The Chindwin River (Burmese: Chindwin Myin), also known as the Ningthi River[3][4] (Meitei: Ningthi Turel[5][6][a]), is a river flowing entirely in Myanmar, and the largest tributary of the country's main river, the Ayeyarwady.[7] Its official name is also spelled Chindwinn.[8]

Chindwin River
  • Burmese: ချင်းတွင်းမြစ်
  • IPA: [tɕɪ́ɰ̃dwɪ́ɰ̃ mjɪʔ]
  • Meitei: ꯅꯤꯡꯊꯤ ꯇꯨꯔꯦꯜ
The Chindwin at Homalin. The smaller, meandering Uyu River can be seen joining the Chindwin.
Location
CountryMyanmar
Physical characteristics
Source 
 • locationHukawng Valley, Kachin State
 • coordinates27°3′26.7048″N 97°1′33.618″E / 27.057418000°N 97.02600500°E / 27.057418000; 97.02600500
 • elevation1,134 m (3,720 ft)
Mouth 
 • location
Irrawaddy River
 • coordinates
21°28′26″N 95°16′53″E / 21.47389°N 95.28139°E / 21.47389; 95.28139
 • elevation
55 m (180 ft)
Length1,207 km (750 mi)
Basin size114,684.9 km2 (44,280.1 sq mi)[1]
Discharge 
 • locationNear mouth
 • average(Period: 1967– 2009)149.7 km3/a (4,740 m3/s)[2]
Discharge 
 • locationMonywa (74 km upstream of mouth; Basin size: 110,350 km2 (42,610 sq mi)
 • average(Period: 1966–2009)4,637 m3/s (163,800 cu ft/s)[2]
 • minimum(Period: 1966–2009)649 m3/s (22,900 cu ft/s)[2]
 • maximum(Period: 1966–2009)19,935 m3/s (704,000 cu ft/s)[2]
Discharge 
 • locationHkamti (Basin size: 27,420 km2 (10,590 sq mi)
 • average(Period: 1972–2009)2,290 m3/s (81,000 cu ft/s)[2]
 • minimum(Period: 1972–2009)109 m3/s (3,800 cu ft/s)[2]
 • maximum(Period: 1972–2009)14,150 m3/s (500,000 cu ft/s)[2]
Basin features
Tributaries 
 • leftUyu
 • rightMyittha

Sources edit

The Chindwin originates in the broad Hukawng Valley of Kachin State of Burma, roughly 26°26′18″N 96°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 25°30′N 97°0′E / 25.500°N 97.000°E / 25.500; 97.000 on the Shwedaunggyi peak of the Kumon range, 12 miles (19 km) 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 square kilometres (8,400 sq mi), 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,[7] 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 edit

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.[7] 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′N 95°15′E / 21.500°N 95.250°E / 21.500; 95.250. The extreme outlets into the Ayeyarwady are about 22 miles (35 km) 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.[9] Satellite pictures show this lowest channel to be the widest one today.[10]

Discharge edit

Average, minimum and maximum discharge of the Chindwin River at Monywa. Period from 1966/01/01 to 2022/12/31:[2][11]

Year Discharge (m3/s) Year Discharge (m3/s)
Min Mean Max Min Mean Max
1966 610 5,611 24,550 1995 684 4,977 20,680
1967 775 4,812 17,740 1996 616 3,989 16,080
1968 757 5,137 25,450 1997 432 4,434 20,400
1969 582 4,006 20,130 1998 736 5,113 19,600
1970 548 4,775 19,790 1999 480 5,188 21,530
1971 509 5,792 19,450 2000 632 5,514 18,740
1972 757 3,257 16,490 2001 512 4,278 14,040
1973 530 5,103 21,700 2002 672 4,595 24,300
1974 921 5,566 25,000 2003 744 5,134 18,460
1975 709 4,493 17,840 2004 608 5,862 19,770
1976 892 6,928 26,650 2005 552 3,486 16,200
1977 798 4,398 23,800 2006 242 3,771 16,520
1978 672 3,956 16,540 2007 318 5,355 19,740
1979 530 4,063 18,920 2008 288 4,500 23,270
1980 806 5,075 20,300 2009 257 3,232 16,160
1981 790 3,833 16,010 2010 121 3,898 13,787
1982 650 4,385 23,160 2011 132 3,771 19,673
1983 653 4,247 18,840 2012 343 4,817 16,600
1984 600 5,091 22,710 2013 201 4,236 16,560
1985 613 5,305 19,450 2014 297 3,169 18,081
1986 591 3,981 15,420 2015 4,585 25,510
1987 659 5,339 20,010 2016 802 5,160 19,067
1988 610 5,097 25,450 2017 6,776 21,831
1989 783 4,796 22,490 2018 5,618 19,019
1990 907 5,670 20,580 2019 477 4,290 12,963
1991 852 6,488 25,600 2020 6,114 17,800
1992 1,039 4,102 14,470 2021 276 4,776 16,610
1993 981 4,826 21,140 2022 972 4,603 11,805
1994 644 3,439 13,410 Mean 677 4,751 19,411

Tributaries edit

  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.[12][13]
  2. Myittha River drains the Kale valley and joins on the right further downstream. The town of Kalewa is on the left bank of their confluence.
  3. Tizu River originates from central Nagaland in northeast India. It flows through Zünheboto and Phek districts and finally joins the Chindwin river.[citation needed]

Towns edit

 
River Chindwin at Monywa
 
1980: River Chindwin 30 km NE of Monywa with Lower Chindwin crater lake
  1. Hkamti
  2. Htamanthi
  3. Homalin
  4. Mawlaik
  5. Kalewa
  6. Kalaymyo
  7. Mingin
  8. Monywa[14]

Environment edit

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.[15]

History edit

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.[16] 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.[17] The Chindwin was a major barrier both for the Japanese trying to invade India and for the Allied forces to reoccupy Burma.[18]

Ethnography and culture edit

The chindwin river has a great impact on the culture of western Burma.[19] Central Sino-Tibetan languages originated from valley areas of this river.

Economics edit

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.[12][13]

Notes edit

  1. ^ The name in Meitei language (officially called Manipuri language) is notable to be mentioned because many important historical events, associated with the Manipuri and the Burmese people, happened in and around the very river. Its Meitei language name is "Ningthi Turel". Here, "Turel" is a Meitei term for "river".

References edit

  1. ^ "Chindwin".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Chikamori, Hidetaka; Liu, Heng; Daniell, Trevor. Myanmar 1. Chindwin River (PDF).
  3. ^ Pemberton, R. Boileau (1835). Report On The Eastern Frontier Of British India. Baptist Mission Press, Kolkata. pp. 19–20.; McCulloch, W.Maj (1859). Account of the Valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes; with a Comparative Vocabulary of the Munnipore and other Languages. Bengal Printing Company Limited (Calcutta). pp. 8–40.; Siṃha, Kārāma Manimohana (1989), Hijam Irabot Singh and Political Movements in Manipur, B.R. Publishing Corporation, ISBN 978-81-7018-578-9
  4. ^ "Chindwin River | river, Myanmar | Britannica". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 2023-03-25. Called Ningthi by the Manipuris of India, it drains northwest through the Hukawng valley and then begins its 520-mile (840-kilometre) main course.
  5. ^ "GENERAL / LATEST NEWS: ENVIS Centre, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India". manenvis.nic.in. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 2023-03-25. The first being the Irrawaddy River Drainage system, where water flowing through the rivers of Manipur falls first into the Ningthi Turel (Chindwin River) and thereafter into the Irrawaddy River before discharging into the Bay of Bengal. . . . The Ningthi Turel (Chindwin River) System includes Tuijang, Taret and Maklang river basins.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  6. ^ "AIMS writes to Waterways Minister to redevelop inland waterways". www.thesangaiexpress.com. Retrieved 2023-03-25. The riverine systems of Manipur falls into two major systems namely the Irrawaddy River System, where water flowing through the rivers of Manipur falls first into the Ningthi Turel (Chindwin River) and thereafter into the Irrawaddy River before discharging into the Bay of Bengal ...
  7. ^ a b c Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chindwin" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 232.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-07-28. Retrieved 2018-08-08.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Chindwin River". Encyclopædia Britannica online. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  10. ^ "Earth from Space". NASA, November 1998. Archived from the original on 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  11. ^ "River Discharge and Reservoir Storage Changes Using Satellite Microwave Radiometry".
  12. ^ a b "Hpakan Other Rock Mine(Myanmar)". aditnow.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
  13. ^ a b Richard W. Hughes; Fred Ward. "Heaven and Hell: The Quest for Jade in Upper Burma". Ruby-Sapphire.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2008-12-27.
  14. ^ "Map of Sagaing Division". Asterism. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  15. ^ "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.
  16. ^ Phanjoubam Tarapot (2003). Bleeding Manipur. Har-Anand Publications. pp. 112–3. ISBN 978-81-241-0902-1. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  17. ^ Baruah, Sri Surendra. "The Stillwell Road A Historical Review". Tinsukia. Archived from the original on 2008-10-13. Retrieved 2008-11-19.
  18. ^ "Chindwin River". The Pacific War Online Encyclopaedia. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  19. ^ 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

Bibliography edit

  • J. G. Scott, Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States. 5 vols. Rangoon, 1900–1901

External links edit