Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Yarlung TsangPo River, Canyon and Dam

The Yarlung TsangPo river is known as the mother river of Tibet. Its name means water flowing from the highest mountain in Tibet and this is true as it cuts through the Himalayan mountains. This makes it the highest river in the world. It is also the longest river in Tibet. The river flows through the Yarlung TsangPo canyon, (also another link here) the largest and deepest canyon in the world, joining many other great rivers in India and in Bangladesh including the Ganges River. In India, the Yarlung TsangPo river is referred to as the famous Brahmaputra River. Lots of gold medals there for Yarlung TsangPo!

The building of the Yarlung TsangPo dam was a much disputed affair (another report here)as it would affect the other rivers in Bangladesh and India since the source of their rivers come from Yarlung TsangPo. The dam had already caused much concerns to the people in Tibet due to the ecological hazards it will bring in the long run. And, many could not fathom the need for the dam though its purpose is for hydroelectric power. See here for the diary of the Yarlung TsangPo Dam.

The brownish water of Yarlung Tsangpo river began to turn to a greenish blue when our coach approached the dam. The greens and yellows of the terraced fields became barren. The place looked abandoned. Initially, I thought it was a natural phenomenon that the slopes of the mountains terraced and it looked mystical over the greenish blue waters. According to my guide, farmers were cleared off their lands for the building of the dam. Due to this, the fields were exposed to the construction work and became barren.

A stream of reddish stuff flowing down from the mountain

Yaks taking over the roads and Tibetan tents beside the road

A bridge on the verge of collapsing

Terraced fields by the Yarlung TsangPo river

Farm houses and fields

Lady with a goat

A man and a woman in the mountains (dating?)

Crops-covered valley

Concrete houses

Tiny streams in the river

The volume of water is higher in this part of the river

The brown river water becoming blue at this section of the river

Terraced slopes by the river banks

Beautiful greenish blue water though an environmental disaster is in progress.

Terraced slopes lined the river banks of Yarlung TsangPo river

Yarlung TsangPo Canyon

Aerial view of the Yarlung TsangPo Grand Canyon. Source:Yarlung Tsangpo Canyon, Tibet and Fish River Canyon, Namibia by Charlotte Amelines

These terraced slopes used to be covered with green and yellow crops

Yarlung TsangPo Dam

Poster of Yarlung TsangPo Dam on the other side. Source: tibetanplateau.blogspot.com

Workers having lunch beside the river

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