Incredible India

Shortest River in India – The Arvari River

The Arvari river is the shortest river in India. It originates from the Aravalli range in the Sakra Dam near Thanagazi in the Alwar District of Rajasthan

It has a total length of 45 km and is the main source of water for the Alwar district.

The Aravri river has a total basin area of 492 square kilometers.

The Arvari river flowing downstream of the Sainthal Sagar dam meets the Sarsa River and becomes the Sanwan River.

Smallest River in India - The Arvari River
Arvari River – Smallest River in India (Source)

The rivers Tildah and Banganga meet the Sanwan River to the conflux with the Gambhir River.

Gambhir also known as the Utang river then meets the Yamuna in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Prades.

And then Yamuna confluences with the Ganges at Triveni Sangam in Prayagraj.

Conservation of the – The Shortest River in India – Arvari River

A drought in the region dried the river and the Arvari river was lost in 1985.

The Local community under the guidance of Dr. Rajendra Singh (Water Man of India) started the efforts to restore the river in 1986.

The people of the Bhanota-Kolyala village started building earthen dams. They made around 375 such dams, the largest being 244m long and 7m wide.

Such collective efforts of the community and villages brought results and the Arvari river started flowing again throughout the year. It became a perennial river from a seasonal water body in 1996.

The Arvari River Parliament was formed in 1998 to help maintain the health of the river.

Arvari River Parliament (Arvari Sansad)

Arvari River Parliament
Arvari River Parliament (Source)

After the rebirth of the Arvari river in 1996, the Government of Rajasthan claimed over the river and awarded contracts for fishing in the Arvari river.

This move was heavily opposed by the local community and villagers who had worked for years to restore the river. And this was done without the knowledge and consent of the people residing along the bank of the river.

This gave rise to protests and non-cooperation against the government.

The high court passed a judgment stating that the state government would maintain ownership of the river until a designated system was established by the people.

This resulted in the formation of the Arvari River Parliament in 1996 to help maintain the health of the river.

The main purpose of the Arvari Parliament is to monitor and care for the water bodies of the Arvari River, and plan the usage of water and related issues to ensure the sustainability of the river.

On 20 August 2013 a sub-branch to the Parliament, the Arvari River Child Parliament was formed with the aim of providing education on responsible water management to the next generation of residents in the Arvari river basin.

Shortest River in India – Aravri – Awards and Recognition

Dr. Rajendra Singh - Water Man of India
Dr. Rajendra Singh -Water Man of India (Source)

K. R. Narayanan the then President of India awarded the members of the Arvari Parliament for the community work they did for the Rejuvenation of Arvari River.

On 28 March 2000 he visited the area to present the “Down to Earth — Joseph. C. John Award” to the villagers.

Dr. Rajendra Singh was awarded the Magsaysay Award in 2001.

Prince Charles on 3 November 2003 visited the Arvari River basin to recognize the work of the community and was escorted by Dr. Rajendra Singh and members of the local community.

The river was awarded the International River Prize in 2004.  

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