Tucked in between two vast countries, Nepal, despite having no direct connection to the ocean, prides the captivating waterbodies it holds. As the rivers flow from the Himalayas, the waters touch almost every city and village in the country. Every river carries a serenity of its own, serving a breathtaking view as they blend into the landscapes around them.
Here are three major rivers of eastern, mid, and western Nepal with a stunning experience waiting for you if you ever happen to visit a nearby city or village. The monsoon season brings back the lushness to these rivers. They originate from the Himalayas, giving life to Nepal by flowing across the country and then making their way to the Ganga river that mixes with the Indian Ocean.
Kali Gandaki River
The Kali Gandaki gorge near Ghassa village is one of the biggest gorges in the world standing at a height of 2520m above the wild Kali Gandaki river. It is aligned with Mt Dhaulagiri and Mt Annapurna on the two sides, separating the two peaks. In the north, the river starts from the Tibetan border and ends all the way to Ganga, India. For centuries, the river has led the way for traders coming from Tibet to India. Amongst mountains in the Tibetan Plateau, the river touches Mustang and Kagbeni, bidding goodbye to the mountains. It then passes through Jomsom, Marpha, and Tukuche and reaches the Ghassa village near Lete. The river then takes a turn to the south-east, touching different cities and national parks and connecting to the great Ganges.
The best place to take in the river is from the bustling Kushma Bazaar, 2 hours away from the city of Pokhara. Kushma has many adventurous activities to offer above the cliff of the Kali Gandaki river. From bungee jumping, sky cycling, sky swinging, cable car rides, and many more. It is genuinely an awe-striking way of taking in the breathtaking river while all the adrenaline and butterflies scrunch up through your body. The wild waves have also been a perfect place for rafting, one can experience rafting through the Kali Gandaki from Pokhara itself.
The Karnali river originates from Mt Kailash of the vast Himalayas in Tibet at the Tibetan Plateau, across Mt Dhaulagiri, straight down western Nepal, to the Ganges. It is believed that this river is as old as time–it originated more than 5000 years ago when even the Himalayas hadn’t fully risen. In Tibet, it is called Mapcha Khambab, and in India, it's called Ghaghara. It used to be the only free-flowing river in Nepal. The Karnali rivers nestles in between the hills, through some of the most rural villages. It is a primary home for thousands of animals and plants, while also supporting the lives of hundreds of villages residing along its routes. It travels a distance of 507km in Nepal, the longest river in the country. This picturesque river binds together a scenic view throughout its pathway. The Rara National Park, Shey Phoksundo National park, and Bardia National park are situated around the landscape of the majestic Karnali river.
The river is rich in white water, potentially making it one of the best rafting rivers in the world. Through the years, the river has majorly contributed to the tourism sector in the west because of its rafting. Some of the best places to view the river are amidst the hills of Humla or Surkhet in the hilly region. The sunset sits at its best from the Terai view of the river in places like Kailali, Bardiya, and many more.
The beating heart of Eastern Nepal, Koshi falls from around the mighty Everest. The river is born in Eastern Tibet, circling some of the highest peaks of the world, through the Mahabharat range and the Siwalik Hills. It touches the Eastern Terai through the magnificent Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and makes its way to Bihar India connected to the Ganga river. Its seven main tributaries are Sun Koshi, Tama Koshi, Likhu, Dudh Koshi, Arun, Tamor, and Indrawati. It is a major habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna, while also majorly providing for the lively hood of eastern Nepal. The Sun Koshi river is home to rafters from all over the world because of its rich white waters. While Tamor river flows under the shadows of the captivating views of Mt Kanchenjunga. It is a much-admired spot for Kayaking as well.
It is impossible to avoid the Koshi river if one is on the way to or present in any major city or village in east Nepal. Stopping by on the way to step into some of the most gorgeous river beaches is perfect to take in the immense beauty the river has to offer. The minerals from the water sparkle on the beaches making it an experience with having.