Brahmaputra (bräməpōˈtrə) [key] [Sanskrit, = son of Brahma], river, c.1,800 mi (2,900 km) long, rising in the Kailas range of the Himalayas, SW Tibet, China, and flowing through NE India to join with the Ganges River in central Bangladesh to form a vast delta; it is navigable for large craft c.800 mi (1,290 km) upstream. In Tibet, where it is called the Yarlung Zangbo, the river flows c.700 mi (1,130 km) east to form an important east-west transport route. In SE Tibet it turns south and flows swiftly through what is, at 16,650 ft (5,075 m), the world's deepest valley into India. In Assam state it takes the name Brahmaputra and flows c.450 mi (725 km) through the broad, fertile Assam valley. Entering Bangladesh, where it is called the Jamuna, it continues S to the Bay of Bengal via the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. Its lower course is sacred to Hindus. There the river is used heavily for transporting agricultural products.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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