Jhelum River

The Jhelum River (Urdu: جہلم‎, Punjabi: ਜਿਹਲਮ/جہلم, Kashmiri: Vyeth (ویتھ/व्यथा)) is a river in northern India and eastern Pakistan. It is the westernmost of the five rivers of the Punjab region, and passes through the Kashmir Valley. It is a tributary of the Indus River and has a total length of about 725 kilometres (450 mi).[5]


Hydaspes,[1] Bidaspes,[2] Vitastā,[3] Bihat, Wihat, Bihatab, Biyatta, Jailam[4]
Jhelum River-Pakistan
Jhelum River during the summer
Indus river
Flow of Jhelum.
Native nameجہلم (in Urdu)
ਜਿਹਲਮ (Punjabi)
झेलम (Devanāgarī)
Vyeth (ویتھ/व्यथा) (Kashmiri)
Country India  •  Pakistan
Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationVerinag Spring
 ⁃ location
Chenab River
Length725 km (450 mi)
 ⁃ average221.9 m3/s (7,840 cu ft/s) (near Baramulla)
Basin features
 ⁃ rightLidder River, Neelum River, Sind River


Vitasta at Verinag
Verinag Spring, major source of Jhelum River.

Anjum Sultan Shahbaz recorded some stories of the name Jhelum in his book Tareekh-e-Jhelum as:[6]

Many writers have different opinions about the name of Jhelum. One suggestion is that in ancient days Jhelumabad was known as Jalham. The word Jhelum is reportedly derived from the words Jal(pure water) and Ham (snow). The name thus refers to the waters of a river (flowing besides the city) which have their origins in the snow-capped Himalayas.

However, some writers believe that when "Dara-e-Azam" reached a certain place on the river bank after winning many battles, he fixed his flag at that place and called it "Ja-e-Alam" which means "Place of the Flag". With the passage of time it became Jhelum from "Ja-e-Alam".

The Sanskrit name of this river is Vitasta. The river's name is derived from an apocryphal legend regarding the origin of the river as explained in Nilamata Purana. Goddess Parvati was requested by sage Kasyapa to come to Kashmir for purification of the land from evil practices and impurities of Pisachas living there. Goddess Parvati then assumed the form of a river in the Nether World. Then Lord Shiva made a stroke with his spear near the abode of Nila (Verinag Spring). By that stroke of the spear, Goddess Parvati came out of the Nether World. Shiva himself named her as Vitasta. He had excavated with the spear a ditch measuring one Vitasti (a particular measure of length defined either as a long span between the extended thumb and little finger, or as the distance between the wrist and the tip of the fingers, and said to be about 9 inches), through which the river - gone to the Nether World - had come out, so she was given the name Vitasta by him.[7]


Verinag Water Spring
Verinag Water Spring-Chief Source of Jhelum River
A passenger traversing the river precariously seated in a small suspended cradle Circa 1900

The river Jhelum is called Vitastā in the Rigveda and Hydaspes (Greek: Υδάσπης) by the ancient Greeks. The Vitastā (Sanskrit: वितस्ता, fem., also, Vetastā) is mentioned as one of the major rivers by the holy scriptures — the Rigveda. It has been speculated that the Vitastā must have been one of the seven rivers (sapta-sindhu) mentioned so many times in the Rigveda. The name survives in the Kashmiri name for this river as Vyeth. According to the major religious work Srimad Bhagavatam, the Vitastā is one of the many transcendental rivers flowing through land of Bharata, or ancient India.

Alexander the Great and his army crossed the Jhelum in BC 326 at the Battle of the Hydaspes River where he defeated the Indian king, Porus. According to Arrian (Anabasis, 29), he built a city "on the spot whence he started to cross the river Hydaspes", which he named Bukephala (or Bucephala) to honour his famous horse Bukephalus or Bucephalus which was buried in Jalalpur Sharif. It is thought that ancient Bukephala was near the site of modern Jhelum City. According to a historian of Gujrat district, Mansoor Behzad Butt, Bukephalus was buried in Jalalpur Sharif, but the people of Mandi Bahauddin, a district close to Jehlum, believed that their tehsil Phalia was named after Bucephalus, Alexander's dead horse. They say that the name Phalia was the distortion of the word Bucephala. The waters of the Jhelum are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty. India is working on a hydropower project on a tributary of Jhelum river to establish first-use rights on the river water over Pakistan as per the Indus Waters Treaty.[8]


The river was regarded as a god by the ancient Greeks, as were most mountains and streams; the poet Nonnus in the Dionysiaca (section 26, line 350) makes the Hydaspes a titan-descended god, the son of the sea-god Thaumas and the cloud-goddess Elektra. He was the brother of Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, and half-brother to the Harpies, the snatching winds. Since the river is in a country foreign to the ancient Greeks, it is not clear whether they named the river after the god, or whether the god Hydaspes was named after the river.


The river Jhelum rises from Verinag Spring situated at the foot of the Pir Panjal in the south-eastern part of the valley of Kashmir. It's joined by its tributaries Lidder River at Mirgund Khannabal and Sind River at Shadipora in Kashmir Valley. It flows through Srinagar and the Wular lake before entering Pakistan through a deep narrow gorge. The Neelum River, the largest tributary of the Jhelum , joins it, at Domel Muzaffarabad, as does the next largest, the Kunhar River of the Kaghan valley. It also connects with rest of Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmir on Kohala Bridge east of Circle Bakote. It is then joined by the Poonch river, and flows into the Mangla Dam reservoir in the district of Mirpur. The Jhelum enters the Punjab in the Jhelum District. From there, it flows through the plains of Pakistan's Punjab, forming the boundary between the Chaj and Sindh Sagar Doabs. It ends in a confluence with the Chenab at Trimmu in District Jhang. The Chenab merges with the Sutlej to form the Panjnad River which joins the Indus River at Mithankot.


Dams and barrages

The river has rich power generation potential in India. Water control structures are being built as a result of the Indus Basin Project, including the following:

  • Mangla Dam, completed in 1967, is one of the largest earthfill dams in the world, with a storage capacity of 5,900,000 acre feet (7.3 km3)
  • Rasul Barrage, constructed in 1967, has a maximum flow of 850,000 ft³/s (24,000 m³/s).
  • Trimmu Barrage, constructed in 1939 some 20 km from Jhang Sadar at the confluence with the Chenab, has maximum discharge capacity of 645,000 ft³/s (18,000 m³/s).
  • Haranpur (Victoria Bridge) Constructed in 1933 Approximate 5 km from Malakwal near Chak Nizam Village. Its length is 1 km mainly used by Pakistan Railways but there is a passage for light vehicles, motorcycles, cycles and pedestrians at one side.
  • Uri Dam with 480 MW Hydro electric station is located in Jammu and Kashmir state.
  • Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant 330 MW Hydro electric station is located in Jammu and Kashmir state



Jhelum river, Baramullah, Kashmir, 1880s

Jhelum river, Baramullah, Kashmir, 1880s

Jhelum River abt 1900

Jhelum River c. 1900; photo taken by Eugene Whitehead Esq.

Crossing the boiling floods of Jhelum River by a bridge of one raw-hide rope, at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir (c. 1903)

Jhelum River at Uri in Kashmir, 1903

Bridge made of three ropes across the Jhelum river

Rope Bridge at Karli, 1908

Srinagar (Kashmir), 1969, bridge over the Jelhum river.

Bridge over the river, Srinagar, 1969

Jehlum River Muzaffarabad best view

Jhelum river near Muzaffarabad (2014)

River Jehlum, Muzaffarabad.

File:River Jehlum, Muzaffarabad

Jehlum- River Muzaffarabad

Near Muzaffarabad, 2014

Jhalum river water fall at verinag

The Jhelum at Verinag, 2014

Jhelum River Bridge

Jhelum River at Jhelum City, 2005

See also


  1. ^ The Quarterly Review. Murray. p. 170. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  2. ^ Bakshi, S. R. Kashmir Through Ages (5 Vol). Sarup & Sons. p. 110. ISBN 9788185431710. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  3. ^ Rapson, E. J. Ancient India: From the Earliest Times to the First Century AD. Cambridge University Press. p. 171. ISBN 9780521229371.
  4. ^ Naqvi, Saiyid Ali. Indus Waters and Social Change: The Evolution and Transition of Agrarian Society in Pakistan. Oxford University Press Pakistan. p. 10. ISBN 9780199063963. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  5. ^ Jhelum River -- Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved on 2013-10-04.
  6. ^ Shahbaz, Anjum Sultan (2003). Tārīkh-i Jihlam (in Urdu). Main Bazar, Jhelum: Buk Kārnar [Book Corner]. OCLC 60589679.
  7. ^ The Nilamata Purana English Translation by Dr. Ved Kumari verses 247-261
  8. ^ "India fast-tracks work on Jhelum river hydroelectric power project". Retrieved 25 May 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 31°12′N 72°08′E / 31.200°N 72.133°E


Baramulla (Urdu: بارہمولہ‎; bærəˈmʊlə) is a city and a municipality in the Baramulla district in the Indian-administered territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is on the bank of the Jhelum River downstream from Srinagar, the state capital.

Battle of the Hydaspes

The Battle of the Hydaspes was fought in 326 BC between Alexander the Great and King Porus of the Paurava kingdom on the banks of the river Jhelum (known to the Greeks as Hydaspes) in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent (modern-day Punjab, Pakistan). The battle resulted in a Greek victory and the surrender of Porus. Large areas of the Punjab between the Hydaspes (Jhelum) and Hyphasis (Beas) rivers were absorbed into the Alexandrian Empire, and Porus was reinstated as a subordinate ruler.

Alexander's decision to cross the monsoon-swollen river despite close Indian surveillance, in order to catch Porus' army in the flank, has been referred to as one of his "masterpieces". Although victorious, it was also the most costly battle fought by the Macedonians. The resistance put up by King Porus and his men won the respect of Alexander, who asked Porus to become one of his satraps.

The battle is historically significant for opening up the Indian subcontinent to Ancient Greek political (Seleucid, Greco-Bactrian, Indo-Greek) and cultural influences (Greco-Buddhist art), which continued to have an impact for many centuries.

Chak Khasa

Chak Khasa is a village beside the Jhelum River and union council of Jhelum District in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. It is part of Jhelum Tehsil. Majority of the population belong to the Mughal and Panhwar Sohlan Rajput's, Also the Nawab of Jhelum family resides here.

Dharyala Jalap

Dharyala Jalap is a village and union council, near the Jhelum River, of Jhelum District in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. It is part of Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. The village gets its name from the Jalap tribe, who make up the bulk of the population.

Earthquake Memorial Bridge

Earthquake Memorial Bridge is a 246 meter long extradosed bridge in Muzaffarabad connecting Naluchi and Chattar on the banks of Jhelum River. This is the 2nd highest bridge in Asia. The bridge, costing over Rs. 1.5 billion, was funded by Japan Bank for International Cooperation and was completed on August, 2014. The bridge also features 15-metre sidewalks on either side.


Gatiali (or Patan Gatiali or Gatiyalian) is a village in Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan. is north of Jhelum City and South of Mangla Dam.

Today a small village on the west Jhelum River bank in Punjab, in fact in east of Gatiali's land there is only border of Azad Kashmir. Importance of this small village in the history is not known but the Road from Jhelum to Mangla on the River Jhelum's West bank Called Jhelum-Gatiali-Shekhupura Road (Shekhupura is a village on Mangla Dina Road where is the link).

The famous project of bridge on Jhelum River to link the Azad Kashmir with Pakistan directly is located near to Gatiali Village and Called Pull Patan Gatyalian.

Another evidence is the Gatiali Gate in Rohtas Fort. It is a single gate 9.15 metres high and 6.1 metres deep. This gate faces to the village Gatali Ford (ravine) which is called also Patan Gatiali or Gatiyalian, the important point to cross the River Jhelum for the Kashmir Valley, thus the name.


Jauharabad (Urdu: جَوہرآباد‎) is the district headquarters of Khushab District Jauharabad is named after Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar, a prominent figure from the Pakistan independence movement. It is included in the Khushab district of Punjab, located in the Northern part of the country. Key locations near Jauharabad include the Salt range to the north and Khushab, the Jhelum River, and the Mianwali District to the west.

Jhelum Bridge

The Jhelum Bridge (Urdu: جہلم پل ‎) is situated between Jhelum and Sarai Alamgir on Jhelum River in Pakistan. This bridge was built in 1873 by the British engineer William St. John Galwey. It is composed of iron trusses over many concrete piers. It has single railway track and a road on one side of the track. This bridge is still used by railway and road traffic. It is the Longest Railway Bridge of Pakistan spanning across length of 2.6 miles (4.225 km)



Kashmir Valley

The Kashmir Valley, also known as the Vale of Kashmir, is an intermontane valley in the portion of the Kashmir region administered by India. The valley is bounded on the southwest by the Pir Panjal Range and on the northeast by the main Himalayas range. It is approximately 135 km long and 32 km wide, and drained by the Jhelum River.Kashmir division is one of the three administrative divisions of the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmir division borders Jammu Division to the south and Ladakh to the east while Line of Control forms its northern and the western border. The division consists of the following districts: Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Bandipore, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar.

Kasmira Kingdom

Kasmira was a kingdom identified as the Kashmir Valley along the Jhelum River of the modern Jammu and Kashmir state. Possibly, the sage Kashyapa or a descendant of this sage lived here, since the name Kas is derived from the name Kashyapa like the name Caspian of the Caspian Sea. During the epic ages this was one among the territories of the Naga race. The Naga are related to Kashyapa; according to the Puranas, the Naga race originated from Kashyapa. The Kasmiras were allies of the Kuru king Duryodhana.

Kohala Bridge

The Kohala Bridge across the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River, forms part of one of the land routes from the Azad Kashmir to Pakistan.

The bridge is located at the town of Kohala, 38 kilometres (24 mi) north of Murree and 35 km south of Muzaffarabad. A suspension bridge was constructed in 1877 and vanished in an 1890 flood. A new transportable steel bridge was constructed in 1899, and in 1990 it too vanished in a flood. A third bridge was constructed on the north edge of Union Council Birote Kalan, Abbottabad District, in 1993.

Kolahoi Glacier

Kolahoi Glacier is a valley glacier in the northwestern Himalayan Range situated 26 kilometers north from Pahalgam and 16 kilometers south from Sonamarg, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Kolahoi glacier lies at an average elevation of 4,700 metres (15,400 ft). The highest peak named after the glacier is Kolahoi Peak has an elevation of 5425 meters. The origin of the glacier is below the cirques on the north flank of Kolahoi Peak. It is the main source of Lidder River and its waters become the tributaries of the Jhelum River. Its water serves the population of Anantnag district, where it is mainly being used for drinking and agricultural purposes. The water finally discharges itself into Jhelum River near Khanabal Anantnag.

Kolahoi Glacier is among the victims of global warming, and has shrunk in area from 13.57 km2 in 1963 to 10.69 km2 in 2005 or a loss of 2.88 km2 in three decades. In 1974 the glacier was about 5 km long and is known to have extended for at least 35 km during the Pleistocene. According to another report, Kolahoi is a hanging glacier and hollowed inside. It is a matter of great concern for Kashmir Valley. Many expeditions have failed here.

In September 2018 a group of nine trekkers went on an expedition to summit the Kolahoi Peak. After successfully summiting the peak, the group was caught in rock fall near Burdalaw region on the glacier during their descent, due to which team lost two of its members: Adil Shah, founder of Alpine Adventures group and Naveed Jeelani who was a junior administrative officer from Srinagar. Their bodies were later retrieved from the glacier after two days due to bad weather.

Mandi Bahauddin District

Mandi Bahauddin, also spelled Mandi Baha ud Din, (Punjabi and Urdu: ضلع منڈی بہاؤالدین‎) is a district in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is bordered on the northwest by the Jhelum River, on the southeast by the Chenab River (which separates it from Gujranwala District and Gujrat District), and on the southwest by the Sargodha District. The district has an area of 2,673 square kilometres (1,032 sq mi). Mandi district currently has 1.5 million population.

Mangla Dam

The Mangla Dam (Urdu: منگلا بند‎) is a multipurpose dam located on the Jhelum River in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir within the State of Jammu Kashmir. It is the seventh largest dam in the world. The dam got its name from the village of Mangla. Major Nasrullah Khan of the Pakistan Army revealed for the first time in 2003, that the project was designed and supervised by Binnie & Partners of London (the team led by partner Geoffrey Binnie), and it was built by Mangla Dam Contractors, a consortium of 8 U.S. construction firms, sponsored by Guy F. Atkinson Company of South San Francisco.

Neelum River

The Neelum River (Hindi: नीलम नदी, Urdu: دریائے نیلم‎), or Kishanganga (Hindi: कृष्णगंगा नदी, Urdu: کرشن گنگا ندی‎), is a river in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan; it starts in the Indian city of Gurais and then merges with the Jhelum River near the Pakistani city of Muzaffarabad.

Rasul Barrage

Rasul Barrage is a barrage on the River Jehlum between Jhelum District and Mandi Bahauddin District of the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is situated 72 km downstream of Mangla Dam.

Sarai Alamgir Tehsil

Sarai Alamgir (Urdu: ﺗﺤﺼﻴﻞ سرائے عالمگیر ) is one of four administrative areas, or Tehsils, in the District of Gujrat. The Tehsil is located on the eastern bank of the Jhelum River across from the larger town of Jhelum. East of the Tehsil is the Upper Jhelum Canal.

Uri Dam

Uri Dam is a 480 MW hydroelectric power station on the Jhelum River near Uri in Baramula district of the Jammu and Kashmir region administered by India. It is located very near to the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan. The station is largely built under a hill with a 10 km tunnel. It is of the run-of-the-river type without a large dam, since the Indus Waters Treaty gives Pakistan the exclusive right to regulate the Jhelum River. On 4 July 2014 a 240 MW Uri-II power project which is a new project located just downstream of Uri I, was inaugurated.

Wular Lake

Wular Lake (also spelt Wullar) is one of the largest fresh water lakes in Asia. It is sited in Bandipora district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The lake basin was formed as a result of tectonic activity and is fed by the Jhelum River. The lake's size varies seasonally from 12 to 100 square miles (30 to 260 square kilometers). In addition, much of the lake has been drained as a result of willow plantations being built on the shore in the 1950s.

Hill stations
Mughal gardens
See also
The Rivers of the Punjab
Dams, Barrages
Hydrography of surrounding areas
Hydrography of the Indian subcontinent
Inland rivers
Inland lakes, deltas, etc.


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