It flows in north-west direction from its source (Glaciers of Kailas Range – Kailash range in Tibet near Lake Manasarovar) till the Nanga Parbhat Range.
It’s length is about 2,900 km. Its total drainage area is about 1,165,000 square km [more than half of it lies in semiarid plains of Pakistan]. It is joined by Dhar River near Indo- China border.
After entering J&K it flows between the Ladakh and the Zaskar Ranges. It flows through the regions of Ladakh, Baltistan and Gilgit.
The gradient of the river in J&K is very gentle (about 30 cm per km).
Average elevation at which the Indus flows through JK is about 4000 m above sea level.
It is joined by the Zaskar River at Leh (these kind of points are important for prelims).
Near Skardu, it is joined by the Shyok at an elevation of about 2,700 m.
The Gilgit, Gartang, Dras, Shiger, Hunza are the other Himalayan tributaries of the Indus.
It crosses the Himalayas (ends its mountainous journey) through a 5181 m deep gorge near Attock, lying north of the Nanga Parbat. It takes a sharp southerly bend here (syntaxial bend).
Kabul river from Afghanistan joins Indus near Attock. Thereafter it flows through the Potwar plateau and crosses the Salt Range (South Eastern edge of Potwar Plateau).
Some of the important tributaries below Attock include the Kurram, Toch and the Zhob- Gomal.
Just above Mithankot, the Indus receives from Panjnad (Panchnad), the accumulated waters of the five eastern tributaries—the Jhelum, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas and the Satluj.
The river empties into the Arabian Sea south of Karachi after forming a huge delta.
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