Sankosh River

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Category Geological Systems
Allied Category River System
What is it? A River System
In the Nation of Bhutan, India and Bangladesh
Geographical Position
Geometric Position (Latitude and Longitude


Sankosh is a river system which exists in the Kingdom of Bhutan, Republic of India and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. It is referred to in the Kingdom of Bhutan as the Puna Tsang Chhu River, in the Republic of India as the Sankosh River and in the People's Republic of Bangladesh as the Dudhkumar River.

The Kingdom of Bhutan

Puna Tsang Chhu is a major river which drains West Central Bhutan. It rises as Mo Chu River from the snowy wastes at the base of the main Himalayan Range of northern Bhutan. Thereafter it flows in a general direction towards south to enter the plains west of Sarbhang.

The upper catchment of the Mo Chu River is glaciated. The high mountain tops are under a permanent cover of snow. The middle and lower courses flow along V-shaped valleys that have been carved by running water. The main geomorphic features of this tract include river terraces, interlocking spurs, cliffs and ridges. It has cut deep gorges across the lower Himalaya and the outer foothills.

A number of large snow-fed streams including Pho Chhu join the Mo Chu River at Punakha Dzong and Wangdu Phodrang1. The Punakha Dzong, which is situated immediately above the confluence of the two rivers, is one of the most beautiful dzongs in Bhutan and the winter residence of the Central Monk Body. The upper reaches of the Pho Chhu are susceptible to ice blockages, and the dzong has been damaged on several occasions by glacial outburst floods (GLOF). At Wangdue Phodrang, (altitude 1364 m), the river is joined by the west flowing Dang Chhu and it enters a precipitous gorge. The highway running south from Wangdue Phodrang to Dagana follows the river for much of its course. Near the town of Takshay is the confluence with the west flowing Hara Chhu. The last major Bhutanese tributary is the Daga Chhu.

The entire catchment of the Puna Tsang Chhu is covered by forests. These range from alpine meadows in the upper tracts to sub-tropical forests at lower elevations. The main human settlements that have come up along this river are Gasa Dzong, Punakha, Wangdu Phodrang and Chirang.

Republic of India

Puna Tsang Chhu crosses over to the Republic of India as the Sankosh River. It flows through region bordering the West Bengal district of Jalpaiguri and the districts of Dhubri and Kokrajhar in Assam. The thence crosses over to the People's Republic of Bangladesh where it is referred to as Dudhkumar River.

People's Republic of Bangladesh

Sankosh River enters the People's Republic of Bangladesh near Pateshwary (from whence it is referred to as the Dudhkumar River). The river receives the Gadadhar and the Gangadhar as tributaries at Pateshwary and travels along a 52 km long meander course and joins the Brahmaputra at Kurigram Sadar Upazila. The river is free from tidal influence, but often overflows.

External links



Jordans, Bart (2005). Bhutan: A Trekker's Guide. Cicerone. ISBN 1 85284 398 5.
Himalayan Maphouse. Bhutan Himalaya, 1:390,000 [map].


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