River Indus, which is one of the largest rivers of the world, originates from a small lake in Tibet which is called the Mansarovar Lake. From there the Indus begins it long journey to the Arabian Sea. River Indus holds particular importance to the country Pakistan and has a major impact on its economy. The country is a third world country with an agro based economy and hence derives its water needs from the river. Apart from the obvious reason of proving water, the river serves as a travelling route, tourism, and has also been home to many ancient civilizations.
The route followed by the river is of particular interest to many geographers and hikers who have made countless efforts to conquer the ranges which has been home to a part of the river. The Indus mainly gets its water sources from the glaciers of Himalayas. From there it follows a southern path through the Northern areas of Pakistan. It flows in the Jammu and Kashmir before entering the Gilgit and Baltistan areas. The river is joined by a number of tributaries from the east and the west. From the west, it is joined by the Kabul, Swat, Tochi, Ghizer and Gomal rivers. The main tributaries of the east are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej.
River Indus flows through three countries: China, India and Pakistan. But the country which receives a major part and most benefit out of it is Pakistan. The northern areas of Swat and Baltistan have been embellished by the pure blue waters of the river. The river provides as a source of irrigation or the crops and the view of lush green fields surrounding the gushing blue river is remarkable.
In the initial part of the journey, when flowing without any tributary, the river is mostly not very wide. It more looks like a thin band of very fast flowing water. The speed of the river has cut beautiful features in the upper northern areas, with dangling caves and glacial, all of which are very beautiful to see and hence provide excellent tourist places. The river has eroded the deepest gorge of the world in Dasu patan area in the Kohistan district which is 6500m deep. Tourism here is however very difficult as the inhospitable peaks and unpredictable weather all result in a very hostile place. Families however often visit the lower northern areas to escape the heat of the south.
As the river gets joined by tributaries, the river looses its speed and becomes deeper and wider. In these areas, there is a lot of sedimentation as river deposits its sediments along the boundaries. These areas result in many popular alluvial terraces where the land is very fertile and favorable for the growth of crops. Although soil erosion reduces in the lower areas, the river still forms many features on the land. These include old flood plains, new flood plains, alluvial terraces, alluvial plains, the delta etc.
The Indus is also particularly famous for its historic purposes. It has been the home to a number of famous civilizations, the most popular of which is the Indus valley civilization. The remains of this civilization still remain in the Moenjo daro and Harappa districts.