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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/52

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CHAPTER III

RIVERS

The Panjab Rivers.— "Panjab" is a Persian compound word, meaning "five waters," and strictly speaking the word denotes the country between the valley of the Jhelam and that of the Sutlej. The intermediate rivers from west to east are the Chenab, the Ravi, and the Bias. Their combined waters at last flow into the Panjnad or "five rivers" at the south-west corner of the Multan district, and the volume of water which 44 miles lower down the Panjnad carries into the Indus is equal to the discharge of the latter. The first Aryan settlers knew this part of India as the land of the seven rivers (sapta sindhavas), adding to the five mentioned above the Indus and the Sarasvati. The old Vedic name is more appropriate than Panjab if we substitute the Jamna for the Sarasvati or Sarusti, which is now a petty stream.

River Valleys.— The cold weather traveller who is carried from Delhi to Rawalpindi over the great railway bridges at points chosen because there the waters of the rivers are confined by nature, or can be confined by art, within moderate limits, has little idea of what one of these rivers is like in flood time. He sees that, even at such favoured spots, between the low banks there is a stretch of sand far exceeding in width the main channel, where a considerable volume of water is running, and the minor depressions, in which a sluggish and