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The Parang River (Chinese: 帕里河; pinyin: Pà lǐ hé), also called Para River (Chinese: 巴拉河; pinyin: Bā lā hé) and Pare Chu (Chinese: 帕里曲; pinyin: Pà lǐ qū) is an upstream tributary of the Sutlej River, that originates in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and ends in Himachal Pradesh again, but flows through Ladakh and Tibet before doing so. The origin of the river is near the Parang La pass in the Spiti subdistrict. After its circuitous journey, it joins the Spiti River near Sumdo in Himachal Pradesh and the combined river then joins Sutlej.[1]

Parang River
Pare Chu
CountryIndia, China
StateHimachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Tibet
DistrictLahaul and Spiti district, Leh district, Zanda County
Physical characteristics
SourceBaralacha range near Parang La
  locationLahaul and Spiti district, Himachal Pradesh
  coordinates32.4692°N 78.1628°E / 32.4692; 78.1628
  elevation18,000 ft (5,500 m)
MouthSpiti River
Near Sumdo, Himachal Pradesh
32.05128°N 78.60485°E / 32.05128; 78.60485
10,500 ft (3,200 m)
Length130 mi (210 km) approx.
Basin features
River systemSutlej River
  leftTakling Nala, Chumur stream, Kyumsalung Panglung, Pangnang, Baglung, Sumkhel Chu


The name "Para River", which becomes Pare Chu in Tibetan, is based on the shepherds' ground of Para in Karab-Bargyok (in the Tibetan part of its course). In Kinnauri, the river was called Parati.[2] The Tibetans and Ladakhis were more likely to call it by the name of locale above their own, as the "Rupshu river" or "Tsotso river", Tsotso being the name of the valley in West Tibet through which it flows.[3]

Henry Strachey regarded it as the western headwater of Sutlej River, and called it "Rupshu Sutlej" or "Tsotso Sutlej".[4]


The circuitous route of Parang River appears at the right of this map (from Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1907); British territories shown in pink and princely states in yellow.
The circuitous route of Parang River appears at the right of this map (from Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1907); British territories shown in pink and princely states in yellow.

The Parang River originates in Spiti and ends in Spiti, taking a circuitous route through Ladakh and Ngari Khorsum (West Tibet). British geographer Alexander Cunningham wries:

The Para rises in the Parang Pass, to the [northeast] of the Bara Lacha range,[lower-alpha 1] in N. latitude 32° 25', and E. longitude 77° 50', at an elevation of 18,000 feet. It first flows for about twenty-five miles to the northeast, and for about twenty-five miles to the east as far as Chumur. From this point it turns to the south-east, and afterwards to the south-west, to its junction with the Spiti at Chang-Razing. Its whole length is 130 miles, and its fall about 7,500 feet, or 57.7 feet per mile.[5]

Interestingly, Spiti River flows by the Parang Pass only 10 km to its west. The Parang River joins it about 80 km downstream at Sumdo, near the Tibet border.

Cunningham states that the Spiti and Parang rivers are roughly equal in volume. But Parang is only a "very large rushing torrent" while Spiti is very deep rapid river. After the union of the two at Sumdo (the old Chang-Razing), the combined river flows south for about 25 miles (40 km), where it joins the Sutlej.[5]


  1. The Bara Lacha range (also called Paralasa range) runs immediately to the northeast of the Great Himalayan range, similar to the Zanskar range.


  1. Howard, Development of the Boundary (2005), pp. 225–226: "... the Para River which, after passing through a small part of Tibet, later enters Spiti and joins the Spiti River."
  2. Strachey, Physical Geography of Western Tibet (1854), p. 35.
  3. Strachey, Physical Geography of Western Tibet (1854), p. 30.
  4. Strachey, Physical Geography of Western Tibet (1854), pp. 43–44.
  5. Cunningham, Ladak (1854), p. 131.


На других языках

[de] Parechu

Der Parechu (auch Pare Chu) ist ein linker Nebenfluss des Spiti im indischen Bundesstaat Himachal Pradesh und Unionsterritorium Ladakh sowie im autonomen Gebiet Tibet (Volksrepublik China).
- [en] Parang River

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