This son of Brahma flowed down as river

Brahmaputra is famously known as Brahma’s child

Published - April 11, 2019 04:02 pm IST



Yarlung Tsangpo or Brahmaputra, the only male river that literally translates as ‘Son of Brahma’, is revered by Hindus, Jains and Buddhists.

Buddhists believe that long ago the Chang Thang Plateau was a great lake. A compassionate Bodhisatva earnestly felt that the waters should reach the people below. Hence, he created an outlet through the Himalayan Mountains for the Yarlung Tsangpo to flow down and enrich the plains.

To the Hindus, the Brahmaputra was the son of Brahma and Amogha. Amogha was Sage Shantanu’s beautiful wife. Brahma, enchanted by her good looks, made amorous advances that led to the birth of a boy, much to Amogha’s consternation. The boy flowed down as water. Sage Shantanu placed this ‘son of Brahma’ right in the middle of four great mountains of Kailash, Gandhamadana, Jarudhi and Sambwartakka. He grew into a great lake, the Brahma Kund.

Parasurama was advised by great sages to have a holy bath in this kund to absolve himself from the sin of killing his mother. He axed down one side of the mountain to let the river flow down and bless mankind.



Yarlung Tsangpo, known as the ‘Cradle of Tibetan Civilisation’ rises in the Chemayungdung Glacier in the Kailash Range in Tibet. It descends rapidly from Tibet, forming a grand canyon, flowing 1,000 km first Eastward, then takes a horse shoe bend westward near Namche Barwa in Sadiya in the State of Arunachal Pradesh in the Pemakop region. Here the river is christened Siang. Namche Barwa (7,782m.) and Giyala Peri (7,294m.) are two distinct peaks that mark the Eastern end of the Himalaya where Brahmaputra takes this unapproachable bend.

The Brahmaputra is subject to annual flooding and changing of its course thus creating new landforms.

The River Brahmaputra is the lifeline of the people who have settled in the Brahmaputra Basin. Transporting men and material, offering means of employment as fishermen, boatmen and daily labourers, this river has a great impact on the socio-economic life of the people residing on its banks. It is an important source of irrigation and navigation.

The rich rainforests of this basin is home to many species of flora and fauna and is dotted with several settlements. It hosts National Parks like the Kaziranga, Manas and Kanchanjunga.

The writers are ace photographers known for their travelogues

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