Shyok River

The Shyok River (lit. 'the river of death')[1] a tributary of the Indus River that flows through northern Ladakh and enters Gilgit–Baltistan, spanning some 550 km (340 mi).

Shyok River
Shyok river Ladakh.jpg
Shyok river
Course of the Shyok
Etymology"the river of death"[1]
CountryIndia, Pakistan
State / RegionLadakh (India), Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan)
District / DivisionLeh (India), Baltistan (Pakistan)
Physical characteristics
 • coordinates35°21′N 77°37′E / 35.35°N 77.62°E / 35.35; 77.62
 • coordinates
35°14′N 75°55′E / 35.23°N 75.92°E / 35.23; 75.92Coordinates: 35°14′N 75°55′E / 35.23°N 75.92°E / 35.23; 75.92
Basin features
River systemIndus River
Shyok river and valley
35 metre statue of Maitreya Buddha facing down the Shyok River.

The Shyok River originates at the Rimo Glacier, one of the tongues of Siachen Glacier. The alignment of the Shyok river is very unusual, originating from the Rimo glacier, it flows in a southeasterly direction and, joining the Pangong range, it takes a northwestern turn, flowing parallel to its previous path. The Shyok valley widens at the confluence with the Nubra River but suddenly turns into a narrow gorge near Yagulung (34°46′N 77°08′E / 34.77°N 77.14°E / 34.77; 77.14), continuing through Bogdang, Turtuk[2] and Tyakshi before crossing into Baltistan. The river joins the Indus at Keris, east of the town of Skardu.[3][4]

The Nubra river, originating from the Siachen glacier, also behaves like the Shyok. Before Diskit, the SE flowing river Nubra takes a NW turn on meeting the river Shyok. The similarity in the courses of these two important rivers probably indicates a series of paleo fault lines trending NW-SE in delimiting the upper courses of the rivers. The importance of the Indus and the Shyok rivers is in the deposition of the thick Quaternary sediments—a treasure trove for geology researchers.[citation needed]

Shyok valleyEdit

The Shyok Valley is the valley of the Shyok River situated in Ladakh. The valley is close to the Nubra Valley. Khardung La on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies partway up the latter valley.



See alsoEdit


  • Sharad Singh Negi: Himalayan Rivers, Lakes, and Glaciers. Indus Publishing 1991, ISBN 81-85182-61-2
  • H. N. Kaul: Rediscovery of Ladakh. Indus Publishing 1998, ISBN 81-7387-086-1, p. 30-31 (restricted online version (Google Books))


  1. ^ a b Harish Kapadia (1999). Across Peaks & Passes in Ladakh, Zanskar & East Karakoram. Indus Publishing. p. 230. ISBN 978-81-7387-100-9. Shyok: river of death. (Sheo: death).
  2. ^ "Turtuk, the village on the India-Pak border, is where the clichés stop and fantasies begin".
  3. ^ Aerial view of river junction
  4. ^ Bennett-Jones, Owen; Brown, Lindsay; Mock, John (1 September 2004). Pakistan and the Karakoram Highway. Lonely Planet Regional Guides (6th Revised ed.). Lonely Planet Publications. p. 306. ISBN 978-0-86442-709-0. Retrieved 26 August 2009.

External linksEdit