Ravi River and Its Tributaries in Himachal Pradesh

Ravi River

The Ravi River originates in the Bara Banghal area of Multhan tehsil, located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Bara-Bangahal region comprises snow-covered peaks that range in height from 3000m to about 6000m elevation. The river is glacier-fed and originates from the glaciated areas of Beas Kunderi Dhar, which is the water divide between the Beas and Ravi Rivers. 

Ravi is formed by the confluence of Bhadal Nalla, which originates from Bhadal glacier, Rai Nalla, which originates from Rai Ghar glacier, and Tantgari Nalla, which originates from Tantgari and Karu glaciers. The river flows in a north-westerly direction and is perennial. The Ravi River is 720 km long, out of which 320 km is in India, with 158 km lying within Himachal Pradesh and 162 km within Punjab. It flows past Madhopur in Punjab, enters Pakistan 26 km below Amritsar, and merges with Chenab in Pakistan. The catchment area of the basin is 14,442 sq km, with a catchment area of approximately 5,451 sq. km in Himachal Pradesh. This river passes through district Chamba at Kheri and enters Jammu and Kashmir. It is known as "The river of Lahore" because it flows past Lahore, Pakistan, on its eastern bank, 26 kilometres below Amritsar, India.

The Ravi River forms the biggest sub-micro region of Chamba district.

Main Features of Ravi river



Vedic Name


Sanskrit Name


Ancient Greek Name



158 kms


Multan Tehsil (Kangra)

Districts Along Its Course

Kullu, Chamba

Catchment Area

5528 sq. km. – 9.9% of HP’s area

Hydro Electric Projects

167 projects - 2835.12 MW

Potential Capacity

3237 MW

Important Settlements

Chamba, Bharmour, Madhopur

Notable Location

Chamba (situated on its right bank)

Tributaries of Ravi 

Bhadal River: It originates between the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges in the Bara Banghal area of central Himachal Pradesh. It flows in a westward direction and merges with the Tant Gari river before finally meeting the Ravi river. The catchment area of this river is characterized by U-shaped valleys, waterfalls, and towering peaks.

A U-shaped valley is a landform that is created by the erosional work of a glacier. It has steep valley walls with concave slopes and a broad, flat valley floor. This type of valley is typically found in the cross-section of a glacial valley or glacial troughs of mountain glaciers.

Siul River: It is fed by both snow melt waters and spring waters. It originates between the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges near the border of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The river takes a U-turn after flowing eastward and then changes its course to southwest before finally joining the Ravi river downstream of Chamba.

Baira River: This river  has its source in the southern slopes of the Pir Panjal range. Its tributaries are snow-fed, which makes it perennial throughout the year. The catchment area of this river is characterized by steep slopes, deep valleys, and terraces that have been formed by the river over a long period of time.

Tant Giri River: It originates from the eastern slopes of the Pir Panjal range in the Bharmour area of Chamba district. The river bed consists of boulders and morainic deposits. It flows through a U-shaped valley known as the Tant Giri Valley.

Budhil and Dhona (Nai): 

The Ravi River is joined by two tributaries, Budhil and Dhona (Nai), about 40 miles downstream from the source. The Budhil River originates from the Lahaul Range and is fed by the glaciers of Manimahesh Kailash Peak and Manimahesh Lake. The Nai, on the other hand, begins its course from Kali Debi pass and flows a length of 30 miles before joining the Ravi at Triloknath (colloquially called Trilokinath).

The Budhil River rises in the Lahaul range of hills and is sourced from the Manimahesh Kailash Peak and the Manimahesh Lake, both of which are Hindu pilgrimage sites. The entire length of the Budhil River is 72 kilometres (45 mi) and has a bed slope of 314 feet per mile (59.5 m/km). It flows through the ancient capital of Bharmwar, now known as Bharmour in Himachal Pradesh.

During 1858–1860, the Raja of Bharmour had considered the Budhil valley an excellent source of Deodar trees for supply to the British Raj. However, a part of the forest surrounding the temple was considered sacred and declared a reserved area.

Important dam on Ravi river

Baira Siul Hydroelectric Power Plant is a 180 MW hydro power project located on the Ravi, Baira, Siul, and Bhaledh rivers and basin in the Chamba district. The plant is NHPC's first power station to be commercially operational. 

The Chamera Dam is a hydroelectric project in Himachal Pradesh, India. The project has three stages: 

  • Chamera-I: Completed in 1994, this stage generates 540 MW of electricity.
  • Chamera-II: This stage generates 300 MW of electricity. The powerhouses for Chamera II and Chamera III are located underground.
  • Chamera III: This stage generates 231 MW of electricity. It is located in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh. The project includes a 64 m high, 73 m long concrete gravity dam.

All the three stages of Chamera are owned by NHPC Limited a company listed on the National Stock Exchange of India (Code NHPC). 

Budhil Hydro Electric Project (BHEP) is a 70 MW run-of-the-river hydro power project in the Chamba district  located on the Budhil stream, a major tributary of the Ravi River. The BHEP was commissioned on May 30, 2012.

Bajoli Holi Hydroelectric Project is a 180 MW power plant on the Ravi River in the Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh, India. The project is a run-of-river scheme that harnesses the river's hydro electrical potential.


According to the Indian Vedas, the Ravi River was traditionally known as Iravati, which was also spelled and pronounced as Airavati. To the ancient Greeks, it was referred to as the Hydraotes. It is believed that the legendary battle of the ten kings was fought on the banks of the Parushani River, which was later inferred by MacDonell and Keith as the Ravi River.

In 1929, when the Indian National Congress changed its goal to Purna Swaraj or Total Independence, President Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled the tricolor on the banks of the Ravi River at midnight on December 31st. The event was accompanied by the slogans of ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ‘Bande Mataram’.

The Manimahesh peak and lake, which feeds the Budhil River, a tributary of the Ravi, in Chamba, has several myths associated with it. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati reside in Manimahesh Kailash. A rock formation in the shape of a shivling on this mountain is considered as the manifestation of Lord Shiva, and the field at the base of the mountain is called Shiva’s Chaugan by the local people. The local Gaddi community regards this region as Shiva Bhoomi. Legend has it that before Shiva married Maa Parvati at the Mansarovar Lake, and they became universal parents, Shiva created Mount Kailash in Himachal Pradesh and made it his abode. The Manimahesh Ganga river originates in a cascade from the lake and joins the Budhil river on its left bank.

Another popular festival held in Chamba is the "Minjar Mela," which marks the triumph of the Raja of Chamba over the ruler of Kangra in 935 AD. The festival also celebrates the paddy and maize crops grown at this time of the year. On the last day of the festival, a parade is held from the Akhand Chandi Palace to Ravi River, where offerings are made to the river. This commemorates an event in which Raja Sahil Verman changed the course of the river to make the Hari Rai temple accessible to all devotees.

Read in detail about

Minjar Mela of Himachal Pradesh

Manimahesh Lake of Chamba,H.P

hpas,hpas mains,prelims,hp gk,rivers of h.p,ravi river,important dams,hp gk,geography of himachal pradesh

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