Chindwin River

Last updated
Chindwin River
ချင်းတွင်းမြစ်
Homalin aerial.jpg
The Chindwin at Homalin. The smaller, meandering Uyu River can be seen joining the Chindwin.
Irrawaddyrivermap.jpg
Location
Country Myanmar
Physical characteristics
Source 
  location Hukawng Valley, Kachin State
  elevation1,134 m (3,720 ft)
Mouth  
  location
Irrawaddy River
  coordinates
21°28′26″N95°16′53″E / 21.47389°N 95.28139°E / 21.47389; 95.28139 Coordinates: 21°28′26″N95°16′53″E / 21.47389°N 95.28139°E / 21.47389; 95.28139
  elevation
55 m (180 ft)
Length1,207 km (750 mi)

The Chindwin or, officially, Chindwinn [1] River (Burmese : ချင်းတွင်းမြစ်, IPA:  [tɕɪ́ɰ̃dwɪ́ɰ̃ mjɪʔ] ) is a river in Burma (Myanmar), and the largest tributary of the country's chief river the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy). It flows entirely within Burma and is known as Ning-thi to the Meiteis. [2]

Contents

Sources

The Chindwin originates in the broad Hukawng Valley of Kachin State of Burma, roughly 26°26′18″N96°33′32″E / 26.43833°N 96.55889°E / 26.43833; 96.55889 , where the Tanai, the Tabye, the Tawan, and the Taron (also known as Turong or Towang) rivers meet.

The headwaters of the Tanai are at about 25°30′N97°0′E / 25.500°N 97.000°E / 25.500; 97.000 on the Shwedaunggyi peak of the Kumon range, 12 miles north of Mogaung. It flows due north for the first part until it reaches the Hukawng Valley. In 2004, the government established the world's largest tiger preserve in the Hukawng Valley, the Hukaung Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, with an area of approximately 6,500 km2 (2,500 sq mi); later, the Sanctuary was extended to 21,800 km2, making it the largest protected area in mainland Southeast Asia. The river then turns to the west and flows through the middle of the plain, [2] joined by the Tabye, the Tawan, and the Taron rivers from the right bank. These rivers drain the mountain ranges to the north and northeast of the Hukawng valley.

Course

The Tanai exits the Hukawng valley through the Taron or Turong valley and through a sharp defile in the river. It then takes on the name of Chindwin, and maintains a general southerly course. [2] It passes the town of Singkaling Hkamti on the left bank, then the town of Homalin, also on the left bank.

The river's course is generally southwesterly until the town of Mingin. It then takes a more southeasterly course entering into broad central plain, passing the city of Monywa on the left bank. Its course at this point forms the boundary between the Sagaing District of Sagaing Region and the Pakokku District of Magway Region.

It enters the Ayeyarwady River (Irrawaddy) at about 21°30′N95°15′E / 21.500°N 95.250°E / 21.500; 95.250 . The extreme outlets into the Ayeyarwady are about 22 miles apart, the interval forming a succession of long, low, partially populated islands. The lowest mouth of the Chindwin is, according to tradition, an artificial channel, cut by one of the kings of Bagan (Pagan). It was choked up for centuries until 1824 when it was opened out by an exceptional flood. [3] Satellite pictures show this lowest channel to be the widest one today. [4]

Tributaries

  1. Uyu River is the largest tributary joining the Chindwin river just below Homalin on the left. The famous jade mines at Hpakant lie in the headwaters of the Uyu. [5] [6]
  2. Myittha River, draining the Kale valley, joins on the right further downstream. The town of Kalewa is on the left bank of their confluence.

Towns

River Chindwin at Monywa R Chindwin.JPG
River Chindwin at Monywa
1980: River Chindwin 30 km NE of Monywa (with Twin Taung crater lake) Aerial view of lower Chindwin River and Twin Taung (1980).JPG
1980: River Chindwin 30 km NE of Monywa (with Twin Taung crater lake)
  1. Hkamti
  2. Htamanthi
  3. Homalin
  4. Mawlaik
  5. Kalewa
  6. Kalaymyo
  7. Mingin
  8. Monywa [7]

Environment

Much of Chindwin's course lies within mountain ranges and forests. Due to the difficulty of access, much of it remains unspoilt. The government of Burma recently created a very large (2,500 square mile) sanctuary for the endangered tiger within the Hukawng Valley. [8]

History

The mountain ranges to the west of the Chindwin are formidable, yet not totally impregnable to armies. The Kabaw valley saw many an invasion by the kingdom of Manipur to the west, most notably during the reign of King Garibaniwaj (1709–1748) when his army crossed over the Chindwin and the Mu, took Myedu, and reached as far as Sagaing opposite the capital Ava. The tables were turned in 1758 after King Alaungpaya ascended the Burmese throne. [9] The Burmese army invaded and occupied Manipur and Assam marching across the western mountain ranges, and even encroached upon British India.

During World War II, when the Japanese had cut off sea access, the British army and other allied forces under General Joseph Stilwell retreated on foot to India across the same mountains, with disastrous results, mainly due to disease and hunger. The Ledo Road was built across the Hukawng valley to supply China. [10] The Chindwin was a major barrier both for the Japanese trying to invade India and for the Allied forces to reoccupy Burma. [11]

Ethnography and culture

The chindwin river has a great impact on the culture of western Burma. According to Andrew Hsiu which taken from a journal titled "Morphological Evidence for a Central Branch of Trans-Himalayan (Sino-Tibetan)." by Scott DeLancey which was published on 2015, Central Sino-Tibetan (which includes Meithei) languages originated from valley areas of this river.

Economics

The Chindwin is served by regular river-going vessels up to the town of Homalin. Teak forests within its drainage area have been a valuable resource since ancient times. The Hukawng Valley is known for its abundance of Burmese amber. Along the river, there are deposits of jade, but Hpakant in the headwaters of the Uyu river is the only place in the world where the finest jade - known as jadeite or imperial jade - is found, along with an abundance of fish. [5] [6]

Notes

  1. https://unstats.un.org/unsd/geoinfo/UNGEGN/docs/8th-uncsgn-docs/inf/8th_UNCSGN_econf.94_INF.75.pdf
  2. 1 2 3 Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chindwin"  . Encyclopædia Britannica . 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 232.
  3. "Chindwin River". Encyclopædia Britannica online. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  4. "Earth from Space". NASA, November 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  5. 1 2 "Hpakan Other Rock Mine(Myanmar)". aditnow.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
  6. 1 2 Richard W. Hughes; Fred Ward. "Heaven and Hell: The Quest for Jade in Upper Burma". Ruby-Sapphire.com. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
  7. "Map of Sagaing Division". Asterism. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  8. "Rationale for a National Tiger Action Plan for Myanmar" (PDF). Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
  9. Phanjoubam Tarapot (2003). Bleeding Manipur. Har-Anand Publications. pp. 112–3. ISBN   978-81-241-0902-1 . Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  10. Baruah, Sri Surendra. "The Stillwell Road A Historical Review". Tinsukia. Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  11. "Chindwin River". The Pacific War Online Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2008-10-07.

Bibliography

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap  
Download coordinates as: KML  ·  GPX

Related Research Articles

Sagaing Region Region of Myanmar

Sagaing Region is an administrative region of Myanmar, located in the north-western part of the country between latitude 21° 30' north and longitude 94° 97' east. It is bordered by India’s Nagaland, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh States to the north, Kachin State, Shan State, and Mandalay Region to the east, Mandalay Region and Magway Region to the south, with the Ayeyarwady River forming a greater part of its eastern and also southern boundary, and Chin State and India to the west. The region has an area of 93,527 km2. In 1996, it had a population of over 5,300,000 while its population in 2012 was 6,600,000. The urban population in 2012 was 1,230,000 and the rural population was 5,360,000. The capital city of Sagaing Region is Sagaing.

Monywa City in Sagaing Region, Myanmar

Monywa is the largest cities in Sagaing Region, Myanmar, located 136 km north-west of Mandalay on the eastern bank of the River Chindwin.

Irrawaddy River River in Burma

The Irrawaddy or, officially, Ayeyarwady River is a river that flows from north to south through Burma. It is the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway. Originating from the confluence of the N'mai and Mali rivers, it flows relatively straight North-South before emptying through the Irrawaddy Delta into the Andaman Sea. Its drainage basin of about 404,200 square kilometres (156,100 sq mi) covers a large part of Burma. After Rudyard Kipling's poem, it is sometimes referred to as 'The Road to Mandalay'.

Pakokku City in Magway Region, Myanmar

Pakokku is a largest city in the Magway Region in Myanmar, also known as Burma. It is situated about 30 km north-east of Bagan on the Irrawaddy River. It is the administration seat of Pakokku Township, Pakokku District and Gangaw District. Pakokku Bridge is part of the India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway and is the longest bridge in Myanmar.It is home of the Pakokku airport.

Kachin Hills

The Kachin Hills are a heavily forested group of highlands in the extreme northeastern area of the Kachin State of Burma. It consists of a series of ranges running mostly in a N/S direction, including the Kumon Bum subrange of which the highest peak is Bumhpa Bum with an elevation of 3,411 metres (11,191 ft) one of the ultra prominent peaks of Southeast Asia.

Maha Bandula Burmese general

General Maha Bandula was commander-in-chief of the Royal Burmese Armed Forces from 1821 until his death in 1825 in the First Anglo-Burmese War. Bandula was a key figure in the Konbaung dynasty's policy of expansionism in Manipur and Assam that ultimately resulted in the war and the beginning of the downfall of the dynasty. Nonetheless, the general, who died in action, is celebrated as a national hero by the Burmese for his resistance to the British. Today, some of the most prominent places in the country are named after him.

Homalin Town in Sagaing Region, Myanmar

Homalin or Hommalinn is a small town in north-western Burma and capital of the Homalin Township in Hkamti District of the Sagaing Region. The town lies on the Chindwin River and is served by Homalin Airport.

Articles related to Myanmar include:

Hukawng Valley valley

The Hukawng Valley is an isolated valley in Myanmar, roughly 5,586 square miles (14,468 km2) in area. It is located in Tanaing Township in the Myitkyina District of Kachin State in the northernmost part of the country.

Myaung is a town in the Sagaing Region in central Myanmar. It is a crowded and peaceful town where is located on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River. It is a region between the Rivers of Ayeyarwady and Chindwin. There are many ancient and historical pagodas, monasteries, and places in Myaung Township. Myaung Township is officially demarcated with the neighbour boundaries of Chaung-U in the north-west, of Myinmu in the east and north east. In the township of Myaung, Kyauk Nagar Mountain is very famous, where very ancient rocky statues like the rocky dragon-shaped statues are found, and the Buddhist Region rich of many pagodas is situated. Myaung Township is one of the townships which were historically concerned with King Kyansit like Chaung-U Township. There are also many pagodas or Buddhist temples and monasteries of or built by King Kyansittha at the age of Bagan. It is a crowded town since it is located on the west bank of the river. To get there, there is Myaung-Payeinma Road, turning in from the Monywa-Mandalay one.

Kalay Town in Sagaing Region, Myanmar

Kalay, also known as Kale, is a town in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar. It is located upstream from Mandalay and Monywa on the Myittha River, a tributary of the Chindwin River. The town is the district headquarters of the Kalay District. It has gained importance with trans border movement enabled between Myanmar and India following the 165 kilometres (103 mi) Tamu–Kalay section of India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway built by the Border Roads Organization of India under the Look-East Connectivity policy. Consequently, Kalay is now one of the fastest developing towns in Myanmar.

Mu River river in Myanmar

Mu River is a river in upper central Myanmar (Burma), and a tributary of the country's chief river the Ayeyarwady. It drains the Kabaw valley and part of the Dry Zone between the Ayeyarwady to the east and its largest tributary Chindwin River to the west, flows directly north to south for about 275 km (171 mi) and enters the Ayeyarwady west of Sagaing near Myinmu.

Shweli River river in the Peoples Republic of China

Shweli River is a river in Myanmar (Burma). Also known as Nam Mao in Shan and Ruili River or Long Chuan River(龙川江) in Chinese, it forms part of the boundary between Burma and China. It is one of the tributaries of the country's chief river, the Ayeyarwady, and arises in Yunnan Province of China. It flows through northern Shan state and Sagaing Division, and enters the Ayeyarwady at Inywa, 60 km north of Tagaung and south of Katha.

The Uyu River, also pronounced Uru River, is a river in northern Myanmar, formerly Burma. It is a major tributary of the Chindwin River, itself the largest tributary of the country's chief river, the Ayeyarwady. Its source lies in the Hukawng Valley of Kachin State, and it takes a southwesterly course through a fertile and well irrigated valley. It enters the Chindwin on the left bank at Homalin in Sagaing Division.

Tagaung, Mandalay Town in Mandalay, Myanmar

Tagaung is a town in Mandalay Region of Myanmar (Burma). It is situated on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River, 127 miles north of Mandalay.

Kabaw Valley Natural region in Burma

The Kabaw Valley is a highland valley in northern Burma (Myanmar), western Sagaing division. The valley is the home of a number of ethnic minorities including the Meitei, the [ thado/kuki (people)|also called the “Zo” people ]], the Mizo, the Kadu and the Kanan.

Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary

Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary is a 2,150.73 km2 (830.40 sq mi) large protected area in northern Myanmar. It was established in 1974 in the Sagaing Region.

Homalin Township Township in Sagaing Region, Burma

Homalin Township is a township in Hkamti District in the Sagaing Region of Burma. The principal town is Homalin. The principal rivers flowing through the township are the Chindwin River form north to south and the Uyu River from east to west, joining the Chindwin near Homalin town.

Kale Township Township in Sagaing Region, Burma

Kale Township is a township in Kale District in the Sagaing Division of Burma (Myanmar). The principal town is Kalay.

Phowintaung

Phowintaung is a Buddhist cave complex located approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) west of Monywa and 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) southeast of Yinmabin, in Yinmabin Township, Monywa District, Sagaing Region, Northern Burma (Myanmar). It is located on the western bank of the Chindwin River. The name of the complex means Mountain of Isolated Solitary Meditation.