Trans-boundary rivers between Bangladesh and India

River Atlas: Sketching the Rivers flowing from India to Bangladesh.


Bangladesh and India share some of the most intricate and complex river systems in the world. This formidable network of waterways consists of small mountain streams, winding seasonal creeks, traversing canals and magnificent rivers and their tributaries and distributaries. Totalling thousands of kilometres, these include around 54 large and small rivers. Virtually most of them are linked to the three major rivers, the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna and all of them ultimately flow into the Bay of Bengal. The combined outflow of these three major rivers is only exceeded in the world, by the mighty Congo and the Amazon and is greater than the combined flows of the 20 largest rivers in Europe.

While the pathways, courses and even understanding of flows of the three major rivers are well documented, the lesser known rivers or tributaries are often overlooked. Again, most narrative maps of many of these rivers are often incomplete and broken by the borders of the countries.

The River Atlas is an attempt to chart out these 54 rivers from origin to outfall. The atlas compiles data and information of each of these rivers such as length, depth at various locations, discharge, origin and outfall. The facts and information have been collected from publicly available scientific literature, reports and maps. Each description is complemented by GIS maps using information and data available in the public domain. The atlas serves to highlight that the names of these rivers can be different in the various countries but they are essentially the same rivers. These rivers have moulded the lands they flow through and provided refuge for the plants and animals that thrive along the banks and floodplains but most importantly are the lifeline and often the thread that connects the communities and people living on its bank.