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Two Rivers

retold by Rohini Chowdhury


Two Rivers

Dhruv - The Pole Star

Ganesh, Parvati's son

Kartikkeya - the Son of Shiva

A Trip Around the Universe

Krishna's Birth

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This is a story about how the rivers Sutlej and Beas got their names.

In ancient India, the Sutlej was known as the Shatadru - which means 'flowing in a hundred branches'; the Beas was known as the Vipasha, from 'vipash', which means 'without bonds' or 'unfettered.

The rivers Sutlej and Beas rise in the Himalayas and flow through the mountains of northern India and Pakistan. They form two of the five main tributaries of the great river Indus. The Sutlej is the fastest and longest of the Himalayan rivers, and is an important source of hydel power. The Beas forms the valleys of Kullu and Kangra, famous for their natural beauty.

Read on to find out how these rivers got their names in ancient times.

Long ago, in India, there lived a sage called Vasishtha. Vasishtha was a wise and learned Brahmin, one of the seven Rishis and a son of the god Brahma himself. The king, Kalmashpad, held Vasishtha in great respect, and appointed him priest to the royal family.

Now Vasishtha had a rival, the sage Vishwamitra. Vishwamitra was jealous of Vasishtha's great learning and wisdom, and the honour given him by the king. Vishwamitra wanted the position of royal priest for himself, for he thought he was wiser and more able than Vasishtha. But King Kalmashpad had chosen Vasishtha. This made Vishwamitra even more jealous, and he decided to get even with Vasishtha.

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Last updated: April 2010. Copyright © Rohini Chowdhury 2002. All rights reserved.

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