Shaksam River drains the extreme northern part of the
Ladakh , lying to the
north of the Karakoram Range. Also known as the "Mutzgam River",
Shaksam rises as two channels from the northwestern flank of the famous
Thereafter these two streams merge to form the main river and the river
flows in a northwesterly direction.
Forming A Ladakhi - Tibetan Boundary Range
The valley of the Shaksgam River is flanked on the left by the towering Karakoram Range and on the right by the Aghil Range, which forms the boundary between Ladakh and Tibet. It takes a U-turn and cuts a deep gorge across the Aghil range before leaving Indian Territory and flowing into the Yarkan River in Tibet.
Influenced With Glacial Atmosphere
The entire valley of this river has been carved by the action of glaciers. The side slopes support small glaciers, which pour their waters into the main stream. The left flank of the Shaksgam Valley has a greater number of such hanging valleys.
The valley bottom is littered with vast glacial deposits. These are in the form of both lateral and terminal moraines. Apart from this the river freezes for long periods in winter. There is an abrupt increase in its discharge during the late summer months.
The river flows through a cold desert, where vegetation is virtually absent. But, travelers occasionally visit this valley.