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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/55

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RIVERS

must have filled with astonishment every invader from the west, and it is not wonderful that they called after it the country that lay beyond. Its basin covers an area of 373,000 square miles. Confining attention to Asia these figures, large though they seem, are far exceeded by those of the Yangtsze-Kiang. The area of which a description is attempted in this book is, with the exception of a strip along the Jamna and the part of Kashmir lying beyond the Muztagh-Karakoram range, all included in the Indus basin. But it does not embrace the whole of it. Part is in Tibet, part in Afghanistan and Biluchistan, and part in Sindh, through which province the Indus flows for 450 miles, or one-quarter of its whole course of 1800 miles. It seems likely that the Jamna valley was not always an exception, or at least that that river once flowed westwards through Rajputana to the Indian ocean. The five great rivers of the Pan jab all drain into the Indus, and the Ghagar with its tributary, the Sarusti, which now, even when in flood, loses itself in the sands of Bikaner, probably once flowed down the old Hakra bed in Bahawalpur either into the Indus or by an independent bed now represented by an old flood channel of the Indus in Sindh, the Hakro or Nara, which passes through the Rann of Kachh.

The Indus outside British India.— To the north of the Manasarowar lake in Tibet is Kailas, the Hindu Olympus. On the side of this mountain the Indus is said to rise at a height of 17,000 feet. After a course of 200 miles or more it crosses the south-east boundary of the Kashmir State at an elevation of 13,800 feet. From the Kashmir frontier to Mt Haramosh west of Gilgit it flows steadily to the north-west for 350 miles. After 125 miles Leh, the capital of Ladakh, is reached at a height of 10,500 feet, and here the river is crossed by the trade route to Yarkand. A little below Leh