Beas river- Manali’s soul and spirit

The Beas river

Beas River is an important river of North India. The river is perennial stream covers 470kms and drains into the Sutlej river. The river originates from the state of Himachal Pradesh and flows through the state of Punjab, where it merges with the Sutlej. The river forms an important part of the northern river basin and is important to the state of Himachal and Punjab. The tour of Himachal region, especially Manali is incomplete without Beas.

Overview and history of Beas river;

  • The name Beas was derived from the Sanskrit word Vipasa, also known as Hyphasis in Greek. The Rig Veda mentions the river as Arjikuja.
  • The name Beas is also considered a misnomer for Vyas. According to original sources, the river is called as Vyas, in honour of Veda Vyasa.
  • The river historically marks the north-west boundary of Alexander’s vast empire.
  • The rapid currents of the stream defied his army from entering main land India and ended Alexander’s India conquest. This marked the end of Alexander’s conquests.
  • The Beas River flows originates from the eastern Pir Panjal ranges in Himachal Pradesh. The point of origination is Beas Kund, near the Rohtang Pass.
  • The stream flows southwards via Manali towards Kullu, Mandi and then to Kangra district.
  • The river sweeping the lower Shivaliks enters Punjab.
  • The river flows between Amritsar and Kapurthala, along with the town of Beas and merges into Sutlej.
  • The Beas river along with Ravi, Chenab, Satluj and Jhelum form the five rivers of Punjab. The meaning of Punjab is “land of five rivers”.
  • The Beas river was developed under the Beas Project for irrigation and hydroelectricity. The Parbati, Larji and Pandoh dam developed in the lately currently operate on the Beas.

Importance of Beas river for Manali;

The Beas River flows right through the heart of Manali. The river divides old and new Manali. The most important aspect of manali’s tourism industry is the presence of the Beas river. The river adds to the scenic beauty of the town. Apart from the beauty one can sit and enjoy at the riverside. River rafting and river crossing are also available. The river flows parallely to the city of Manali along the Mall Road. There are a lot many hotels on and before the Mall Road which provide a perfect river view.

Accidents and news;

The calm and beautiful Beas river turned a disaster for some young college students. In June 2014 a tour guide and his fellow students drowned in the river, near Pandoh in Mandi. The students drowned after a sudden release of water from the Largi dam, without prior warning. The gush of the water swept the students away, and none of them managed to survive. The dam authorities replied that the tour operator acted carelessly and took students in the danger zone, without any prior knowledge about the consequences. The incident marked fear in people of the river and the authorities were instructed to seal all approachable points to the river.

This accident managed to put a temporary hold on illegal river activities, but things were back to normal with the course of time. Currently, the river is quite approachable, and everyone can openly reach it from any point. The risk and factor of uncertainty are still very much prevalent, but people tend to take that risk and go an extra mile.

 

The Beas river is the important perennial river of north India. The river adds to the beauty and serenity of Manali and provides the whole region with electricity, fertile land and water. the river is a boon to the tourism industry of the state and also a boon to state of Himachal Pradesh.

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