CHAPTER 5:DRAINAGE SYSTEM OF HARYANA
The state of Haryana lies in the vast plains between the Ganga river system in the East and Indus river system in the West Yamuna, a tributary of Ganga is the only major river flowing through the state. There are other small non-perennial rivers and lakes in the state.
Drainage system refers to the network of well defined channels through which a river and tributaries flow. An area drained by a river and its tributaries is called as Drainage Basin. Ancient Indian scriptures like Rigveda mention two important rivers flowing through Haryana i.e. Saraswati and its tributary, Drishdavati.
The Saraswati flowed from North to South in North-Eastern Haryana and Drishadvati from South to North in Southern Harayana. These were regarded as sacred rivers. However, there is no trace of both these rivers in present times. The rivers in Haryana can be divided into two types of drainage system i.e., Northern Drainage System and Southern Drainage System.
Rivers in the Northern Drainage System
The rivers in the Northern drainage system originates from Shivalik ranges of the Himalayan mountains. Therefore, they are mostly perennial. The rivers in this system are as follows:
The ancient name of Yamuna is Yami. It originates from Yamunotri glacier on the Banderpunch range at an altitude of 6,330 m above mean sea level in the state of Uttarakhand. It forms the Eastern boundary of Haryana with Uttar Pradesh. It enters Haryana near the Kalesar forest in Yamunanagar district. It flows through the Eastern boundary of the districts of Yamunanagar, Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat and leaves Haryana near Hasanpur in district Faridabad.
At Tajewala barrage (built in 1876) in district Yamunanagar, the water of the Yamuna river is diverted to the Western Yamuna canal for irrigation. The river flows for 320 km in the state. It is a perennial river. River Somb Thapana, Sahibi and Pathrala are its tributaries.
The ancient Saraswati river flow from Yamunanagar, but it has now disappeared. Saraswati river have drained the North and North-West region of India including Haryana and Punjab in ancient times.
Saraswati originated from the Har-ki-Dun glacier in West Garhwal. The ancient sites in Kunal and Banawali, in district Fatehabad, has been found on the banks of this river. Sapta Sindhu is the name given for the region bounded by Saraswati river in the East and Sindhu (Indus) is in the West.
At present, this river can be seen seasonally in the form of small streams originating from Shivalik hills. Narhatari tirth mentioned in Mahabharata is situated on the bank of this river. It enters Haryana from Adi Badri in Yamunanagar district. It flows from the towns of Bhawanipur, Balchappar, Kheda, Pehowa and Sirsa. On the banks of this river, Maharishi Vedvyas had compiled Mahabharata.
It originates from the Shivalik range near a place called Dagshai in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh at a height of 1927 m. It enters Haryana near Pinjore, in Panchkula where it flows about 292 km South-West. After passing through Ambala, Kaithal, Fatehabad and Sirsa, it reaches Bikaner in Rajasthan and finally disintegrate in Hanumangarh in Rajasthan. It is a non-perennial river. Jhagra, Markanda, Tangri, Chautang and Kaushalya are its tributaries.
Its ancient name was Aruna. It originates from the lower Shivalik hills in the Paonta valley and enters Haryana near Ambala. During monsoon, this stream brings extensive floods and heavy deposits of silt.
The surplus water is carried on to the Sanisa lake, where the Markanda joins the Saraswati. Its total length is 90 km. It is a perennial river. It runs through the districts of Ambala, Kaithal and Kurukshetra. Its main tributary are Tangri, Ran and Begna.
It originates from the Morni hills of Shivalik and flows towards the South up to the Chajju Majra village. Further, it follows a Southern path and flows towards the East of Ambala Cantt and merges with Markanda river in Kurukshetra district. Its total length is 70 km. It is a non-perennial river. Balaiali and Aamri are its main tributaries.
It originates from Shivalik hills and flows parallel to Saraswati river. In Rigveda, this river is mentioned as Drishdavati. Its total length is 9 km. Siswal village is situated on the bank of this river. It is a Seasonal river.
It originates from Shahpur village in Yamunanagar and meets Chautang river at a place called Ladwa. It is also known as Rakshi river. It is a non-perennial river.
Rivers in the Southern Drainage System
The rivers in the Southern drainage system originates from Aravalli ranges that lies in the Southern portion of Haryana. The ranges run through the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. The rivers in this system are as follows:
It originates from the Mewat hills near Jitgarh and Manoharpur in Rajasthan. It enters Haryana in Rewari, and after reaching Rohtak, it branches off into two smaller streams and finally reaches the outskirts of Delhi.
Then, it flows into the Yamuna. Its total length is 300 km. This river flows through Rewari, Gurugram and Jhajjar districts. It is a non-perennial river. Indori, Sota and Kotkasim are its main tributaries.
It originates from the Mewat hills near the old fort of Indore in Nuh district. This river is also divided into two branches. The main branch joins Sahibi river on the Southern border of Rewari tehsil, while the other branch around Bhora, joins Sahibi Nadi near Pataudi in Gurugram district. Its total length is 198 km and it is fed by rains. It is a non-perennial river.
It originates from the hills of Aravalli. It flows in the Southern direction to join the Sahibi in Mahendragarh district in Haryana. It total length is 77 km. It flows through the towns of Rewari, Kosli and Jhajjar and finally joins Behror Nala. It is also called Kasaunti. It is a non-perennial river.
Dohan river rises from Neemthana in Sikar district of Rajasthan. It enters Haryana in Mahendragarh district. It flows in Haryana for a length of 50 km. It is a non-perennial river.
Lakes in Haryana
Haryana is abundant in both natural and man-made lakes. These lakes offer picturesque views and attract the tourists by their real beauty. Lakes of Haryana are known for their placid waters. Many of them have been provided with a number of water sports to be enjoyed by the tourists. Some major lakes in Haryana are discussed below.
This lake is located in Faridabad district of Haryana. It is spread across 206 acres, surrounded by hilly areas of the Aravalli range in Haryana. It is a natural lake however its embankments are man-made.
It got its name from the migratory birds that used to visit the lake. In 1947, this lake was constructed for irrigation project. Constant mining activities around the lake and low rainfall have dried the lake.
This lake is located in the Jhajjar district of Haryana. This lake is home to thousands of birds and it was declared officially a wildlife sanctuary in 1985. It is spread over an area of over 1000 acres. Bhindwas is also the largest wetland of Haryana. This lake attracts thousands of migratory birds in winter season from across the world.
This lake is an ancient reservoir that lies near Anagpur dam in Faridabad. This artificial lake is present in the backdrop of Aravallis. It was created in the 11th century. This place is visited by a number of tourists every year, who come here to take part in the cultural celebrations of Surajkund International Craft Mela. This lake or kund is believed to be built by Suraj Pal, a Tomar ruler. The water of Surajkund lake gets dried in summer and gets fed by the monsoon rainfall.
This is a holy lake located at Thanesar in the district of Kurukshetra. It is believed that Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe, conceived the Earth at this place. The sarovar is mentioned in the memoirs of Al-Biruni, named Kitab-ul-Hind. The sarovar also has a mention in Mahabharata citing its use by Duryodhana to hide underwater. Its important feature is the holy seat of Lord Mahadev, which is a small but holy temple built to stand within the lake and is linked to the outer periphery by a small bridge.
This lake is a reservoir located at the base of Aravalli hills in Sohna, Gurugram district of Haryana. It is the biggest lake of Haryana covering an area of 3000 acres (12.14 sq km). This lake was formed when a stone and earthen dam constructed by the British, was commissioned for rainwater harvesting in 1947. This lake is fed mainly by monsoon rain, pouring into a trough at the base of the Aravalli hills.
This lake is located in Karnal and lies midway between Delhi to Chandigarh near the Grand Trunk road. Kama lake is a lovely tourist spot that is beautifully landscaped. It is a man-made lake created in 1972 on marshy shallow land. It covers an area of about 17 acres and is built in the shape of a circle.
Sannihit Sarovar Lake
This lake is located in Thanesar in the district of Kurukshetra. This lake is a sacred reservoir of water that carries a tag of religious importance with it. This lake is considered an abode of the Hindu Lord Vishnu. This lake is believed to be the confluence or meeting place of seven Saraswati rivers.
The lake is located in the Shivalik foothills in Chandigarh which is the combined capital of Haryana and Punjab. This lake is a man-made lake that was built under the guidance of Le Corbusier, the main architect of Chandigarh and PL Verma, who was the chief engineer. This lake was created in the year 1958. It is spread over an area of 188 hectares. This lake is known for its splendid beauty. This lake was declared a National Wetland in 1988.
Some Other Lakes of Haryana
Khalilpur Lake Gurugram
Kotla Lake Nuh (Mewat)
Ujina Lake Nuh (Mewat)
Sultanpur Lake Gurugram
Bibipur Lake Kurukshetra
Tilyar Lake Rohtak
Blue Bird Lake Hisar
Wetlands in Haryana
Wetlands are areas, where the water covers the surface of the soil either permanently or seasonally. They are turned into marshes, swamps and consist of a distinct ecosystem. Wetlands recognised by National Wetlands Conservation Program in Haryana are asfollows :
It is located in Basai village in Gurugram district of Haryana. It is a marshy land and is spread over an area of250 acres. Many plant and bird species thrive on it. Agricultural activities also take place on the outskirts of the wetland. The wetland supports a high diversity of birds and has been recognised as an important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA).
It is located in Jhajjar district and spread over an area of 1047 acres. Plant and bird species are found in this wetland. Water logging, siltation and rise of agricultural fields around it, are the major problem faced by this wetland.