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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Indus River and its tributaries

Panjnad River (Hindi: पञ्ज्नद, Urdu/Punjabi Shahmukhi: پنجند, Punjabi Gurmukhi ਪੰਜਨਦ) (panj = five, nadi = river) is a river at the extreme end of Bahawalpur district in Punjab, Pakistan.


Panjnad River is formed by successive confluence of the five rivers of Punjab, namely Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. Jhelum and Ravi join Chenab, Beas joins Sutlej, and then Sutlej and Chenab join to form Panjnad 10 miles north of Uch Sharif in Bahawalpur district.


The combined stream runs southwest for approximately 45 miles and joins Indus River at Mithankot. The Indus continues into the Arabian Sea. A barrage on Panjnad has been erected; it provides irrigation channels for Punjab and Sindh provinces south of the Sutlej and east of the Indus rivers.

Beyond the confluence of Indus and Panjnad rivers, the Indus river was known as Satnad (Sat = seven) carrying the waters of seven rivers including Indus river, which is believed to be in earlier times the Saraswati/Ghaggar/Hakra river which eventually dried and became a seasonal river due to seismic shifts in the glacial region of Himachal Pradesh where it originated and later on Kabul river and the five rivers of Punjab.


Qanungo[1] writes that the author of Mujmal-ut-Twarikh records an interesting legend - that a joint embassy was sent by the Jats and Meds of Sindh to the Court of King Duryodhana, asking for a ruler to govern them. "The Jats and Meds . . . dwelt in Sindh and on the banks of the river which is Bahar (mouth of the Indus?) .... The Meds held the ascendancy over the Jats, and put them to great distress, which compelled them to take refuge on the other side of the river Pahan (Panjnad river?), but being accustomed to the use of boats, they used to cross the river and make attacks on the Meds, who were owners of sheep. It so came to pass that the Jats enfeebled the Meds, killed many of them and plundered their country. The Meds then became subject to the Jats.

"One of the Jat chiefs (seeing the state to which the Meds were reduced) made the people of his tribe understand that there was a time when the Meds attacked the Jats and harassed them, and that the Jats in their turn had done the same with the Meds. He impressed upon their minds the utility of both tribes living in peace, and then advised the Jats and Meds to send a few chiefs to wait on king Dajushan (Duryodhana), son of Dahrat (Dhritarashtra), and beg of him to appoint a in to whose authority both tribes might submit ... After some discussions they agreed to act upon it, and the Emperor Dajushan nominated his sister Dassal [Dushala], wife of King Jandrat (Jayadratha) a powerful prince to rule over the Jats and Meds. Dassal went and took care of the countries and cities . . . There was no Brahman or wise man in the country. She therefore wrote a long letter to her brother for assistance, who collected 30,000 Brahmans from an Hindustan, and sent them with their goods and dependents to his sister" (Elliot, i, 104).


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