Nepal's rivers can be broadly divided into three
categories in accordance with their origins. The first
category comprises the three main river systems of the
country-the Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali river systems,
all of them originating from glaciers and snow-fed
The Koshi river system consists of the Tamor, Arun,
Dudhkoshi, Likhu, Tamakoshi, Sunkoshi and Indravati
rivers. Of these, the Arun and Sunkoshi originate in
Tibet. The confluence of these rivers is at Tribeni
(near Dharan) in Sagarmatha Zone. Flowing for almost
10kms through a narrow gorge before entering the plains,
the "Sapta Kosi" or he "Koshi" swollen with the waters
of the seven rivers finally merges into the Ganges.
The Gandaki river system in central Nepal consists of
the Kaligandaki, Budhigandaki, Marsyanghi, Trishuli,
Seti, Madi and Daraundi rivers. The Kaligandaki is the
longest river and the Trishuli, the main tributary of
this system. The Kaligandaki originates in Mustang and converges with
the Trishuli at Deoghat in Chitwan. The river is then
called the Narayani and goes on to meet the Ganges. The
Karnali river system in western Nepal consists of the
Humla Karnali, Mugu Karnali, Seti and Bheri rivers and
is the longest river system in the country. The Humla
Karnali, which rises in Tibet, is the main tributary.
After entering India, this river assumes the name Gogra.
Rivers like the Mechi, Mahakali, Bagmati, Kamala, Rapti,
etc. most of which have their origin in the Mahabharat
range, constitute the rivers of the second category. The
Bagmati, which rises at Bagdwar and drains out through
the Chobhar gorge, is the principal river of the
Streams and rivulets originating mostly from the Chure
hills make up the third category; these rivers rely on
monsoon rains and are otherwise dry.
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