Nepalese rivers can be generally separated into three categories according to
their origins. The first category comprises the three main river systems of the
country Koshi, Gandaki and Karnali river systems, all of them originating from
glaciers and snow-fed lakes of the Himalayas.
The Koshi river system consists of the Tamor, Arun, Dudhkoshi, Likhu, Tamakoshi,
Sunkoshi and Indravati rivers. Of these, the Arun and Sunkoshi originate in
Tibetian plateau. The confluence of these rivers is at Tribeni which isnear
Dharan in the Everest Zone. Flowing for almost 10kms through a narrow gorge
before entering the plains, the "Sapta Kosi" or the "Koshi" swollen with the
waters of the seven rivers finally merges into the great Ganges.
The Gandaki river system flows in central part of Nepal which consists of the
Kaligandaki, Budhigandaki, Marsyanghi, Trishuli, Seti, Madi and Daraundi
rivers. The Kaligandaki is the longest river and the Trishuli, the main
tributary of this system in Nepal.
The Kaligandaki originates in Mustang and converges with the Trishuli at Deoghat
in Chitwan. The river here is known as the Narayani and goes on to meet the
Ganges. The Karnali river system in western Nepal consists of the Humla
Karnali, Mugu Karnali, Seti and Bheri rivers and is the longest river system in
the country. The Humla Karnali, which rises in Tibet, is the main tributary.
After entering Indian territory, this river assumes the name Gogra.
Rivers like the Mechi, Mahakali, Bagmati, Kamala, Rapti, etc., most of which
have their origin in the Mahabharat range constitute the rivers of the second
category. The Bagmati, which rises at Bagdwar and drains out through the
Chobhar gorge, is the principal river of the Kathmandu Valley.
Streams and rivulets originating mostly from the Chure hills make up the third
category; these rivers rely on monsoon rains and are otherwise dry.