yar klung gtsang po
|Country||China, India, Bangladesh|
|• location||Angsi Glacier in Shigatse, Tibet Autonomous Region, China|
|Length||2,840 km (1,760 mi)|
|Basin size||340,000 km2 (130,000 sq mi)|
|• average||1,700 m3/s (60,000 cu ft/s)|
|• left||Raka Tsangpo, Nimu Maqu, Lhasa, Nyang|
The Yarlung Tsangpo, also called Yarlung Zangbo (Tibetan: ཡར་ཀླུངས་གཙང་པོ་, Wylie: yar kLungs gTsang po, ZYPY: Yarlung Zangbo) is the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River located in the Tibet Autonomous Region, China. It is the longest river of Tibet and the fifth longest in China. The upper section is also called Dangque Zangbu meaning "Horse River."
Originating at Angsi Glacier in western Tibet, southeast of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, it later forms the South Tibet Valley and Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon before passing into the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India. Downstream from Arunachal Pradesh the river becomes far wider and is called the Siang. After reaching Assam, the river is known as Brahmaputra. From Assam, the river enters Bangladesh at Ramnabazar. From there until about 200 years ago it used to flow eastward and joined the Meghna River near Bhairab Upazila. This old channel has been gradually dying. At present the main channel of the river is called Jamuna River, which flows southward to meet the Ganges, which in Bangladesh is called the Padma.
When leaving the Tibetan Plateau, the river forms the world's largest and deepest canyon, Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon.
The Yarlung Tsangpo River is the highest major river in the world. Its longest tributary is the Nyang River. Major tributaries of Yarlung Tsangpo include Nyangchu River, Lhasa River, Nyang River, and Parlung Tsangpo.
In Tibet the river flows through the South Tibet Valley, which is approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) long and 300 kilometres (190 mi) wide. The valley descends from 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) above sea level to 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). As it descends, the surrounding vegetation changes from cold desert to arid steppe to deciduous scrub vegetation. It ultimately changes into conifer and rhododendron forest. The tree line is approximately at 3,200 metres (10,500 ft). Sedimentary sandstone rocks found near the Tibetan capital of Lhasa contain grains of magnetic minerals that record the Earth's alternating magnetic field current.
The basin of the Yarlung River, bounded by the Himalayas in the south and Kang Rinpoche and Nyenchen Tanglha Mountains in the north, has less severe climate than the adjacent northern (and higher-altitude) parts of Tibet, and is home to most of the population of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, formed by a horse-shoe bend in the river where it leaves the Tibetan Plateau and flows around Namcha Barwa, is the deepest, and possibly longest canyon in the world.
The Yarlung Tsangpo River has three major waterfalls in its course. The largest waterfall of the river, the "Hidden Falls", was not publicized in the West until 1998, when its sighting by Westerners was briefly hailed as a "discovery." They were even portrayed as the discovery of the great falls which had been the topic of stories told to early westerners by Tibetan hunters and Buddhist monks, but which had never been found by Western explorers at the time. The Chinese authorities contradicted, however, saying that Chinese geographers, who explored the gorge from 1973 on, had already taken pictures of the falls in 1987 from a helicopter.
Since the 1990s the Yarlung Tsangpo River has been the destination of a number of teams that engage in exploration and whitewater kayaking. The river has been called the "Everest of Rivers" because of the extreme conditions of the river. The first attempt to run was made in 1993 by a Japanese group who lost one member on the river.
In October 1998, a kayaking expedition sponsored by the National Geographic Society attempted to navigate the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon. Troubled by unanticipated high water levels, the expedition ended in tragedy with the death of expert kayaker Doug Gordon.
In January–February, 2002, an international group consisting of Scott Lindgren, Steve Fisher, Mike Abbott, Allan Ellard, Dustin Knapp, and Johnnie and Willie Kern, completed the first descent of the upper Tsangpo gorge section.
Further information: List of dams on the Brahmaputra River
In November 2020, the chairman of PowerChina announced the construction of a "super" dam on the Yarlung Zangbo which would be the world's largest hydroelectric project.
The river that carries the drainage of Nari-Mangyul and Utsang to the south-eastward is called by the Tibetans the rTachok Tsangspo, i.e. Horse River. The best of my Ladak informants could not assure me positively of its course below Lhasa, but assented fully to its identification with the main trunk of the Brahmaputra river, as asserted (and all but established) by the geographers of Bengal.
Little attention was paid to the Chinese team that had been striking for the falls during that fateful trekking season. They claimed to have reached the falls before Baker but were ignored for the most part by everybody except their government who decided to close the gorge to westerners.