Key Facts about Shyok River

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Five soldiers died after a tank was swept away by strong water currents in the Shyok river during a military training in Ladakh recently.

About Shyok River:

  • It is a river that flows through northern Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, India, and enters the Pakistan-administered region of Gilgit-Baltistan, where it joins the Indus River.
  • It is a tributary of the Indus River.
  • Course:
    • It originates from the Rimo Glacier; one of the tongues of the Siachen Glacier, and gets its name from a Ladakhi word meaning 'the river of death'. 
    • The alignment of the Shyok river is very strange, originating from the Rimo glacier, it flows in a South-East direction and at joining the Pangong range, it takes a north-west turn and flows parallel to its prior path.
    • The Shyok, flowing in a broad valley, rapidly enters a narrow gorge after Chalunka and then joins the Indus at Skardu (Pakistan).
  • The total length of the river is around 550 km (340 mi).
  • It is fed by meltwater from numerous glaciers on its journey.
  • It meanders through the high-altitude desertsand mountain ranges of Ladakh before converging with the Indus. 
  • Its main right-bank tributary is the Nubra River.

Q1: Which are the main tributaries of the Indus River?

The Indus receives its most-notable tributaries from the eastern Punjab Plain. These five rivers—the Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej—give the name Punjab (“Five Rivers”) to the region divided between Pakistan and India.

Source: Five soldiers swept away by Shyok river during military training in Ladakh: Army