Geography of Rudra Prayag

Geography of Rudra Prayag

Rudraprayag is located in the lap of Shivalik Mountains Range at the confluence of Alakananda and Mandakini rivers. The average elevation of the town is 895 meters (2,936 feet) and its geographical coordinate is 30.28° North latitude and 78.98° East longitude.

Geology of Rudra Prayag District

It is an established fact that the Himalayas are the youngest mountain range of the world. Scientists are of the opinion that the whole region was once occupied by the great geosynclinal Tethys Sea. Later in Mesozoic Period, the area began to rise forming what we now call the great Himalayan Mountains. However, the geology of the mountains around Rudraprayag has undergone an intense metamorphosis. Some parts have witnessed major uplift while in some other parts we find high but subdued topography. Gorges too are a common sight in this district.

Physiographic of Rudra Prayag

From physiographical point of view, the region around Rudra Prayag consists of tectonic or folded mountain chains. Its strata are marked by complex folds, reverse faults as well as over-thrusts. Large nappes or recumbent folds are also very common sight in this region.

River System in Rudra Prayag

While Mandakini is the main river that runs through the district, Rudra Prayag town is located at the confluence of Mandakini and Alakannda rivers. Interestingly, these rivers are older than the mountains they cross and so they flow straight across their axis creating deep gorges. Another point is that the arable lands in this region are located at a higher level than that of the rivers. Consequently, their water can hardly be used for irrigation purpose.

River Mandakini in Rudra Prayag

River Mandakini originates from one of the two snouts of Chorabadi Glacier, located close to the holy town of Kedarnath in the district of Rudra Prayag. It then flows towards Kedarnath town and passes by Gourikund and Guptkashi.  At Sonprayag it meets River Basuki Ganga, also known as River Son. It then continues along National Highway 107 to merge into River Alakananda at Rudra Prayag.

As the name Mandakini signifies, the river is calm most of the year and therefore, suitable for water sports such as rafting and kayaking. It has number of rapids (Class 3, 4 and 5), which make the sport all the more interesting. However, in monsoon, the river often turns violent and causes much destruction.

River Alakananda in Rudra Prayag

River Alakanada is one of the two headstreams of River Ganges. It originates from the snout of the Satopath Glacier, closed to the holy city of Badrinath and then runs for 190 km to merge with Bhagirathi at Devaprayag.

On the way it meets River Dhauli Ganga at Vishnuprayag, River Nanadakini at Nandaprayg and River Pinder at Karnaprayag. It then enters Rudraprayag district at the coordinate of 30.28 North, 79.16 East and flows through Rudraprayag town before it meets River Mandakini. To harness its water a number of hydroelectricity dams have been constructed on this river.

Vegetation near Rudraprayag

The town of Rudra Prayag, located in the southern part of the district, has its slopes covered with different kinds of trees such as shisham, sal, catechu, bahera, har or harara, amaltas, bel, kachnar, dhak etc.  In some places in the extreme south of the district one can also find plants like mango, jamun and peepal growing here and there.

Minerals in Rudraprayag

The district is rich in minerals such as asbestos, copper, iron, magnestic, soapstone or steatite, graphite, gypsum, lead, slate, building stone, sulphur, bitumen etc. Besides, small quantity of antimony, arsenic, lignite or brown marble, mica and silver are also found here.

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