BRAHMAPUTRA, a great river of India, with a total length of 1800 m.
Long.) the course of the Brahmaputra has been traced by native surveyors.
The extension of their power westward down the valley of the Brahmaputra was very gradual, and its success was by no means uniform.
In the Brahmaputra valley steamers carry as much as 86% of the exports, and 94% of the imports.
We know now for certain that the great Tsanpo of Tibet and the Brahmaputra are one and the same river; that north of the point where the great countermarch of that river from east to west is effected are to be found the sources of the Salween, the Mekong, the Yang-tsze-kiang and the Hwang-ho, or Yellow river, in order, from west to east; and that south of it, thrust in between the extreme eastern edge of the Brahmaputra basin 94 23" 94°48' 94°49' 94° 58' and the Salween, rise the dual sources of the Irrawaddy.
The great rivers of northern India - the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Indus - all derive their waters from the Tibetan mountain mass; and it is a remarkable circumstance that the northern water-parting of India should lie to the north of the Himalaya in the regions of central Tibet.
The mission of Sir Francis Younghusband to Lhasa in 1904 resulted in an extension of the Indian system of triangulation which finally determined the geographical position of that city, and in a most valuable reconnaissance of the valleys of the Upper Brahmaputra and Indus by Captains C. H.
From the water-divide which separates the most eastern affluent of the Brahmaputra, eastwards to the deep gorges which enclose the most westerly branch of the upper Yang-tsze-kiang (here running from north to south), is a short space of loo m.; and within that space two mighty rivers, the Salween and the Mekong, send down their torrents to Burma and Siam.
Among them are the Meghna, the Ganges or Padma, the Lakshmia, a branch of the Brahmaputra, the Jamuna, or main stream of the Brahmaputra, the Mendi-Khali, a large branch of the Meghna, the Dhaleswari, an offshoot of the Jamuna, the Ghazi-khali and the Buriganga.
From the north-eastern extremity of Assam where, near Sadya, the Lohit, the Dibong and the Dihong unite to form the wide placid Brahmaputra of the plains - one of the grandest rivers of the world - its south-westerly course to the Bay of Bengal is sufficiently well known.
The following are the " lowest level " discharges of the principal affluents of the Brahmaputra in Upper Assam, estimated in cubic feet per second: Lohit river, 9 m.
The Brahmaputra, therefore, exceeds the Ganges in length by about 400 m.
An enormous development of agricultural resources has taken place within the Brahmaputra basin of late years, chiefly in the direction of tea cultivation, as well as in the production of jute and silk.
During the rains the Brahmaputra floods hundreds of square miles of country, reaching a height of 30 to 40 ft.
It is the terminus of steamer navigation on the Brahmaputra, and also of a railway running to important coal-mines and petroleum wells, which connects with the Assam-Bengal system.
BHUTAN, an independent kingdom in the Eastern Himalayas, lying between the Brahmaputra and the southern face of the mountains.
Of the rivers traversing Bhutan, the most considerable is the Manas, flowing in its progress to the Brahmaputra under the walls of Tasgaon, below which it is unfordable.
The fact that sericulture was in India first estalished in the valley of the Brahmaputra and in the tract lying between that river and the Ganges renders it probable that it was introduced overland from the Chinese empire.
The river region comprises the upper courses of the Brahmaputra (Yaru Tsangpo), the Salween (?
The northern portion of Tibet is an arid and wind-swept desert; but in the southern portion the valleys of Lhasa, Shigatse, Gyantse and the Brahmaputra are covered with good soil and groves of trees, well irrigated, and richly cultivated.
The valley of the Brahmaputra (q.v.), or Yaru Tsang-po or simply Tsang-po - the river has also various local names - is the great arterial valley of southern Tibet.
As a whole the system forms the watershed between rivers flowing to the Indian Ocean - the Indus and its tributaries, Brahmaputra and its tributaries, and Salweenand the streams flowing into the undrained salt lakes to the north.
There are still enormous glaciers about the head of the Brahmaputra, but the glacial epoch of the Chang-t'ang highlands has passed away, though comparatively recently.
These are noises, like the report of cannon, frequently heard in the channels of the delta of the Brahmaputra, at the rising of the tide.
At the northeastern angle of that frontier, the Dihang river, the connecting link between the Tsanpo of Tibet and the Brahmaputra of Assam, bursts through the main axis of the range.
It turns, however, almost due east instead of west, enters India at the eastern extremity of the Himalayas, and becomes the Brahmaputra of Eastern Bengal and Assam.
From the gorge of the Indus to that of the Brahmaputra, a distance of 1400 m., the Himalayas form an unbroken watershed, the northern flank of which is drained by the upper valleys of these two rivers; while the Sutlej, starting from the southern foot of the Kailas Peak, breaks through the watershed, dividing it into two very unequal portions, that to the north-west being the smaller.
The first, or the valley of Assam and the Brahmaputra, is long and narrow, bordered on the north by the Himalayas, on the south by the lower plateau of the Garo, Khasi and Naga hills.
For the Malayan area, which Sir Joseph Hooker describes as forming " the bulk of the flora of the perennially humid regions of India, as of the whole Malayan peninsula, Upper Assam valley, the Khasi mountains, the forests of the base of the Himalaya from the Brahmaputra to Nepal, of the Malabar coast, and of Ceylon," see AssAM, Ceylon and Malay Peninsula.
The most familiar is the Rhinoceros unicornis, commonly found in the Brahmaputra valley.
In Burma the favourite relish of nga-pi is prepared from fish; and at Goalanda, at the junction of the Brahmaputra with the Ganges, and along the Madras coast many establishments exist for salting fish in bond.
The real tea (The y viridis), a plant akin to the camellia, grows wild in Assam, being commonly found throughout the hilly tract between the valleys of the Brahmaputra and the Barak.
By 1859 there were already fifty-one gardens in existence, owned by private individuals; and the enterprise had extended from its original headquarters in Lakhimpur and Sibsagar as far down the Brahmaputra as Kamrup. In 1856 the tea-plant was discovered wild in the district of Cachar in the Barak valley, and European capital was at once directed to that quarter.
Their headquarters are in Murshidabad district, and their agents are to be found throughout the valley of the Brahmaputra, as far up as the unexplored frontier of China.
The entire northern plain, from the Indus to the Brahmaputra, thus lay under the Mahommedan yoke.
One expedition with gunboats proceeded up the Brahmaputra into Assam; another marched by land through Chittagong into Arakan, for the Bengal sepoys refused to go by sea; a third, and the strongest, sailed from Madras direct to the mouth of the Irrawaddy.
It comprises the valleys of the Brahmaputra and Surma rivers, together with the mountainous watershed which intervenes between them.
By the Mishmi hills, which sweep round the head of the Brahmaputra valley; on the E.
Assam is naturally divided into three distinct tracts, the Brahmaputra valley, the Surma valley and the hill ranges between the two.
The Brahmaputra valley is an alluvial plain, about 450 m.
The Brahmaputra spreads out in a sheet of water several miles broad during the rainy season, and in its course through Assam forms a number of islands in its bed.
The gorge, situated in Lakhimpur district, through which the southernmost branch of the Brahmaputra enters, has from time immemorial been held in reverence by the Hindus.
After a rapid course westwards down the whole length of the Assam valley, the Brahmaputra turns sharply to the south, spreading itself over the alluvial districts of the Bengal delta, and, after several changes of name, ends its course of 1800 m.
Shortly afterwards it receives the Dibang, flowing from the northeast; but its principal confluent is the Dihong, which, deriving its origin, under the name of the Tsangpo, from a spot in the vicinity of the source of the Sutlej, flows in a direction precisely opposite to that river, and traversing the tableland of Tibet, at the back of the great Himalaya range, falls into the Brahmaputra in 27° 48' N.
In its course it receives on the left side the Dihing, a river having its rise at the south-eastern angle of the province; and lower down, on the opposite side, it parts with a considerable offset termed the Buri Lohit, which, however, reunites with the Brahmaputra 60 m.
In length by about 10 in breadth, and is formed by the Brahmaputra on the south-east and the Buri Lohit river on the north-west.
In the upper part of the valley, towards the gorge where the Brahmaputra enters, the country is varied and picturesque, walled in on the north and east by the Himalayas, and thickly wooded from the base to the snow-line.
The alluvial deposits of the Brahmaputra and of its tributary streams may be considered as the third general division of lands in Assam.
Crocodiles (commonly called alligators) swarm in all parts of the Brahmaputra, and are very destructive to the fish, of which hundreds of varieties are found, and which supply a valuable article of food.
The Assam-Bengal railway runs from the seaport of Chittagong to the Surma valley, and thence across the hills to Dibrugarh, at the head of the Brahmaputra valley, with a branch to Gauhati lower down the Brahmaputra.
The most important is the Dibru-Sadiya railway, at the head of the Brahmaputra valley, with a branch to the coal-fields.
In medieval history, the Assamese were known to the Mussulman population as a warlike, predatory race,- who sailed down the Brahmaputra in fleets of innumerable canoes, plundered the rich districts of the delta, and retired in safety to their forests and swamps.
The comparatively restricted area which still remains for close investigation includes the most easterly sources of the Brahmaputra, the most northerly sources of the Irrawaddy, and some 300 m.
The bay receives many large rivers, of which the most important are the Ganges and Brahmaputra on the north, the Irrawaddy on the east, and the Mahanadi, Godavari, Kistna and Cauvery on the west.
In the time of Aurangzeb the Ahom kings held sway over the entire Brahmaputra valley from Sadiya to near Goalpara, and from the skirts of the southern hills to the Bhutia frontier on the north.
Then it diverges northwards into the lateral valley of the Raka, until the Raka joins the Brahmaputra below Janglache.
Assam is a fertile series of valleys, with the great channel of the Brahmaputra (literally, the Son of Brahma) flowing down its middle, and an infinite number of tributaries and watercourses pouring into it from the mountains on either side.
On either bank of the Brahmaputra a long narrow strip of plain rises almost imperceptibly to the foot of the hills.