Thursday, 5 December 2013

Indus ( Sindhu )

     Indus valley civilization is the well known word for every historians, It started on the banks of the river Indus and is is the most ancient and highly developed civilization of this planet. In Rig Veda, the river Sindhu is praised in many verses. Although some historians believe that the word Sindhu means a sea, the widely held view is that it refers to the Indus River. Therefore, Sindhu may be taken to mean the Indus River which is described as donor of gifts and owner of fertile fields. Our country came to be called Hindustan or India; these words are derived from the name Indus or Sindhu. The Sindh province of Pakistan derives its name from this river. Its name also figures in the national anthem of India. A unique feature of this civilization is that it still survives despite numerous setbacks. 

The root of the river Indus belongs to the Vedic Land. It originates at the Tibetan Plateau in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar and fed with glaciers and rivers in himalayas. It flows through Pakistan, India and Tibet countries. It flows through the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and then flows in south direction along the entire length of Pakistan and merges in Arabian sea near the port city of Karachi in Sindh. The total length of the river is 3,180km and is the longest river in Pakistan.

The Indus forms the delta of Pakistan and India mentioned in the Vedic Rigveda as Sapta Sindhu and the Iranian Zend Avesta as Hapta Hindu (both terms meaning "seven rivers"). The river has been a source of wonder since the Classical Period, with King Darius of Persia sending Scylax of Caryanda to explore the river as early as 510 BC. Ancient greeks referred Indians as the people of Indus. The word Punjab means "land of five rivers" and the five rivers are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, all of which finally merge in Indus.

The developed civilization of India is said to be Indus Valley Civilization when the major cities such as Harappa and Mohenjo-daro around 3300 BC represent the largest human habitations of the ancient world. The river’s annual flow is about 272 billion cubic yards (207 billion cubic metres)—twice that of the Nile River and three times that of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers combined.

The entire basin covers an area of about 384,000 square miles of open land, of which 204,000 lie in Pakistan. In addition, there are about 29,000 square miles which lie outside the Indus basin but are dependent on the Indus river system for their water requirements and irrigation supplies. But for the Indus waters, the fate of agriculture in Pakistan would have been very uncertain.

The Indus river dolphin (Platanista gangetica minor) is a subspecies of freshwater river dolphin found in the Indus river (and its Beas and Sutlej tributaries) of Pakistan. From the 1970s until 1998, the Ganges River dolphin and the Indus dolphin were regarded as separate species; however, in 1998, their classification was changed from two separate species to subspecies of a single species.

The Ganges river dolphin has been recognized by the government of India as its National Aquatic Animal. Both subspecies have been very adversely affected by human use of the river systems in the subcontinent.

Indus river dolphins are one of only four river dolphin species and subspecies in the world that spend all of their lives in freshwater. They are believed to have originated in the ancient Tethys Sea. When the sea dried up approximately 50 million years ago, the dolphins were forced to adapt to its only remaining habitat—rivers. Only about 1,100 exist today in the lower parts of the Indus River in Pakistan. Numbers declined dramatically after the construction of an irrigation system. Most dolphins are confined to a 750 mile stretch of the river and divided into isolated populations by six barrages. They have adapted to life in the muddy river and are functionally blind. They rely on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey including prawns, catfish and carp.


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