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Bhairab River


Bhairab River an important river in the moribund delta area. Its name means 'the terrible' and attests to the size it had reached when the main volume of the ganges was carried by it. At present the main stream is not navigable beyond bagherpara upazila (jessore district). It has two main branches, the ichamati (Khulna-Ichamati) and the kobadak. Part of the Khulna-Ichamati is in India and partly in satkhira district of Bangladesh, and so it forms the boundary between the two countries.

The river is known by several names along its course. Downstream from Kaliganj to Kaikhali it is the Kalindi and the raymangal from where it has become a large estuarine river. It splits into two, with the western arm named Hariabhanga and the eastern arm retaining the original name. Downstream from Kaikhali, the river is referred to as the Khulna-Ichamati while in the south it is the Raymangal-Hariabhanga. The total length of the Bhairab is about 250 km. In the monsoon, the Ganges feeds it, but in the dry season it becomes dry. Its lower course remains navigable throughout the year and is influenced by tides.

khulna and Jessore towns stand on the bank of this river. In the past, the Bhairab greatly influenced development of settlements and culture in these two towns. The Hindus regard it as sacred. meherpur, chuadanga, Barobazar, kotchandpur, chaugachha, Jessore, daulatpur, bagerhat and Khulna are some of the important places located on the banks of the Bhairab. [Masud Hasan Chowdhury]

See map in ganges-padma river system.