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Chenab is a beautiful river in Pakistan, flowing through the mountains of Jammu and ending its journey by submitting its natural glory to the mighty River Indus. Meandering through some of the most important cities, the fast-flowing river deposits rich sediment along its banks, making the soil fertile for plantation and thus providing a source of livelihood to many local inhabitants. River Chenab is not only the source of fertile soil, but many poets and artisans have sought inspiration from the mesmerizing river set against the backdrop of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, which is reflected in their poetry and art pieces.
Legendary poets like Allama Iqbal and Faiz Ahemd Faiz were born in Sialkot, which is one of the cities standing in proximity to River Chenab. Let us walk you through the banks of the most celebrated river of the country, which is rich in history and remains an integral part of popular Pakistani folklore.
Map of River Chenab
The name Punjab is made of two Urdu words: “punj,” which means five, and “aab,” which means water. Thus the name of the province Punjab is reflective of the five free flowing rivers the province boasts to have. Chenab is one of the five rivers flowing through Marala, which is about 24 km away from Sialkot. It continues its journey through Behlolpur, Dhool Kalan, Kathala, Khanki, Takht Hazara, Chiniot, Bukharian, Muhammadi Shareef, Hussainabad, Bula, Garh Maharaja, Samandwana, Mochiwali, Shaher Sultan and completes its path at Mithankot where it merges into the vast River Indus.
In the Himalayas, the melting snow forms a small rivulet emerging from its slopes. Slowly and gradually it transforms into a full flowing river. River Chenab is a confluence of two streams, Chandra and Bhaga in India from where it has taken its name Chenab.
At the beginning, River Jhelum joins in and then further downstream Ravi and Sutlej also fall into River Chenab, before meeting River Indus, which eventually completes its journey by flowing into the Arabian Sea. River Chenab covers a 1000 km long journey, nourishing various towns and villages. Carrying silt from the plains and plateaus of Kashmir River Chenab deposits the fertile soil along the way.
Significance of River Chenab in Pakistani Folklore
Besides being a source of inspiration for many poets and writers, River Chenab has a deep influence on some of the most popular folklore of Pakistan, especially the story of Sohni and Mahiwal, which is one of the famous tragic romances of Punjab. Here’s how the story goes: Sohni had a talent for painting earthenware pots with intricate designs. The well-baked pots were made by his father and she used to tuck them under her arm and place it on her waist.
A rich merchant, Izzat Baig, from another village came to her father’s shop and saw Sohni painting the pots in full concentration. He immediately fell in love and continued visiting the shop just to catch a glimpse of Sohni engrossed in her work. He continued to stay back in the village to continue meeting his beloved. Slowly, he lost all his money and Sohni’s father hired him to her buffaloes – hence he was named Mahiwal, which means buffalo man.
Sohni deeply fell in love, but her father married her to another potter, who lived across the River Chenab. Sohni, who couldn’t eliminate her feelings for Mahiwal, swam across the river to meet her beloved. Since she didn’t know how to swim, she took a well-baked earthenware pot with her to aid her journey.
One day her sister-in-law saw her carrying the earthenware pot across the river. Upon Sohni’s return, the sister-in-law changed the pot with an unbaked one. The next night when Sohni swam across the river she soon realized that the pot was dissolving in the water. She called out to Mahiwal, who swam across the River Chenab to save his beloved from drowning. They both drowned in the River of Lovers, holding each other’s hands.
Quick Facts about River Chenab
Here are some quick and amazing facts about the River Chenab
- It is also called the “River of Lovers” or “River of Romance”— the terms have their roots in Punjabi folklore
- The River of Chenab has a total length of 605 miles i.e. 974 km
- It feeds several irrigation canals on its way
- Baglihar Dam is being built on River Chenab under the Indus Water Treaty
- The banks of River Chenab have fertile soil
So, this was a quick overview of the most amazing River Chenab in Pakistan. Don’t forget to write to us at email@example.com and we will surely get back to you. Subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page. You should also take a look at our comprehensive blogs on Mountains of Pakistan, Dams of Pakistan and Trekking Places in Pakistan. Stay tuned to the Zameen Blog, the best real estate blog in Pakistan.