Canoe Stories: Brahmaputra

Canoe Stories Brahmaputra

The mighty Brahmaputra is one of the greatest rivers in the world. In terms of volume and in terms of length. It is a river that has multiple names depending on where it flows through. It is called the Tsangpo in China. It takes on the name Siang as it enters Arunachal Pradesh in India and continues its turbulent journey through the Himalayan mountains making it one of the most sought after white water runs in the world. As it enters the plains in Assam it takes on the name Brahmaputra which it retains till it flows into Bangladesh where it is called the Jomuna. It is the tenth largest river in the world by discharge and the fifteenth longest. But I will paddle only a portion of it.

In Hindu mythology Brahmaputra is the Son of Lord Brahma. The Brahmaputra is one of the very few rivers that are considered "male" in the Hindu pantheon.

About 3,848 km long, the Brahmaputra is an important river for irrigation and transportation. The average depth of the river is 124 feet and maximum depth is 380 feet and is prone to catastrophic flooding. The average discharge of the river is about 700,000 cu ft/s and floods can reach over 3,500,000 cu ft/s. It is a braided river and is highly susceptible to channel migration. It is also one of the few rivers in the world that exhibit a tidal bore. In places in Assam, it can be as wide as 10 km wide.

Majuli is a river island in the Brahmaputra River and the first island district of the country. The island had a total area of 1,250 square kilometres at the beginning of the 20th century, but has shrunk to 352 square kilometres in 2014.

The Lohit River is a tributary to the Brahmaputra River.It rises in eastern Tibet and surges through Arunachal Pradesh for 200 kilometres before entering the plains of Assam. Tempestuous and turbulent, and known as the river of blood, it flows through the Mishmi Hills, to meet the Siang at the head of the Brahmaputra valley. Thickly forested for the most part, alpine vegetation gives way to subtropical forests, and then to some of the densest tropical jungles in all of India. Rhododendrons bloom in many hues in the upper reaches, while orchids reveal themselves in the lower section. This is a treasure house of medicinal plant and herbs, and the home of Mishmi teeta, the coptis plant, prized the world over for its medicinal properties. The Mishmi tribe holds sway in the hills, while in the plains are the Khamptis and the Singphos.

According to current information, this is the first time a canoe will be paddling down the length of the Brahmaputra.

The DOWN THE BRAHMAPUTRA expedition of the CANOE STORIES commences at Parashuram Kund on the Lohit River and then joins the Brahmaputra to finally end at Guwahati, the capital of Assam.

Canoe Stories Brahmaputra Route