River is formed by the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers at
Tandi located in the upper Himalayas, in the Lahaul district of
India. In its upper reaches it is
also known as the Chandrabhaga. It flows through the Jammu region of
Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, forming the boundary
between the Rechna and Jech interfluves (Doabs in Farsi). It is joined
by the Jhelum River at Trimmu, and then by the
Ravi River. It then merges with the
Sutlej River at Uch Sharif to form the Panjnad ('Five Rivers'), which
joins the Indus at Mithankot. The total length of the Chenab is
approximately 960 kilometers. The waters of the
Chenab are allocated to Pakistan
under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.
The river was known to Indians in Vedic period as Asikni or Iskmati
and as Acesines to the Ancient Greeks. In 325 BC,
Alexander the Great allegedly founded the town of
Alexandria on Indus (present day Uch Sharif or Mithankot or Chacharan)
at the confluence of the Indus and the combined stream of Punjab
rivers (currently known as the Panjnad River).
The Chenab has the same place in the consciousness of the people of
the Punjab, as, say the Rhine holds for the Germans, or the Danube for
the Austrians and the Hungarians. It is the iconic river around which
Punjabi consciousness revolves, and plays a prominent part in the tale
of Heer Ranjha, the Punjabi national epic.