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The Indus River, also known as Sindhū by ancient indians, is one of the longest rivers in Asia. Starting off in the Tibetan highlands of western China near Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the Indus river flows through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indus River is 3,180 kilometers (1,976 miles) long and it is also the longest river in Pakistan. The inhabitants of the areas through which the Indus River flows enjoy great natural beauty and wealth.
See the fact file below for more information on the Indus River or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Indus River worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Etymology and Names
- This river was known to the ancient Indians in Sanskrit as Sindhu and the Achaemenids as Hiduš.
- The name Sindhu is a later meaning in Classical Sanskrit which means a “large body of water, sea, or ocean”.
- India is a Greek and Latin term for “the country of the River Indus”. The region through which the river drains into the sea is called Sindh and owes its name to the river (Sanskrit: Sindhu).
- Rigveda also describes several mythical rivers, including one named “Sindhu”. The Rigvedic hymns apply a feminine gender to all the rivers mentioned therein, but “Sindhu” is the only river attributed to the masculine gender, which means Sindhu is a warrior and greatest among all other rivers in the world.
Tributaries of the Indus River
- The Indus supplies the major water resources for the development of the economy in Pakistan – particularly the Breadbasket of the Punjab province – the “Land of the Five Rivers”.
- The stream of the river is also decided by the seasons – it reduces significantly in the winter, at the same time overflowing its banks in the monsoon (July to September).
- Below are the five main tributaries of the Indus River:
- Sutlej (Satluj)
- The Indus River has other smaller tributaries:
- Astor River
- Nagar River
- Dras River
- Balram River
- Ghizar River
- Gar River
- Gumal River
- Gilgit River
- Kurram River
- Kabul River
- Shigar River
- Sohan River
- Shyok River
- Zanskar River
- Tanubal River
Life in the Indus River
- Around 4000 BCE and around 3000 BCE farming settlements has began, it is the first sign of urbanization.
- Dozens of cities and towns had been established by 2600 BCE. And between 2500-2000 BCE the Indus Valley Civilization was at its peak.
- Two particular ancient cities were excavated in Indus sites the Monenjo-Daro on the lower Indus and Harappa, further upstream. The evidence suggests they had a highly developed city life; many houses had wells and bathrooms as well as an elaborate underground drainage system.
- These two ancient cities display a well-planned urbanization system in Indus.
- Todays inhabitant of the region are mainly Muslim as Pakistan is an Islamic country through which the Indus river passes and forms a major natural feature and resource are diverse in ethnicity, religion, national and linguistic backgrounds.
- Eastern Area of Indus was largely populated by people of Indo-Aryan stock, such as the Punjabis and the Sindhis.
- The Indus river is a strategically vital resource for Pakistan and India’s economy and society.
- When India and Pakistan declared Independence from the British Raj, the use of the waters of the Indus and its five eastern tributaries became a major dispute between the two country.
- Almost 30 percent of the world’s cotton supply comes from India and Pakistan, and the supply of water comes from the Indus River Valley. An average of 737 billion gallons is withdrawn from the Indus River annually to grow cotton, while Pakistan’s entire economy is driven by the textile industry.
- The water supply issue threatens the fragile peace between the nations of India and Pakistan.
- Diplomatic talks were arranged by the World Bank – India and Pakistan signed the Indus Water Treaty in 1960.
- The treaty gave India control of the three easternmost rivers of the Punjab – the Sutlej, the Beas, and the Ravi, while Pakistan gained control of the three western rivers – the Jhelum, the Chenab, and the Indus. However, India retained the right to use of the western rivers for non-irrigation projects.
- In Pakistan, there are currently three barrages on the Indus: Guddu barrage, Sukkur Barrage, and Kotri barrage. There are some bridges on river Indus, such as Dadu Moro Bridge, Larkana Khairpur Indus River Bridge, Thatta-Sujawal bridge, Jhirk-Mula Katiar bridge, and the recently planned Kandhkot-Ghotki bridge.
- According to growth models, by 2025, India’s population will grow to triple what was when the Indus Treaty was signed, while Pakistan’s population is now six times what it was then.
- climate change is speeding up the melting of the glaciers that feed the river.
- High levels of pollutants in the river have led to the deaths of the endangered Indus River Dolphin. The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency has ordered polluting factories around the river to shut down under the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act, 1997.
Indus River Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Indus River across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Indus River worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Indus River, also known as Sindhū by ancient indians, is one of the longest rivers in Asia. Starting off in the Tibetan highlands of western China near Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the Indus river flows through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indus River is 3,180 kilometers (1,976 miles) long and it is also the longest river in Pakistan. The inhabitants of the areas through which the Indus River flows enjoy great natural beauty and wealth.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Indus River Facts
- Indus and the Sic Thinking Hats
- Fill out the Boxes
- India over Pakistan Competition
- Fill in the Gaps
- The Five Tributaries
- Find It
- Other Tributary Rivers
- How can you save?
- The weather forecast!
- Indus Poster
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.