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Shyok River
About Shyok River

The Shyok River is a river flowing through Disputed Area Ladakh and the Northern Areas of Pakistan . Shyok river which is a tributary of the Indus originates from the Rimo glacier, one of the tongues of Siachen Glacier and becomes very wide at the convergence with the Nubra River. Nubra River is a tributary of Shyok, originating from Siachen Glacier.

The Shyok Valley is the valley of the Shyok River located in Ladakh. The valley is close to the Nubra Valley.Khardung La on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies partway up the latter valley.

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 Nubra river originating from the Siachen glacier also behaves like the Shyok, before Tirit the SE flowing river takes a NW turn on meeting the river Shyok. The similarity in the courses of these two main rivers most likely signify a series of palaeo fault lines trending NW-SE in delimiting the upper courses of the rivers. The importance of the Indus River and the Shyok rivers is in the evidence of a huge thickness of Quaternary deposits a treasure trove for geology researchers.

Tributaries of Shyok River

Tributaries of Shyok River are -
1) The Chang Chen Mo River is formed in the locality of Pamzal in Changchinmo plains of Disputed Area Ladakh and flows westward. It ends when it empties into the Shyok River.

2) The Galwan River is in the southern part of Disputed Area Aksai Chin, Galwan originates in the area of Samzungling and flows towards the west and joins the Shyok River.

3) The Nubra River is a tributary of the Shyok River, which flows into the Indus River. It flows in the Disputed Area Ladakh area of Disputed Area Jammu and Kashmir.

4) The Saltoro River starts in the skirts of the Saltoro Kangri peak ridge and flows to the southwest. Another branch begins from the slopes of the Masher broom peak and flows to the south to join Saltoro. In the end this river empties into Shyok River near the coldest part of Pakistan the town of Khaplu.

The Shyok River receives the waters of the Changchenmo and Nubra rivers. It rises from the Khumdang glacier, which can be approached from Shyok. The Shyok River takes a southerly course after it is connected by the Nubra River. Thereafter the Shyok flows into the Indus at Keris.

The river freezes in winter, thus forming an easy contact between the Khaplu and the Nubra valleys. In summer, as the snow melts in the uplands, the river overflows its banks and inundates the adjacent plain for many kilometers, at times creating a huge marsh.

During this period, the Shyok River has to be crossed on rafts of inflated skin.The Shyok Valley is the valley of the Shyok River -- the river of death. This is a Yarkandi (Central Asian) name, most likely given by the Central Asian traders who ventured on this untrustworthy route for centuries and perished. The whole northern area - the region of the Karakoram - has names related to death. It is obvious that this was a part of the ancient trade route from Yarkand (Central Asia) to Ladakh, where many died and only the hardiest survived. The whole way towards the Karakoram Pass is littered with the bones of these travelers



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