|District||Chamoli, Rudraprayag, Pauri Garhwal|
|Source||Confluence of Satopanth Glacier and Bhagirathi Kharak Glacier|
|• elevation||3,880 m (12,730 ft)|
|2nd source||Bhagirathi River|
|Devprayag, Uttarakhand, India|
|475 m (1,558 ft)|
|Length||195 km (121 mi)|
|Basin size||10,882 km2 (4,202 sq mi)|
|• average||439.36 m3/s (15,516 cu ft/s)|
|• left||Saraswati, Dhauliganga, Nandakini, Pindar|
The Alaknanda is a Himalayan river in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and one of the two headstreams of the Ganges, the major river of Northern India and the holy river of Hinduism. In hydrology, the Alaknanda is considered the source stream of the Ganges on account of its greater length and discharge; however, in Hindu tradition and culture, the other headstream, the Bhagirathi, is considered the source stream.
The Alaknanda is considered to rise at the confluence and foot of the Satopanth and Bhagirath Kharak glaciers in Uttarakhand and meet the Sarasvati River tributary at Mana, India, 21 km (13.05 mi) from Tibet. 3 km (1.86 mi) below Mana the Alaknanda flows past the Hindu pilgrimage centre of Badrinath.
The origin of Alaknanda River is of special interest to the tourists who visit the important pilgrimages in Uttarakhand. The Ganges as Alaknanda rises in the southern Himalayas on the Indian side of the Tibet border. On the Satopanth Glacier 6 km (3.73 mi) up from Alaknanda's origin at its snout, the triangular Lake Satopanth is found at a height of 4,350 m (2.70 mi) and it is named after the Hindu trinity Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva.
The five main tributaries joining with Alaknanda in order includes Dhauliganga, Nandakini, Pindar, Mandakini and Bhagirathi all rising in the northern mountainous regions of Uttarakhand. After the last tributary merging at Devprayag the river is known as the Ganges. The Alaknanda contributes a significantly larger portion to the flow of the Ganges than the Bhagirathi.
The Alaknanda river is among the best for river rafting in the world due to its high rafting grade. The Alaknanda system drains parts of Chamoli, Tehri, and Pauri districts.
Badrinath Rishi Ganga River meet Alaknanda
Badrinath, one of the holy destinations for Hindus in India is located near to the bank of the Alaknanda River. This place is surrounded by two mountain ranges of Nar and Narayan on either sides and Neelkanth peak located at the back of Narayan range.
Several rivers in the Garhwal region merge with the Alaknanda at places called prayag or 'holy confluence of rivers'. These are:
There are 37 hydroelectric dams in operation, under construction or planned to harness the energy of the Alaknanda river and its tributaries and generate electricity.
|#||Name||Electrical output capacity (MW)||Status||Dam height (m)||Full reservoir level (MSL) (m)||River bed level at dam site (MSL) (m)||Head race tunnel length (km)||Tail race tunnel length (m)||Tail water level (MSL) (m)|
|9||Koti Bhel IB||320||under construction||90||521||452.5||230||463.2|
|10||Koti Bhel II||530||under construction||82||458.5||401.4||390||411.1|
|12||Tapovan Vishnugad||520||under construction||22||803.5||513||1267|
|14||Singoli Bhatwari||99||under construction|
There are 23 other proposed projects in the Alaknanda river basin through which the power-potential of the Alaknanda and its tributaries can be harnessed. The proposed 23 hydel-projects are as follows -
As the river flows, the towns along its banks are Badrinath, Vishnuprayag, Joshimath, Chamoli, Nandaprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, Srinagar and Devprayag. At each town with suffix prayag, Alaknanda meets another river.