The Brahmaputra River
The Brahmaputra River, originates from the Angsi Glacier, near Mount Kailash on the northern side of the Himalayas in Tibet. On the origin, the river is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in the Tibetan language. It and receives many tributaries in Tibet and flow 1100 km towards east and turns south entering the Arunachal Pradesh after flowing through a deep gorge named Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon. On entering Arunachal Pradesh, the river is known as Siang. Siang flows rapidly through the eastern Himalayas, descending the heights of Tibet. On reaching the plains, the river is known as Dibang. At the head of Assam valley, the Lohit River mingle with the Diang and forms the Brahmaputra. On entering the Assam valley, it becomes very wide, up to 20 km at certain places. In Assam valley, the river flows towards the west in a braided 700 km long course receiving many tributaries from Eastern Himalayas. Then turns south and enters Bangladesh near Dhubri of Assam. In Bangladesh, it is known as Padma and Meghna before falling into the Bay of Bengal.
Brahmaputra in Assam Valley
The Brahmaputra river’s course has been changing dramatically in Assam valley over time. The soil formation and land building process is continuous and creates vast expanses of alluvial soil deposited fertile landforms by erosion and silt deposition. Bars, scroll bars, and sand dunes at the edge of the flood plain are formed and destroyed by deposition and erosion. In past two and half centuries, the course of the Brahmaputra has changed, leaving an old Brahmaputra river bed behind. These old river beds are rich in floral and faunal biodiversity.
National Parks on the bank of Brahmaputra River
In Assam, three national parks are located on the bank of the Brahmaputra river. On the head of Assam plains the Dibru-Saikhowa National Park located on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river. In the mid of Assam valley, the Kaziranga National Park is located on the south bank and Orang National Park on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river. These three national parks are the wildlife hotspots of the world. The Brahmaputra sustains these unique ecosystems.
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is located in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh district of Assam. It is also declared as a Biosphere Reserve including Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary in the year 1997. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park was notified in the year 1999 over an area of 340 sq km.
The Kaziranga National Park is located in Golaghat, Karbi Anglong in Nagaon districts of Assam. National Park is a World Heritage site having two-third of World’s great one-horned rhinoceros population. This National Park was notified in the year 1968 over an area of 429 sq km.
Orang National Park is located in Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam. This is the only major wildlife hotspot on the northern bank of Brahmaputra river dominated by great Indian rhino. This National Park was notified in the year 1999 over an area of 78.81 sq km.
All the national parks on the bank of Brahmaputra are unique, having ecosystem harbouring exclusively unique wildlife thereon. Some of the important mammal, brids and reptilian species are as follows.
Great One Horned Rhinoceros, Feral horses, Royal Bengal tigers, Asiatic water buffalo, Chinese ferret badgers, Particoloured flying squirrel, Malayan giant squirrel, Pigmy hog, Chinese pangolin, Hog badger, Royal Bengal tiger, Clouded leopard, Slow loris, Pig-tailed macaque, Assamese macaque, Hoolock gibbon and hog deer.
In the Brahmaputra rivers presence of Gangetic river dolphin is also recorded.
White-winged wood duck, Bengal florican, Himalayan griffon, Indian vulture, Slender-billed vulture, Rufous-rumped grassbird, Brown fish owl, Greater adjutant stork, Black-necked stork.
Assam roofed turtle, Kinng cobra, Monitor lizards etc.