Kirtankhola River starting from Sayeshtabad in barisal district, the river Kirtankhola ends into the Gajalia near Gabkhan khal (canal). This old river is now known as the Barisal river. The total length of the river is about 160 km.
In ancient times, the ganges used to flow with three courses in Bengal namely the Nalini, the Haldini and the Pabni. The Pabni, meeting with the ancient Padma, joint flow of which termed as the Sugandha, flowed through madaripur south of faridpur, again renaming as the Andar Khan or the arial khan. The Arial Khan branched out in several courses in Madaripur and flowed through Barisal. Flowing further down and receiving various names, the Arial Khan fell into the bay of bengal as the Haringhata.
In south of Madaripur, the Andar khal or the Arial Khan was named as the Sugandha and was the greatest river of Bakla Chandradwip or the South Bengal. In course of time, the deltaic branches of the Sugandha were silted up and gradually disappeared creating various islands or chars in many parts of the greater Barisal district. With the passage of time, the name Sugandha was lost and the name Arial Khan became more prominent. One of the offshoots of this Arial Khan flows eastward near Shayeshtabad and falls into the Bay of Bengal after meeting with the meghna at Sahbazpur in bhola. Anther offshoot of Arial Khan flows south-southwest as the Kirtankhola upto Nalchity keeping the Barisal town on its west bank. The further course of the river falls into the Bay of Bengal receiving various names at various places and finally as the Haringhata.
The length of the river from Shayeshtabad to Nalchity is about 21 km and the average width is about half a kilometre. In British period, the river was very wide, deep and wild in nature. From the embankment constructed in British regime to prevent the Barisal town from salinity and flood, it is measured that the river was about a kilometre wide. But within a century, the width has been reduced to about half due to char formation in the river. At the same time, the depth, wather discharge and flow have also been reduced. The river shows erosional tendency and its flow contains a huge amount of sediment. [Md Mahbub Murshed]
See map in ganges-padma river system.