Autobiography Of A River Essay

River nile

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The Nile is the longest river in the world which is located in Africa. It spans itself from Lake Victoria in east central Africa to Egypt. It flows generally north through Uganda, Sudan, and Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea, for an approximate distance of 5,584 km From its remotest headstream, the Luvironza River in Burundi, the river is 6,695 km long. The river basin has an area of about 3,350,000 sq km. Its average discharge is 3.1 million litres per second. The lower course of the river in Egypt has become centrally important to tourism, linking as it does to all the major sites of Ancient Egypt.

The source of the Nile is from the The source of the Nile was a mystery for centuries. An explorer named Ptolemy was sure that the source was the so called “Mountains of the Moon” and the search for the source was begun and had attracted lots of attention in the 18th and 19th century. Many explorers tried to find the source but they only found different rivers and lakes. It was then found that the primary source was from the snowcapped mountains which slowly melted and water was pouring down into a barren ground and on that day Lake Victoria was born. Lake Victoria got filled up after a 1000 years and started to flow north through Uganda and Egypt and finally out into the Mediterranean Sea. Lake Victoria was also met by the White and Blue Nile and soon it became a delta flowing to vast areas. The Nile has also got another source which are the heavy rainfalls which flood the Nile each summer while the river reaches its lowest volumes between January and May. The Nile flows through a lot of terrains as it is so long. It flows through a couple of rainforest and one desert, which is the Sahara desert(The largest desert in the world). Lake Victoria is the secondary source of the Nile.

History of Human activities

The first great African civilization developed in the northern Nile Valley in about 5000 BC. Dependent on agriculture, this state, called Egypt, relied on the flooding of the Nile for irrigation and new soils. It dominated vast areas of northeastern Africa for millennia. Ruled by Egypt for about 1800 years, the Kush region of northern Sudan subjugated Egypt in the 8th century BC. Pyramids, temples, and other monuments of these civilizations blanket the river valley in Egypt and northern Sudan.

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After this, other countries were born like Sudan and Uganda and even they started to use the Nile to fulfill their needs. Various cultures were born after that. Arabs and Africans started to make homes near the Nile and after that cultural facilities were made, including the Pocket Theatre, the National Puppet Theatre, the Opera House, and the National Symphony. Since the early 1960s, folk dancing had been the most interesting thing between these two cultures. Egypt is the principal film-making country in the Arab world, with a state-operated cinema corporation and numerous private film companies. Among the many outstanding museums in Cairo is the Egyptian Museum, also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, which houses a vast collection of relics and artefacts from almost every period of ancient Egypt. There is a rich and varied heritage, as well as Egyptian art and architecture but before all this art and architecture was culture in Africa. In Egypt pharaohs ruled the land and pyramids and sacred statues were built in remembrance of them and a kind of special tribute to the Nile.
Resources of river shared?
Ten countries share the Nile and its resources - Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The Nile River Basin serves as home to an estimated 160 million people within the boundaries of the Basin, while almost twice that number, roughly 300 million live within the ten countries that share the Nile waters. Its ecological system is unique, hosting a number of varied landscapes, with high mountains, tropical forests, woodlands, lakes, savannas and deserts. People who live on the mountains share the snow with the Nile as it provides water and people living near the rainforest get their water from the heavy seasonal rainfall as it is collected in a catchment. The seasonal rainfall also help the Nile flood which enables local people to gather water for their necessity.
Environmental Issues
97% of Egypt is mainly desert and is therefore dependent on the Nile River for its existence. Only 5% of the land area in Egypt is actually occupied and less than 4% of the land is suitable for agriculture. Since such a small percentage of land is habitable, population densities in some areas along the Nile River are greater than 1,000 people per square kilometere. The blood of Egypt is the Nile river and they can’t live without it. The Nile is the main source of freshwater for household use and irrigation and also a source of power from the hydroelectric facility at Aswan and it also assists in transporting people and certain goods(boats)
Economic development has placed great stress on Egypt's environment. Population density, combined with long-postponed infrastructure investments, has severely overwhelmed water and wastewater services of urban areas creating numerous environmental hazards. Oil pollution and careless anchoring of boats have damaged coral reefs off the coast, as has pollution from urban and industrial sources and improper disposal of solid wastes. Rapid population growth is straining natural resources as agricultural land is being lost to urbanization, desertification, and salination. The Nile and its tributaries are being contaminated with pollutants, chemicals, and heavy metals.
Other cities are having much more problems than Egypt as they have less establishments than Egypt and less support. Cairo in Egypt is in the best position that the other countries because the other countries have less irrigation systems and have a lesser population which means less workers and since the Nile is being polluted, the Nile will be destroyed and Egypt will have no other source to rely on.

Story and trivia

The holiest among the holy
Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Cauvery, and Narmada are the five holy rivers of India. Narmada is theholiest. She is also called Reva and Purvaganga. It is said that a view of the river cleanses our sins. Interestingly, legend goes that when Ganga feels polluted thanks to her worshippers who take a dip, she comes in the form of a black cow to have a purifying bath in the Narmada!

In mythological times, Shiva the lord of destruction sat meditating. His intense concentration made him break into a sweat. As it rolled down, it got collected in a tank. Eventually, this overflowed as the Narmada or Shankari, Shankar’s daughter. Every pebble on the riverbed is supposed to take the shape of a Shivalinga.

Think of Narmada and you are safe from snake venom
According to a Puranic story, the 60 million Gandharvas, defeated the Nagas and took over their kingdom and treasures. The Nagas went to Vishnu for help. He asked them to get Purukutsa’s help. They sent Narmada their sister, to ask for Purukutsa’s help. He agreed and she led him into the nether world of the Nagas. Empowered by Vishnu, Purukutsa fought against the Gandharvas, ultimately defeating them.

The Nagas then declared that whoever remembers this story of Narmada leading Purukutsa, would not be affected by the venom of snakes. Narmada went on to marry Purukutsa.

A Bhil creation song
The Bhils are tribals who have lived on the banks of the Narmada for centuries. The song they sing starts off with God’s sudden idea to create a world. The woodsman, Relu Kabadi is sent to fetch wood from the jungle. Slowly and lovingly every creature of the forest, plant, tree, and other things we see in the World, were carved out of wood. Lastly, the Narmada and Tapti were created. They started the flow to meet the ocean Dudu Hamad. This was to be a marriage and so on this wonderful journey, the villages, valleys and hills were created.

Emperor Sahasrarjun
Maheshwar on the banks of the Narmada was King Sahasrarjun’s capital. One day, the King and his 500 wives went to the river for a picnic. When the wives wanted a vast play area, the King stopped the mighty river Narmada with his 1000 arms!

While they were all enjoying themselves, Ravana flew by in his Pushpak Vimana. Downstream, when he saw the dry riverbed, he thought it was an ideal place to pray to Lord Shiva. He made a shivalinga out of sand and started his prayers.

When Sahasrajuna’s wives were done and they stepped out of the riverbed, he let the waters flow. The voluminous river flowed down sweeping Ravana’s shivalinga along, messing up his prayers. Furious, Ravana tracked Sahasrajuna and challenged him. Armed to the hilt, the mighty Ravana was in for a huge surprise. The mighty Sahasrarjuna with his 1000 arms pinned Ravana to the ground. Then he placed 10 lamps on his heads and one on his hand.

After tying up Ravana, Sahasrarjuna dragged him home and tied him up to his son’s cradle pole. A humiliated Ravana stayed prisoner until his release was secured.

Even today, the Sahasrarjun temple at Maheshwar lights 11 lamps in memory of the event.

Narmada’s flow to the West
It is said that the Narmada and Son were born as two teardrops of Brahma. Others say an official proposal of marriage from Son was made to Mekala, Narmada’s father. Yet others say, the Son wooed the mighty Narmada and she agreed to marry him.

When the Son was coming towards his bride’s place in a slow procession (baraat in Hindi), the curious and impatient Narmada sent her hairdresser Johilla to check out the groom. Son got chatting with Johilla and found her rather enchanting. When Narmada realized that her groom-to-be was enjoying Johilla’s company, she stormed out of the house and flowed westwards. The rejected Son too flew off Amarkantak to go in an easterly direction. Eventually, the Johilla stream, formed of her tears, flows eastwards to join the Son.

The Son is an important tributary of Ganga.



1.      This river forms an important connection between the Arabian Sea and the Ganges river.

2.      It was called Namade by Ptolemy the Greek geographer.

3.      The Narmada is considered the mother and giver of peace.

4.      It flows through central India as the fifth largest river on the Indian subcontinent.

5.      The source of the river is the Amarkantak hill range.

6.       It is believed that a dip in this river washes away all sins. It is one of the five holy rivers of India.

7.      The Narmada river basin is the home to India’s best teak and hardwood forests. Also, popular in this region are

          Maheshwari saris.

8.      A great number of irrigation projects have ben completed with regard to the Narmada river, supplying water to hundreds

         of farmers all over central India.

9.      Dams and hydroelectric powerhouses have been built to fully utilize the flow of this river.

10.   The distribution of the waters of this river were disputed for a long time before an agreement was finally reached that the

         water be allocated depending on necessity.

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