indicate that these rivers are older than the Himalayas, as is the Indus.

Other facts about the Indus

The Indus meets the Arabian sea eventually, east of Karachi in Pakistan.

The Indus plain has a gentle slope, and the Indus basin presents great hydropower potential.

The water from the Indus basin has actually benefitted the dry desert areas, facilitating human inhabitation into the land.

The Indus river itself runs for about 2900km, making it one of the largest rivers in the world.

Around 710 km of the 2900km length of the Indus lies in India, the rest is in Pakistan.

In India, over a third of the Indus basin is located, in states such as Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Jammu & Kashmir.

The rest of the basin lies in Pakistan.

The waters of the Indus river system are shared by India and Pakistan according to the Indus water treaty of 1960.

According to this treaty, India can only utilize 20% of the total discharge of the system.

This makes sense as most of the Indus river system lies in Pakistan.


The Indus is one of the oldest and longest rivers in the world.

It originates from Tibet, and enters India through Ladakh.

A little over 33% of the Indus river system is located in India.

India and Pakistan share the waters of the Indus through the Indus water treaty. India’s share is 20% of the total discharge of the system.