The main rivers of Assam are the Brahmaputra and Barak. These rivers have continuous flow throughout the year.

The  Brahmaputra is the main river of Assam. Assam is dominated by this river. The source of this river lies towards the east of the ‘Manas Sarovar’, lake in the Himalayas in an ice glacier called ‘Tamchuk Khambab’ (approximately 31 degree north latitude and 42 degree east longitude). The total length of the river from the source to the sea is 2,900 kms and its drainage area is roughly 9,35,000 sq. kms.

The magnificent flow of the mighty Brahmaputra is reckoned amongst the world’s most majestic rivers, and is naturally the most striking feature of the State. Fed by more than a hundred tributaries flowing down the surrounding hills, the river sweeps gracefully through the entire length of the Brahmaputra valley. After a 725 km. sweep through Assam, it turns south-west beyond Meghalaya and then south, joining the easternmost branch of the Ganga – the Padma - and empties together with Ganga into the Bay of Bengal. The North bank tributaries, debounching abruptly to the Brahmaputra valley and obstructed by their own alluvial fans, branch out and form oxbow lakes before picking up the erring streams again. The Brahmaputra itself is highly braided due to low gradient and tends to form river islands.

The Brahmaputra has two islands :  one is Majuli in Jorhat district and the other is Umananda in Guwahati. These islands are believed to the largest (Majuli) and smallest (Umananda) river islands in the world. Majuli had originally an area of 1256 sq. kms. (485 sq. miles). But due to constant annual erosion, there has been considerable shrinkage of its size. Now Majuli has an area of only 929 sq. kms..

The Barak is another important river in the Cachar district of the State. The Barak originated in the Naga Hills, flowing through Manipur and getting bifurcated near Badarpur into Surama and Kushiyara and ultimately entering Bangladesh and margin with the Brahmaputra (the Padma) taking on the name Meghna. The total length of the barak is about 900 km.. The river Barak used to be an important water-way in the past. Even today it is used by country boats for trade and commerce.

Other Rivers & Tributaries

Brahmaputra : Subansiri, Bhoroli, Bornodi, Puthimari, Pagladiya, Manas, Na-Dihing, Disang, Dikhow, Bhogdoi, Dhansiri, Kapili, Jiyadhol, Ronganodi, Kakodanga, Buroi, Sampaboti, Dibru, Dudhnoi, Krishnai, Buri-Dihing, Dikrong etc..

Barak  : Jadukata, Jiri, Jatinga, Bogapani, Sonai, Longai, Singra etc..

Subansiri : Sarikaria, Kumotiya, Jiyadhol

Na-Dihing : Dirak

Dibru : Dangari, Doom-dooma

Buri-Dihing : Tipling, Tingrai, Namchang, Chencha

Kakodonga : Dholi

Dhansiri : Daiyang, Nambar, Koliyoni

Manas : Ai

Kapili : Borapani, Jamuna, Kiling.

River Islands of Brahmaputra

Majuli (area 929 sq. Km; the largest river island of the world) and Umanada (area 16.335 bigha 2 kotha 5 lecha; the smallest river island of the world).

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