(Last Updated on : 19/01/2009)
The Meghna River is an essential river in Bangladesh, one of the three that forms the Ganges Delta, the largest on earth. The Meghna River is formed within Bangladesh by the merging of different rivers originating from the hilly areas of eastern India. The river converges with the Padma River in Chandpur District. The river finally flows into the Bay of Bengal in Bhola District.
The Meghna is the widest river among those flowing completely inside the limits of Bangladesh. At one point near Bhola, Meghna River is 12 km wide. In its lower courses this river follows almost a straight patha long its way. Despite its very calm and quiet appearance, this river has caused many deaths every year. Several ferry have drowned in the past and have killed hundreds. The place near Chandpur is a very dangerous one.
The Meghna is formed inside Bangladesh by the joining of different rivers originating from the hilly regions of eastern India. The Meghna is formed inside Bangladesh above Bhairab Bazar by the merging of the Surma and Kushiyara rivers. Down to Chandpur, Meghna is hydrographically referred to as the Upper Meghna. After the Padma joins, it is referred to as the Lower Meghna.
Near Muladhuli in Barisal district, the Safipur River is an offshoot of the Surma that creates one of the main rivers in South Bengal. This river is 1.5 km wide and is one of the widest in the country as well. At Ghatalpur of Brahmanbaria District, the river Titas emerges from Meghna and after circling two large bends by 240 km, falls into the Meghna again near Nabinagar Upazila. Titas forms as a single stream but braids into two distinct streams, which remain separate before re-joining the Meghna.
In Daudkandi, Comilla, the great river Gomoti, created by the confluence of many streams, joins Meghna. This river supports Meghna a lot and increases the water flow considerably. The pair of bridges over Meghna and Gomoty are two of the country's largest bridges.
The Dhaleshwari before Chandpur reinforces Meghna as well. The name for the largest distributary of the Ganges in Bangladesh is the Padma River. When the Padma joins with the Jamuna River, the largest distributary of the Brahmaputra, and they join with the Meghna in Chandpur District, the result in Bangladesh is called the Lower Meghna. When the brown and hazy water of the Padma mix with the clear water of the Upper Meghna, the two streams do not mix but flow in parallel down to the sea - making half of the river transparent and the other half brown. This strange color of the river is always a striking attraction for people.
After Chandpur, when the river has flowed in combination with Padma and Jamuna, it moves down to the Bay of Bengal in an almost straight line. In her course from Chandpur to Bay of Bengal, the Meghna braids into a number of little rivers including the Pagli, Katalia, Dhonagoda, Matlab and Udhamodi. All of these rivers flow out from the Meghna and rejoin again at points downstream.
Near Bhola, just before flowing into the Bay of Bengal, the river is dissected into two main streams in the Ganges delta and separates an island from both sides of the mainland. The western stream is called the Ilsha and the eastern one is called Bamni. This river is the widest one in Bangladesh and one of the widest of the world.