|A view of River Chenab near Sialkot.|
The Chenab River (Urdu: درياۓ چناب), (pron.: //,Punjabi: ਚਨਾਬ, canāb, Hindi: चनाब, literally: 'Moon(Chan) چن River(aab)' آب) is a major river of Jammu and Kashmir and the Punjab in Pakistan. It forms in the upper Himalayas in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, India, and flows through the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, Pakistan. The waters of the Chenab are allocated to Pakistan under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty.
The waters of the Chenab start from snow melt from the Bara Lacha Pass,
32°44′N 77°26′E / 32.733°N 77.433°E / 32.733; 77.433, in Himachal Pradesh. The waters flowing south from the pass are known as the Chandra River and those that flow north are called the Bhaga River. Eventually the Bhaga flows around to the south joining the Chandra at the village of Tandi. A motorable road runs along the Bhaga River, from Khoskhas to Tandi. The Chandra and Bhaga meet to form the Chandrbhaga River at Tandi. It becomes the Chenab when it joins the Marau River at Bhandera Kot, 12 km from Kishtwar Town in Jammu and Kashmir.
It flows from the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir into the plains of the Punjab, forming the boundary between the Rechna and Jech interfluves (Doabs in Persian). It is joined by the Jhelum River at Trimmu تریمو and then by the Ravi River Ahmedpur Sial احمدپور سیال. It then merges with the Sutlej River near Uch Sharif, Pakistan to form the Panjnad or the 'Five Rivers', the fifth being the Beas River which joins the Satluj near Ferozepur, India. The Chenab then joins the Indus at Mithankot, . The total length of the Chenab is approximately 960 kilometres.
The river was known to Indians in the Vedic period as Chandrabhaga (Sanskrit: चंद्रभाग), also Ashkini (Sanskrit: अश्किनि) or Iskmati (Sanskrit: इस्कामति) and as Acesines to the Ancient Greeks. In 325 BC, Alexander the Great allegedly founded the town of Alexandria on the Indus (present day Uch Sharif or Mithankot or Chacharan in Pakistan) 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 and the legend of Sohni Mahiwal.
Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu (abbreviated as CKP) is a prominent community in India from Maharashtra. Their historical roots can be traced from the area around Chenab river in Kashmir.
This river has been in the news of late due to the steps taken by the Indian government to build a number of hydroelectric power dams along its length (in India), notably Baglihar Dam, as part of the Indus Basin Project. These planned projects on Chenab have been "contested" by Pakistan, though Pakistan's objections have been dismissed by the Indian government.
There are several road and railway bridges on Chenab