There are many mythological stories on Brahmaputra river. The most popular one is about the river's birth in
'Kālikā Purāna'. It
describes how Lord Parshuram, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu विष्णु), got rid of his sin of beheading his own
mother with an axe by taking bath in this sacred river. This place is presently known as Parashurām Kunda (about 25 km north of Tezu in Lomita district in`Arunāchal Pradesh).`
In an another mythological story, Amogha wife of Sage Shantanu had a child by Brahma the creator of the Universe. The
child took the form of water. Shantanu placed the child right in the middle of the four great mountains ? Kailash, Gandhamadana, Jarudhi and Sambwartakka. He grew into a great lake, the
The plains watered by the stream of Brahmaputra yield abundant crops of rice, jute, and mustard.
The Brahmaputra is an important source of irrigation and navigation. The Planning Commission has accorded investment clearance to implement anti-erosion works to protect Brahmaputra dykes on November 9, 2011.
This project is estimated to cost Rs 8.35 crore. The dyke works relate to 69 km (Uluberi) and 78 km (Borigaon). The proposed scheme envisages anti-erosion measures for a 9000-m long reach
on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river. The proposed scheme has been framed to protect an area of 8,000 hectares comprising cultivated and
homestead land including public and government properties. An estimated 1.50 lakh people are likely to be benefited from the scheme, official sources said. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2011-12 and Plan accounts will be closed by March 31, 2012.
Worst ever 2012 Brahmaputra floods continued to wreak havoc in Assam, as the Brahmaputra and its tributaries sent more areas under water, and over 4 lakh people were badly hit in 23 affected districts. The 2012 floods in the north- eastern state are the worst ever since 1998.
India's annual monsoon has claimed 109 lives since rains started in June and left at least 400,000 people homeless in Assam, in a tragedy experts say was made worse by corruption and poor management of the Brahmaputra River.
A senior member of the Assam Human Rights Commission, a government body, told Reuters it suspects millions of dollars meant for flood control have been siphoned off by state water department officials in the last five years. The commission has demanded a high-level investigation by the government.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, called the floods the worst in
recent times and promised $1,800 to each victim's family in compensation. Critics say that much of the money will evaporate.Over the past 60 years successive governments have built levees along most of the length of the volatile Brahmaputra, which is Assam's main
river and is fed by Himalayan snow melt and some of the world's heaviest rainfall. Experts say these embankments are both criminally under-maintained and a discredited form of flood management.
The incessant rains have lashed out many parts of the state resulting in alarming rise of water level of the Brahmaputra River in 23 of the 27 districts.
The worst-hit districts include Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Nalbari, Barpeta and Dhubri where water has engulfed
fresh areas of human habitation and cropland. More than five lakh people have been affected in this wave of the floods which have threatened the existence of Majuli, the world's largest inhabited river island. The situation in the island was unchanged even
as there was no fresh rainfall. The Kaziranga National Park, a world heritage site, and Pabitora sanctuary, both housing the highly endangered one horned rhino, are under flood waters.
The environment of the Brahmaputra floodplains in Assam have been described as the Brahmaputra Valley semi- evergreen forests ecoregion. Kaziranga National Park is approximately 720 miles northeast of Kolkata
in the Indian state of Assam. It lies in the flood plain of the Brahmaputra River across the central valley of Assam. The spring snow melt and summer monsoon bring yearly floods to Kaziranga
that enrich its grasslands and tropical forests, enabling the park to support healthy populations of Bengal tigers, elephants, various deer, wild water buffalo, boar, monkeys, reptiles and birds (both migratory and local). The park's most famous resident is the Great Indian one-horned
rhinoceros, which is every bit as big and burly as its African cousins.
The Indian rhino has been hunted extensively for its horn, which is still prized in the Chinese and Vietnamese medicinal trade. Early in the 20th century, fewer than 200 Indian rhinos survived
in northeast India and lowland Nepal. Today, through habitat preservation and protection from hunting, that population has risen to more than 2,800. Seventy percent of these animals are in Kaziranga.
The union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has realized the extreme danger to river dolphins in the Ganga and Brahmaputra. The pollution levels in the Brahmaputra River and massive human
intervention has affected the dolphin's larger habitat. "They are very sensitive to pollution and the spill of sewage and other urban wastes has disturbed their habitat," says Borthakur, a reputed ethnobotanist.
River Brahmaputra will no more be a river of sorrow for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros as the Assam forest department along with WWF and
US Fish and Wildlife Services is planning its second round of translocation this summer and the rhinos to be translocated will be from Kaziranga National Park this time. The department's decision is among others aimed at rescuing the rhinos, classified as vulnerable species
according to International Union of Conservation Network (IUCN), from the flash floods of River Brahmaputra which takes a toll on at least
half a dozen of these animals every year. ?The other intention is aimed at reviving the rhino population and ensuring conservation and protection of Manas tiger reserve,? said a wildlife expert, who is a part of this programme.
The main tributaries of Brahmaputra River are Dibang River, Lohit River , Dhansiri River, Kameng River , Raidak River, Jaldhaka River, Teesta River
In comparison with the other major rivers in India, the Brahmaputra river is less polluted but it has its own problems: petroleum refining units contribute most of the industrial pollution load into the basin along
with other medium and small industries. The main problem facing the river basin is that of constant flooding. Floods have been occurring more often in recent years with deforestation, and other human activities being the major causes.
During the monsoon season, floods are a common occurrence. Deforestation in the Brahmaputra watershed has resulted in
increased siltation levels, flash floods, and soil erosion in critical downstream habitat, such as the Kaziranga National Park in middle Assam. The massive flooding causes huge losses to crops, life and property.
The beautiful Brahmaputra has become a river of sorrow for the people here. In the past two years, it has devoured more than 40 young lives, bringing under public glare a vital question: shouldn't the government do something immediately to ensure
safety for the riders to the mighty river?
For long, people have been beseeching the authorities to check the tragic re-runs. But regulations remain a distant dream even as the city moans the death of five people who were drowned in the river last week.
Their bodies are yet to be traced. Last year, over 22 lives were lost. The Inland Water Transport, which runs a ferry service till the Umananda Temple on the Umananda Island, has also temporarily stopped the service since July 11, 2011 because of the rising water level.
Brahmaputra floods: 9 lakh people affected in 15 districts
Nearly nine lakh people are affected in 15 districts in Assam as incessant rains over the last two days
(August 27 and 28 August) have meant that Brahmaputra and its tributaries are flowing above the danger mark. Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been
deployed in various districts to assist state administration in relief and evacuation work. The flood situation in Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts worsened as
Subanriri river is in spate.
Flood waters have also entered Kaziranga and Dibru Choikhowa national parks. However, there is no report of any major damage, the officials said.
The increasing water levels in Brahmaputra and its tributaries have also forced the Inland Water Transport (IWT) department to temporarily
suspend river transportation in many places, including Guwahati, Jorhat and Dhubri.
Communication with river island Majuli was snapped on Sunday following suspension of ferry services from Jorhat.
Turn Brahmaputra into vibrant waterway: Abdul Kalam
Speaking at the 14th convocation function of IIT-Guwahati on May 26, 2012 APJ Abdul Kalam
said the Brahmaputra was very close to his heart. By a smart waterway, Kalam meant that the river should be turned into a vibrant
waterway. "The Brahmaputra is very close to me. Yesterday and even today I visited the river bank," said Kalam.The former President exhorted the students to work for this cause.
Bhupen Hazarika, a music legend
Hazarika had "love-hate relationship" with the Brahmaputra
In 1965 Hazarika wrote and sung that famous song rebuking the
Burha Luit... "Brahmaputra" for flowing so silently despite seeing the sufferings of the people, his fans and critics wondered why he was so
angry with the mighty river. But while that was one song which was inspired by Paul Robeson's famous song Ol? Man River, Hazarika in his
lifetime spanning over eight decades wrote and sung over 100 songs about the Brahmaputra some of extreme anger and some of deep reverence to it.