(Last Updated on : 20/01/2009)
The Brahmaputra River is one of the great rivers of Asia. The history of Brahmaputra River starts its 3,000-km journey to the Bay of Bengal from the slopes of Kailash in western Tibet. As Tibet's great river, the Tsangpo, crosses from east to the high-altitude Tibetan plateau north of the Great Himalayan Range, carving out myriad channels and sandbanks on its way. As it tumbles from the Himalayan heights towards the plains of the subcontinent it meanders back on itself, cutting a deep and still unnavigated gorge, until finally turning south it emerges in Arunachal Pradesh as the Dihong. Just beyond Pasighat, it meets the Dibang and Lohit where it finally becomes the Brahmaputra.
As the rivers Dibang and Lohit join the Siang, it gets the name of Brahmaputra and flows into Assam. Brahmaputra is to Assam what the Ganges is to the northern part of India and Kaveri is to the south. Coming down from a place called Sadiya, south of Arunachal Pradesh, the Brahmaputra passes through Dibrugarh, Neamati, Tezpur, Guwahati, and finally joins Padma, the easternmost tributary of the Ganges. This joined stream then flows into Bangladesh where it merges with river Meghna, one of the most significant estuaries of the Ganges. The Brahmaputra valley is closely related with lores from the great Indian epic Mahabharata and with Shaivite traditions or the worship of Lord Shiva, the destroyer in the Hindu pantheon.
Every few yards there is a ruin or a site that brings legendary associations with it. One site, which is considered very holy, is the Kamakhya temple, about 2 km from the banks of the Brahmaputra, near Guwahati. It is believed that if one do not go up the steps leading to this temple of feminine power, Shakti, or the other half of Shiva, he will be made to cross the Brahmaputra seven times. That was quite a threat, for the Brahmaputra is not a quiet river that lets you pass easily. In fact, there are expanses that are so dangerous that locals believe a monster lives in those patches. Every year that monster takes a toll on the human life as boats overturn or floods swallow the neighboring lands.
Brahmaputra River has its history of flow through the dense forests and tribal settlements. A seldom-run river, the Brahmaputra offers beautiful scenery, excellent big white water and great wild life in a less-visited corner of the sub-continent. The Brahmaputra has its source at holy Mount Kailash Mansarover in Tibet, traverses the entire Tibetan plateau, and then makes its great bend into India, cutting into the Himalaya the deepest canyon in the world, a canyon which has as yet dodged away all attempts at exploration.
The various adventurous sports held in the Brahmaputra River have helped the India's poor high-end adventure reputation to be changed. The experienced crew of rafters and kayakers has put together a rafting expedition down the mighty Brahmaputra. In the History of Brahmaputra River, this 180-km stretch of water will mark the first non-military expedition on the river and the first commercial foray in the politically susceptible region.