Arun River

From Jatland Wiki
(Redirected from River Aruna)
Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)

Arundel, Arun River and Arundel Castle

River Arun (Hindi:अरुन नदी, /ˈærən/) is a river in the English county of West Sussex, England. Aruna River (अरुणा नदी) is mentioned in Mahabharata.

Variants of name


It is the longest river in Sussex[1] and one of the longest starting in Sussex after the River Medway, River Wey and River Mole. From the series of small streams that form its source in the area of St Leonard's Forest in the Weald, the Arun flows westwards through Horsham to Nowhurst where it is joined by the North River. Turning to the south, it is joined by its main tributary, the western River Rother, and continues through a gap in the South Downs to Arundel to join the English Channel at Littlehampton. It is one of the faster flowing rivers in England, and is tidal as far inland as Pallingham Quay, 25.5 miles (41.0 km) upstream from the sea at Littlehampton. The Arun gives its name to the Arun local government district of West Sussex.

Mention by Panini

Aruna (अरुण) is name of a Country mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi under Dhumadi (धूमादि) (4.2.127) group.[2]


When Ptolemy wrote his Geography around 150 AD, the Arun was called the Trisantonis, with later accounts using the same name.[3] Trisantonis is thought to be a Brythonic word for 'the trespasser', indicating the river's tendency to flood land near to the river. Trisanto translates directly as 'one who goes across'. There is also a theory that the Arun may have been known as the Trisantonis in its lower reaches close to the sea, but known as the Arnus (from the Brythonic 'Arno' meaning run, go, or flow) [4] in its upper reaches. It is possible that the town of Arundel may mean Arno-dell, or dell of the flowing river.[5] By the Middle Ages the river was known as the river of Arundel, the Arundel river, or the high stream of Arundel. An alternative name, the Tarrant (derived from Trisantona), is, however, attested in 725 and 1270, and is reflected in the road name Tarrant Street, one of the main roads running through the town roughly parallel to the river. The first use of the modern name was recorded in 1577, but the alternative names of Arundel river or great river continued to be used for many years.[6]

The first major improvements to the river were made between the 1540s and the 1570s, when Arundel became a port, and navigation up to Pallingham was improved, but barges had difficulty negotiating the flash locks that were installed. The work was carried out by Henry FitzAlan, 19th Earl of Arundel, who made the upper section toll-free. Harbour commissioners managed the lower river from Arundel to the sea from 1732, and major improvements to keep the estuary free from silt were sanctioned by an Act of Parliament obtained in 1793. With the coming of the railways and changes in coastal shipping, Littlehampton superseded Arundel as the port of the Arun, and the Littlehampton harbour commissioners are still responsible for the river up to Arundel, collecting tolls for its use.

The river above Arundel was improved after 1785. As the main channel was toll-free, the proprietors of the scheme built two major cuts. One, which included three locks and passed through Hardham Tunnel, was built to avoid a large bend near Pulborough. The other was near the upper terminus, where a cut with three locks crossed the original channel by an aqueduct to reach wharves at Newbridge. Further improvements were made when the Wey and Arun Canal opened in 1816, joining the Arun at Newbridge, and after the completion of the Portsmouth and Arundel Canal, which opened soon afterwards. These two canals were an attempt to provide an inland route between London and Portsmouth, but were not as successful as the proprietors hoped. Traffic declined rapidly when the railways offered competition, and the navigation ceased to be maintained from 1888, though some traffic continued on the lower sections. The Wey and Arun Canal is currently being restored, and restoration will eventually include the cut and locks below Newbridge.

The mouth of the river has not always been at Littlehampton. Until the later fifteenth century it joined the River Adur at Lancing some ten miles to the east before entering the sea. This estuary became blocked with shingle by the eastward drift of the tides, pushing the Adur towards Shoreham-by-Sea, while the Arun broke out at Worthing, Goring and Ferring at various times, until it formed its present estuary at Littlehampton between 1500 and 1530.[7]


At 37 miles (60 km) from its source to the sea, the Arun is the longest of the rivers flowing entirely within Sussex.[8] It rises as a series of streams, known locally as ghylls or gills, to the east of Horsham, in St Leonard's Forest. It flows westwards, along the southern boundary of Horsham and turns briefly to the north to skirt Broadbridge Heath. Continuing westwards, it is joined by the North River, which is also known as the River Oke,[9] whose headstreams are the heights of Leith Hill and Holmbury Hill in Surrey.[10] After the junction, it passes under the A29 road, which follows the route of the Roman Stane Street at this point, and timber piles of a Roman bridge have been found in the riverbed.[11] The earthworks from a Roman station are close by. To the south of Rudgwick it is crossed by a disused railway line, and at this point it crosses the 66-foot (20 m) contour. Its course is marked by winding meanders as it turns towards the south, and the county boundary briefly follows its course, before it is joined by the partially restored Wey and Arun Canal. Its former course to the west of the canal can be clearly seen, and is followed by the boundary, but the main flow of the river follows a new straight cut just to the east of the canal. Once the boundary crosses back over the canal, the river resumes its meandering course on the eastern side of the canal.[12]

A little further to the south is another straight cut, with the old course still visible on the other side of the canal. Soon it reaches Newbridge on the A272 road near Wisborough Green. The location of the wharf which was the northern terminus of the Arun Navigation was just to the south of the bridge. Wharf Farm was nearby, and the modern 1:2500 Ordnance Survey map shows buildings named "The Old Wharf". Brockhurst Brook joins from the east before the river turns briefly westwards. Soon it is crossed by Orfold Aqueduct, which carried the Arun Navigation over the river channel. The River Kird joins it, flowing from the north, and it turns southwards again. At Pallingham the remains of Pallingham Manor are on the north bank, next to Pallingham Manor Farm,[13] a 17th-century timber-framed farmhouse, which is Grade II listed.[14] Pallingham Quay Farmhouse, another Grade II listed building dating from the 18th century, is on the west bank of the river just before its junction with the Arun Navigation cut. Below the junction, the river is tidal.[15]

Continuing southwards, the river passes the gallops which are part of Coombelands Racing Stables, situated on the eastern bank,[16] and Park Mount, a motte and bailey dating from the time of the Norman conquest. It is one of the best-preserved monuments of this type in south east England.[17] The river is crossed by Stopham Bridge, a fine medieval stone bridge built in 1422-23. The centre arch was raised as part of the improvements made to the navigation in 1822. It is a Grade I listed structure, and also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It was damaged by army lorries in the Second World War, but has been repaired,[32] and the heavy traffic on the A283 road was diverted onto a new bridge just upstream of it in the 1980s.

Below the bridge is a small island, after which an artificial cut built to avoid the circuitous route of the River Rother Navigation heads westwards. The river now discharges over a weir at the site of the former Hardham corn mill to join the Arun a little further downstream, and the junction is followed by another small island.[18] Hardham lock was necessary because of the drop in levels caused by the mill, and the branch through Hardham tunnel headed due south a little further up the Rother.[19] Exploration of the tunnel was described by an article in Sussex County Magazine in 1953, when both ends were accessible, and again in 2012, when only the southern end was explored. A waterworks has been built over the bed of the canal at the northern end, and the tunnel mouth is within the site.[20] The river continues in a large loop to the east. The Arun Valley railway line crosses it to reach Pulborough railway station. There is another island, with the A29 road crossing both channels. Pulborough Brooks nature reserve is to the east of the loop, and the course then meanders westwards to Greatham Bridge.[21] The bridge consists of eight low elliptical arches, two taller arches, a cast iron span over the navigable channel, and a solid ramp to the east. Although its construction suggests that it is medieval, most of the arches were erected in 1827.[22]

On the west bank of the river below the bridge is Waltham Brooks nature reserve. Coldwaltham lock, on the branch through the Hardham Tunnel, is still marked on modern maps, and the section from the lock to the river still holds water. Just to the north of Amberley, the river is crossed by the Arun Valley line again at Timberley Bridge. At the village of Bury, the West Sussex Literary Trail joins the western bank and another footpath joins the eastern bank. The next bridge is Houghton Bridge, close to Amberley railway station. The river splits into two channels here, and the bridge spans both.[23] Similar to Greatham Bridge, it looks medieval, but was built in 1875. There is a solid section on the island between the channels, with a single arch over the eastern channel and four arches over the main river.[24] The chalk pits which provided trade to the navigation are now the location of Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre, a 36-acre (15 ha) site with many items of industrial heritage on display.[25]

The river follows an "S"-shaped course, the northern loop encircling the village of North Stoke and the south one encircling South Stoke. Immediately to the south, the old course passes under the railway line, but a new channel was cut to the west of the railway. On the west bank is the hamlet of Offham and Arundel Wetland Centre, a 65-acre (26 ha) haven for birds which is run by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.[26] The market town of Arundel is to the west of the river. It has a castle build on a motte, the construction of which was started in 1068. It is owned by the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk.[27] The present building consists of many different components, dating from the late eleventh century through to the nineteenth, and is Grade I listed.[28] Two bridges span the river here, the first on the original road through the town, while the second carries the A284 Arundel Bypass. The final section is crossed by a railway bridge, built in 1908, and the A259 road bridge, which carries the road into Littlehampton on the east bank. It discharges into the English Channel between the East and West Piers.[29]

Littlehampton and its harbour were guarded from naval attack by Littlehampton Redoubt on the western bank at the mouth of the river, completed in 1854, which is now screened from the open sea by Climping sand dunes. This fort replaced a seven-gun battery on the east bank, which was built in 1764.[30]

अरुणा नदी

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[31] ने अरुणा नाम की तीन नदियों का उल्लेख किया है:

1. अरुणा नदी गोदावरी नदी की सहायक नदी है और यह नासिक-पंचवटी के निकट गोदावरी में मिलती है।

2. अरूणा नदी पंजाब की सरस्वती की सहायक नदी है। इसका और सरस्वती का संगम पृथूदक के निकट था।

3. अरूणा ताम्र के साथ सुनकोसी में मिलने वाली नदी है। इसके संगम पर लोकामुख तीर्थ था।

In Mahabharata

Aruna River (अरुणा) is mentioned in Mahabharata : (III.82.133, 135), (IX.42.24,25,35), (IX.44.14),

Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 82 Mentions names Pilgrims: Arriving next at the well of Tamraruna (ताम्रारुण) (III.82.133,135), that is frequented by the gods, one acquireth, O lord of men, the merit that attaches to human sacrifice. Bathing next at the confluence of the Kirtika with the Kausiki and the Aruna, and fasting there for three nights a man of learning is cleansed of all his sins.

ताम्रारुणं समासाद्य बरह्म चारी समाहितः, अश्वमेधम अवाप्नॊति शक्र लॊकं च गच्छति (III.82.133)
कालिका संगमे सनात्वा कौशिक्यारुणयॊर यतः, तरिरात्रॊपॊषितॊ विद्वान सर्वपापैः परमुच्यते (III.82.135)

Shalya Parva, Mahabharata/Book IX Chapter 42 mentions about the River Aruna in verses (IX.42.24,25,35) ....

The Supreme Lord of the universe said unto him, 'Performing a sacrifice, bathe with due rites, O chief of the celestials, in Aruna, that tirtha which saveth from the fear of sin! The water of that river, O Shakra, hath been made sacred by the Munis! Formerly the presence of that river at its site was concealed. The divine Sarasvati repaired to the Aruna, and flooded it with her waters. This confluence of Sarasvati and Aruna is highly sacred!

महर्षीणां मतं जञात्वा ततः सा सरितां वरा, अरुणाम आनयाम आस सवां तनुं पुरुषर्षभ (IX.42.24)
तस्यां ते राक्षसाः सनात्वा तनूस तयक्त्वा थिवं गताः, अरुणायां महाराज बरह्महत्यापहा हि सा (IX.42.25)

Giving away many gifts and bathing in that tirtha, he of a hundred sacrifices, the piercer of Vala, duly performed certain sacrifices and then plunged in the Aruna.

इत्य उक्तः सा सरस्वत्याः कुञ्जे वै जनमेजय, इष्ट्वा यदावथ बलभिर अरुणायाम उपास्स्पृशत (IX.42.35)

See also


  1. Vine, P.A.L. (2007). The Arun Navigation. Tempus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7524-4323-2.p.7
  2. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.509
  3. [Ikins, Thomas G. (2007). "The Roman Map of Britain". Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013. ]
  4. E. Ekwall, English River-Names (1968) p418
  5. Ikins, Thomas G. (2007). "The Roman Map of Britain". Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  6. Hudson, T P, ed. (1977). A History of the County of Sussex: Volume 5 Part 1: Arundel Rape: south-western part, including Arundel. Victoria County History. ISBN 978-0-19-722781-7.pp.10-101, "Arundel".
  7. Vine 1986, p. 20.
  8. Vine 2007, p. 7.
  9. Goodsall, Robert H (1962). The Arun and Western Rother. London: Constable
  10. Hillier, J (1951). Old Surrey Watermills. London: Skeffington and Son
  11. "Bridge Piles". Romans in Sussex. Sussex Archaeological Society.
  12. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  13. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  14. Historic England. "Pallingham Manor Farm (424941)". Images of England.
  15. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  16. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  17. Historic England. "Motte and bailey castle in Pulborough Park (1017547)". National Heritage List for England.
  18. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  19. Ordnance Survey, 1:2500 map, 1876,
  20. Whittington, Jim (January 2012). Going Underground - Hardham Tunnel. Waterways World. ISSN 0309-1422. pp. 78-79.
  21. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  22. Historic England. "Greatham Bridge, Parham (298494)". Images of England.
  23. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  24. Historic England. "Houghton Bridge, Amberley (298261)". Images of England.
  25. "Welcome to Amberley Museum". Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre.
  26. "WWT Arundel Wetland Centre". Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.
  27. "The Castle". Arundel Castle Trustees
  28. Historic England. "Arundel Castle (297142)". Images of England.
  29. Ordnance Survey, 1:25,000 map
  30. Historic England. "Littlehampton Fort (1005809)". National Heritage List for England.
  31. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.39