IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


16th August, 2023 Geography

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Nandakini River's water level rose above the danger mark


  • The Nandakini River's water level crossed the danger mark in the Nandanagar area, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, due to incessant rainfall.
  • River water entered houses, leading residents to evacuate and find shelter in safer areas.
  • Vehicles buried under debris from mountain slides on the Badrinath highway in Mayapur due to heavy downpour. No casualties reported.

Red Alert and Meteorological Warning

  • The Indian Meteorological Department issued a red alert for Uttarakhand on August 13 and 14.
  • Heavy to very heavy rainfall, reaching extremely heavy levels, forecasted for the mentioned dates.
  • IMD's warning emphasized the need for safety precautions.

Current Conditions and Impact

  • Several districts of the state experienced heavy rain for several days, resulting in waterlogging, flooding, and disruption of normal life.
  • People faced difficulties and challenges due to the ongoing heavy rainfall and its consequences.

About Nandakini River

  • The Nandakini River is a prominent watercourse flowing through the state of Uttarakhand in northern India.
  • Originating from the Nanda Devi Mountain, this river traverses a picturesque landscape and plays a vital role in the ecology and livelihoods of the region.

Source and Origin

  • The Nandakini River originates from the Nanda Devi Mountain, the second-highest peak in India, located in the Garhwal Himalayas.
  • Glacial meltwater and springs contribute to the river's initial formation, giving it a pristine and freshwater source.

Course and Route

  • The river flows in a generally southeasterly direction, passing through scenic valleys, forests, and quaint villages.
  • It crosses important towns and locations like Ghat, Nandprayag, and Chamoli, further enhancing the river's significance for local communities.

Confluence and Tributaries

  • The Nandakini River eventually merges with the Alaknanda River at Nandprayag, a confluence that holds cultural and religious importance.
  • The river is fed by several tributaries, such as the Gauriganga and Madhyamaheshwar Ganga, which contribute to its flow and overall ecosystem.

Religious and Cultural Significance

  • The Nandakini River is associated with various myths and legends, contributing to its revered status in local Hindu culture.
  • Pilgrims and tourists often visit the river's banks and nearby locations as part of religious journeys and spiritual activities.

Vulnerability to Natural Events

  • The Nandakini River, like other Himalayan rivers, is vulnerable to natural events such as heavy rainfall, glacial melt, and landslides.
  • The region's topography and weather patterns can lead to sudden changes in water levels and the potential for flash floods.

Environmental and Ecological Impact

  • The river supports a diverse range of plant and animal species, contributing to the region's biodiversity and ecosystem health.
  • Its water is essential for irrigation and sustains agricultural practices in the surrounding areas.

Tourism and Recreation

  • The scenic beauty and serene landscapes along the Nandakini River attract tourists and adventure enthusiasts.
  • Activities such as trekking, camping, and nature exploration are popular along its course, boosting local tourism.

Management and Conservation

  • The Nandakini River's ecosystem requires careful management and conservation efforts to ensure its sustainable use.
  • Conservation initiatives aim to preserve the river's natural state and minimize human impact while supporting local communities.

Recent Events and Impact

  • The river's water level crossing the danger mark in specific areas, as mentioned in previous discussions, highlights the impact of heavy rainfall on the Nandakini River and its surroundings.


Q) Which of the following statements about the Nandakini River in Uttarakhand, India, is/are correct?

A) The Nandakini River originates from the Gangotri Glacier.

B) The Nandakini River merges with the Alaknanda River at Nandprayag.

C) It flows in a northwesterly direction through the state of Uttarakhand.

D) The Nandakini River primarily serves as a source of hydropower generation.

Answer: B