Brahmaputra River and its Tributaries

In the previous posts, we have studied Ganges River System, Yamuna River System and Indus River System. So, in this post, we will study the one more Himalayan river ie, Brahmaputra River System.

Origin and Flow

In India, Brahmaputra flows mainly in two states, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Though this river is a transboundary river, it drains a large area of North East in India.

The river originates from the Tibet Plateau. Precisely, the originating point is Chemayungdung Glacier in southwestern Tibet. In Tibet, the river is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo. Here, Tsangpo means Purifier.

Flowing through India, it joins river Ganges in Bangladesh. The river flows through Bangladesh as the Jamuna river. The river Ganges and the Brahmaputra form a vast delta, the Sundarbans. Sundarbans is famous for its Mangrove plants.


Dibrugarh, Pasighat, Guwahati and Tezpur are the important urban centres situated on the banks of Brahmaputra. World’s largest Riverine Island Majuli, also lies on the river Brahmaputra.

The left bank tributaries of Brahmaputra,

  • Dibang,
  • Lohit and
  • Dhansiri

The right bank tributaries of Brahmaputra,

  • Subansiri,
  • Kameng,
  • Manas,
  • Sankosh and
  • Tista

So, we will discuss each tributary of Brahmaputra in detail.

Left Bank Tributaries of Brahmaputra River


Dibang is a principal tributary of Brahmaputra. It originates from Himalayan near to Tibet border. Mishmi Hills found along the upper course of the river. So, it enters the plain area of Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh and joins Brahmaputra river.


River Lohit also originates from eastern Tibet region. It flows through Mishmi Hills and valley of Lohit river is thickly forested because of Alpine and Sub-tropical vegetation. So, the river valley is famous for a large variety of medicinal plants.


The river Dhansiri originates from the Nagaland. It is the main river of Golaghat, Assam and Dimapur, Nagaland. So, it is famous for its swampy forested area.

So, this was all about the left bank tributaries of Brahmaputra river. Now, we will study the right bank tributaries in detail.

Let’s summarize the tributaries of the Brahmaputra river in the diagram. Because visual things are always easy to memorize. ?

Brahmaputra River System: River flow and its tributaries
Brahmaputra River System: River flow and its tributaries

Right Bank Tributaries of Brahmaputra River


It flows through southern Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. Gold River is another name for this river because it’s gold dust. The river provides Kayaking opportunity because of its swift flow.


The river originates from the Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. It flows through west Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh and Sonitpur district of Assam.

The famous Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga National Park are located near the Kameng river.


Manas River is a transboundary river as it originates from Bhutan. So, basically, the river rises from the Himalayan Foothills between Bhutan and India. So, the river flows the Bhutan and Assam before it joins the mighty Brahmaputra river.

The river valley drains two major reserves forest areas. One is Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan and another is Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam, India.


The river Sankosh is known as Gadadhar/ Swarnakosha/ Puna Tsang Chu (Bhutan) river. It originates from Bhutan. In India, it flows through the Assam and West Bengal border. So, the entire catchment area of the river is densely forested.


So, here we have a river Tista. Tista river originates from the North Sikkim from the Himalayas. It mainly flows through the Rangpo district of Sikkim. This district is famous because of its tourist places.

Teesta river forms a border between West Bengal and Sikkim. The river also flows through Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. I have mentioned Jalpaiguri because it is famous for its Tea Plantation (Witch Hunt!!!). So, after the Jalpaiguri, the river enters in Bangladesh and merges with Brahmaputra river.

Here, I would like to add one more diagram, which depicts urban centres on the banks of the river Brahmaputra.

Important Centres on the banks of the Brahmaputra River
Important Centres on the banks of the Brahmaputra River

So, this was all about the Brahmaputra River system. In the upcoming post, we will discuss the strategical importance of the Brahmaputra river. Because the river mainly flows through the North-Eastern States, it is important for this region.

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