Zanskar River is one of the largest tributaries of the
Indus River in Ladakh
. Its headwaters are known as the "Tsarap Chu" and originate
from the snows on the north-facing slopes of the main Himalayas. These are
joined by another feeder channel flowing in from the northwest and forming
the Zanskar River.
Tributaries Of River Zanskar
The entire catchment area of the Zanskar River has been formed by the action of glaciers. Its valley is U-shaped and a number of hanging valleys open into it. Important tributaries of the Zanskar are:
· The Tsarap Chu, which rises from the north-facing slopes of the main Himalayan Range and joins the main river near Padam.
· The Doda, is another snow-fed stream.
· The Khurana River.
River Zanskar has cut a deep gorge across the Zanskar range in its middle course. It flows into the Indus about 40-km downstream of Leh.
A Remote Region
The vegetative cover in the Zanskar catchment is confined to occasional tufts of grass on the moraines and small clumps of vegetation along channels formed by snowmelt waters. Human habitation is sparse over here and the main settlements along the Zanskar River are Abring and Padam.
The Khurana River is a tributary of the Zanskar River, which in turn drains into the Indus near Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. The Khurana rises from the snow-waters at the base of the northern slopes of the Zanskar range in southeastern Ladakh .
The Khurana River flows northwest to join the Zanskar in the area northwest of Markha. It flows in a valley between the Zanskar range in the west and its offshoot in the east. Markha is located in this offshoot range.
The entire catchment area of this river has been shaped by the action of glaciers and running water. Its upper valley is U- shaped and was probably covered by a glacier in the past. Moraines laid down by glaciers are found in this valley. Waterfalls occur in the side valleys of the Khurana. Alpine meadows are found in the depressions. The rest of the valley is largely devoid of vegetative cover as it lies in the rain shadow of the main Himalayan range and human habitation is very sparse.