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Country India, Pakistan
Source Lake Rakshastal
Length 1,500 km (932 mi) approx.
Discharge for Ropar
- average
500 m
/s (17,657 cu ft/s)
Sutlej Valley from Rampur c. 1857
The Sutlej is a tributary to the Indus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the river in Punjab. For the Royal Navy vessels named after it, see HMS Sutlej.
For the river known as River Sutlej in Hong Kong, see River Sutlej.
The Sutlej River (alternatively spelled as Satluj River) (Punjabi:
, Hindi:

, Urdu:

) is the longest of the

five rivers that flow through the historic crossroads region of
Punjab in northern India and Pakistan. It is located north of the
Vindhya Range, south of the Hindu Kush segment of the
Himalayas, and east of the Central Sulaiman Range in Pakistan.
The Sutlej is sometimes known as the Red River. It is the
easternmost tributary of the Indus River. Its source is Lake
Rakshastal in Tibet. From there, it flows at first west-northwest for
about 260 kilometres (160 mi) to the Shipki La pass, entering
India in Himachal Pradesh state. It then turns
slightly, heading west-southwest for about 360
kilometres (220 mi) to meet the Beas River near
Makhu, Firozpur district, Punjab state.
Continuing west-southwest, the Sutlej enters
Pakistan about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) east of
Bhedian Kalan, Kasur District, Punjab province,
continuing southwest to water the ancient and
historical former Bahawalpur princely state.
About 17 kilometres (11 mi) north of Uch Sharif,
the Sutlej unites with the Chenab River, forming
the Panjnad River, which finally flows into the
Indus river about 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of
the city of Bahawalpur. The area to the southeast
on the Pakistani side of the Indian border is called the Cholistan
Desert and, on the Indian side, the Thar Desert.
The Indus then flows through a gorge near Sukkur and the fertile
plains region of Sindh, forming a large delta region between the
border of Gujarat, India and Pakistan, finally terminating in the
Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi, Pakistan.
Contrary to the claims of Punjab state in India, a small part of
Panchkula district in Haryana state is part of the Sutlej river basin
The waters of the Sutlej are allocated to India under the Indus Waters
Treaty between India and Pakistan, and are mostly diverted to
irrigation canals in India.
There are several major hydroelectric
projects on the Sutlej, including the 1,000 MW Bhakra Dam, the 1,000 MW Karcham Wangtoo
Hydroelectric Plant, and the 1,530 MW Nathpa Jhakri Dam.
There has been a proposal to build a
214-kilometre (133 mi) long heavy freight canal, to be known as the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL),
in India
to connect the Sutlej and Yamuna rivers. The project is intended to connect the Ganges, which flows to the
east coast of the subcontinent, with points west, via Pakistan. When completed, the SYL would enable
Coordinates: 2923N 7102E
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inland shipping from India's east coast to its west coast (on the Arabian sea) without having to round the
southern tip of India by sea, vastly shortening shipping distances, alleviating pressures on seaports, avoiding
sea hazards, creating business opportunities along the route, raising real estate values, raising tax revenue,
and establishing important commercial links and providing jobs for north-central India's large population.
However, the proposal has met with obstacles and has been referred to the Supreme Court of India.
1 History
2 Geology
3 Gallery
4 See also
5 References
The Upper Sutlej Valley was once known as the Garuda Valley by the Zhangzhung, the ancient civilization of
western Tibet. The Garuda Valley was the centre of their empire, which stretched many miles into the nearby
Himalayas. The Zhangzhung built a towering palace in the Upper Sutlej Valley called Kyunglung, the ruins of
which still exist today near the village of Moincr, southwest of Mount Kailash (Mount Ti-se). Eventually,
the Zhangzhung were conquered by the Tibetan Empire.
Today, the Sutlej Valley is inhabited by nomadic descendants of the Zhangzhung, who live in tiny villages of
yak herders.
The Sutlej was the main medium of transportation for the kings of that time. In the early 18th century, it was
used to transport devdar woods for Bilaspur district, Hamirpur district, and other places along the Sutlej's
See also: Ghaggar-Hakra River
The Sutlej, along with all of the Punjab rivers, is thought to have drained east into the Ganges prior to 5
There is substantial geologic evidence to indicate that prior to 1700 BC, and perhaps much earlier, the Sutlej
was an important tributary of the Ghaggar-Hakra River (thought to be the legendary Sarasvati River) rather
than the Indus, with various authors putting the redirection from 2500-2000 BC,
from 5000-3000 BC,
or before 8000 BC.
Geologists believe that tectonic activity created elevation changes which redirected
the flow of Sutlej from the southeast to the southwest.
If the diversion of the river occurred recently
(about 4000 years ago), it may have been responsible for the Ghaggar-Hakra (Saraswati) drying up, causing
desertification of Cholistan and the eastern part of the modern state of Sindh, and the abandonment of
Harappan settlements along the Ghaggar. However, the Sutlej may have already been captured by the Indus
thousands of years earlier.
There is some evidence that the high rate of erosion caused by the modern Sutlej River has influenced the
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local faulting and rapidly exhumed rocks above Rampur.
This would be similar to, but on a much smaller
scale than, the exhumation of rocks by the Indus River in Nanga Parbat, Pakistan. The Sutlej River also
exposes a doubled inverted metamorphic gradient.
Using inflated animal
skins to cross the Sutlej
River, c. 1905

Sutlej River in Kinnaur
Valley, Himachal
Pradesh, India

Cattle grazing on the
banks of the river in
Rupnagar, Punjab,
See also
List of rivers of India
Cis-Sutlej states
^ "Sutlej valley" ( The Free Dictionary. 1.
^ "Dams & barrages location map in India, Central Water Commission, GoI" (
/wrpapp.html?show=JI00410). Retrieved 2012-12-14.
^ [1] ( 3.
^ "Nathpa Jhakri Hydroelectric Power Project, India" ( Retrieved 14 May 2011.
^ Sutlej-Yamuna Link 5.
^ Clift, Peter D.; Blusztajn, Jerzy (December 15, 2005). "Reorganization of the western Himalayan river system
after five million years ago". Nature 438 (7070): 10011003. doi:10.1038/nature04379 (
/10.1038%2Fnature04379). PMID 16355221 (
^ Mughal, M. R. Ancient Cholistan. Archaeology and Architecture. Rawalpindi-Lahore-Karachi: Ferozsons
1997, 2004
^ Valdiya, K. S., in Dynamic Geology, Educational monographs published by J. N. Centre for Advanced
Studies, Bangalore, University Press (Hyderabad), 1998.
^ *Clift et al. 2012. "U-Pb zircon dating evidence for a Pleistocene Sarasvati River and capture of the Yamuna
River." Geology, v. 40. [2] (
^ K.S. Valdiya. 2013. "The River Saraswati was a Himalayan-born river". Current Science 104 (01). [3]
^ Thiede, Rasmus; Arrowsmith, J. Ramn; Bookhagen, Bodo; McWilliams, Michael O.; Sobel, Edward R.; and 11.
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Strecker, Manfred R. (August 2005). "From tectonically to erosionally controlled development of the Himalayan
orogen". Geology 33 (8): 689692. doi:10.1130/G21483AR.1 (
^ Grasemann, Bernhard; Fritz, Harry; Vannay, Jean-Claude (July 1999). "Quantitative kinematic flow analysis
from the Main Central Thrust Zone)NW-Himalaya, India: implications for a decelerating strain path and the
extrustion of orogenic wedges". Journal of Structural Geology 21 (7): 837853.
doi:10.1016/S0191-8141(99)00077-2 (
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Categories: Tributaries of the Indus River Indus basin Rivers of Tibet Rivers of India
Rivers of Pakistan International rivers of Asia Rivers of Himachal Pradesh Rivers of Punjab, India
Rigvedic rivers IndiaPakistan border Border rivers
This page was last modified on 11 May 2014 at 01:22.
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