Yarlung Tsangpo

The Yarlung Tsangpo is the upper stream of the river Brahmaputra, which flows in the Tibet region. It is the longest river in Tibet. It is also called Yarlung Zangbo.

Key Points

  • The river originates at the Angsi Glacier, which is located southeast of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake.
  • The river flows through Tibet forming the South Tibet Valley and enters India at Arunachal Pradesh. In Arunachal, the river is wider than its upper course and is called Siang.
  • After reaching Assam, the river flows with intense water volumes as the Brahmaputra, after which it flows in Bangladesh. It enters Bangladesh at Ramnabazar.
  • The river Yarlung Tsangpo is home to a number of river expeditions. It is also called “Everest of Rivers” due to its extreme flow conditions. The first such attempt was made by a group from Japan in the year 1993.
  • It is the world‘s highest major river and its longest tributary is the Nyang River.
  • Presently, the Jamuna River is the main channel of the Yarlung Tsangpo. Jamuna River flows southward to meet the Ganges.

Kayaking Expedition at Yarlung Tsangpo

A kayaking expedition was attempted for navigating the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in October 1998. It was sponsored by the National Geographic Society. But, the expedition ended with a tragedy, and an expert kayaker Doug Gordon died. In the year 2002, an international group completed the 1st descent of the upper Tsangpo gorge section.

China may build hydropower capacity on Yarlung Tsangpo

As per media reports, China could build a hydropower facility on the Yarlung Tsangpo river, which is a section of the Brahmaputra River. Chairman of state-owned Power Construction Corporation of China, Yan Zhiyong hinted at the possibility in a conference saying that a dam on the river is a historic opportunity.

As per reports, presently China has a hydropower capacity of about 350 GW. China requires another 250 GW of hydroelectric capacity by the year 2060 to achieve its carbon neutrality target.

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