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Beautiful Rivers of Nepal

Abhishek Subedi July 15, 2020

Our country has many water resources such as waterfalls, rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. Nepal, the world’s richest country in terms of beauty and natural resources, possess enigmatic lakes that are found in various geographies of Nepal. It is the second richest country in water resources. Nepal is a hidden paradise for nature buffs and the adventurous souls. The one who are looking for an escape from a hectic life to nature’s lap. Nepal is a land-locked country that is relatively small in size and area, but it is home to several rivers. These rivers of Nepal are undoubtedly beautiful additions to the splendid scenic landscape of the mountain nation. Besides the many advantages of the rivers, including power generation and irrigation. The main tributaries of Nepal are excellent flag bearers of water tourism and adventure.

1. Koshi

Koshi shared with India and China, flows for a total of 450 miles. Meandering along the southern slopes of Nepal, Koshi is also called the Saptakoshi because of its seven main tributaries. Each of these tributaries are excellent river systems abounding in various adventure activities coupled with stunning scenic views. Interestingly, the Koshi is also called the ‘Sorrow of Bihar’. Once it enters India due to its high tendency of flooding. Although prone to floods, the Kosi in the highlands of Nepal amongst the pristine beauty of the Himalayas is an adventure magnet. 

Beautiful Rivers of Nepal

The Sun Koshi, Tamor River and Arun River, tributaries of the Koshi are well-known for various river adventures. The Sun Koshi or the River of Gold is one of the most famous rivers for white water rafting and kayaking. Its picturesque landscapes also make it accessible for camping. Sun Koshi features amongst the top 10 places in the world that are famous for white water rafting. The mineral deposits sparkle on the river bed, and the several white beaches are excellent as stopovers. Bhote Koshi, a tributary of the Sun Koshi, is also an excellent destination for bungee jumping along with river expedition activities.

The Koshi is 720 km (450 mi) long and drains an area of about 74,500 km2 (28,800 sq mi) in Tibet, Nepal and Bihar. In the past, several authors proposed that the river has shifted its course for more than 133 km (83 mi) from east to west during the last 200 years.

2. Gandaki  River

Gandaki River is also known as Narayani, and its river system lies in between the Karnali basin on the west and the Koshi river system on the east. The river is also called Sapta-Gandaki because of its seven main tributaries that together form the Gandaki basin. The branches of Gandaki are famous rivers of Nepal that network together to create vital hydropower generation, as well as various breathtaking natural features. One of its tributaries, the Kaligandaki creates a deep gorge called the Kali Gandaki Gorge or Andha Galchi. This gorge is one of the deepest in the world, forming the fantastic Rupse Waterfall crashing from a height of 300m. Along the north of the Mahabharat Range on the Kaligandaki is Nepal’s largest hydro-power project.

Beautiful Rivers of Nepal

Named after the legend of Shiva, the Trishuli is believed to have been created by his trident. Easily accessible from Kathmandu and Pokhara, the Trishuli River is a popular river rafting destination. The Budi Gandaki flows into the Trishuli and is also often the starting point to rafting the Trishuli. With exhilarating gorges, grand rapids, as well as many manageable sections, the Trishuli River is often crowded with both experienced and beginner rafters. The Marsyangdi with its alluring mountain scenery is a tributary of the Gandaki and is considered amongst the best for river rafting. The Annapurna Conservation Area and Sanctuary are the added attractions which can be trekked after enjoying an exciting rafting experience.

3. Kankai

The Kankai or Mai Khola is considered a holy river and has many tourist points along with its courses, such as the Domukha, Chuli, Dhanuskoti and Maipokhari. The Kankai Irrigation Project has also been developed recently in the Terai region of Nepal. Holy river of millions of Hindu Devotees living throughout Nepal. Passes through the hills of Ilam and plains of Jhapa District. Kotihom river Bank is the centre for Death rituals of millions of Hindus living in Jhapa and Ilam.  

Beautiful Rivers of Nepal

Kanki Mai or Mai khola has the several points of tourism like Domukha, Dhanuskoti, Chuli, Chepti and Maipokhari. The river overflows during the monsoon and has the possibility of overflowing through the thousands of hectares of fertile plains of Jhapa. It is really beautiful to see the local fisherman fishing in the river and the children taking bath in the heat of the sun. Kotihom Surunga Municipality holds annual Mai Mela Fair where Millions of people from Jhapa, Morang, Ilam and various parts of India come to enjoy and perform the religious activity on the Day of Magh 1st.

4. Rapti River

The West Rapti drains the mid-western regions of Nepal before entering India to join the Ghaghra. The East Rapti River flows in the Chitwan Valley and forms the northern boundary of the Chitwan National Park.

Beautiful Rivers of Nepal
Chitwan: Sauraha

5. Bagmati River

The Bagmati River of Nepal separates Kathmandu from Patan and is also considered a holy river. Several Hindu temples are located along its banks. The Bagmati River is considered the source of Nepalese civilization and urbanization. The importance of Bagmati also lies in the fact that Hindus are cremated on the banks of this holy river, and Kirants are buried in the hills by its side. According to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati River before cremation, so that the reincarnation cycle may be ended.  

The Chobar gorge cuts through the Mahabharat Range, also called the Lesser Himalaya. This 2,000-to-3,000-meter (6,600 to 9,800 ft) range is the southern limit of the “middle hills” across Nepal. An important cultural boundary between distinctive Nepali and more Indian cultures and languages, as well as a major geological feature.  

Bagmati river

The basin of the Bagmati River, including the Kathmandu Valley, lies between the much larger Gandaki basin to the West and the Koshi Basin to the east. These adjacent basins extend north of the main Himalayan range and cross it in tremendous gorges; in fact, the Arun tributary of the Kosi extends far into Tibet. The smaller Bagmati rises some distance south of the Himalaya. Without glacial sources, its flow is more dependent on rainfall, becoming very low. During the hot season (April to early June), then peaking during the monsoon season (mid-June to mid-August). In these respects, the Bagmati system resembles the (West) Rapti system lying between the Gandaki basin and the Karnali basin in the far west of Nepal. 

6. Sharda or Mahakali River

Mahakali river

Flowing along the Nepal Himalayan border, the beautiful Sharda River in Nepal. It is also known as the Mahakali River in Sanskrit. The river flows through two very beautiful national parks namely the Shuklaphanta National Park and the Dudhwa National Park. Water rafting is a popular activity at the River.  

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