Six nation expedition traces Brahmaputra’s course

Thursday, November 25, 2010

KOLKATA - A six-nation rafting-cum-trekking expedition has successfully covered 3,000 km from the source of the river Brahmaputra in Tibet to its delta in the Bay of Bengal.

The 14-member team - comprising seven Indians, one Swiss, three Czechs, a new Zealander, an American and a German - took part in the first ever exploration on foot and by using inflatable boats of the river that flows through three nations - China, India and Bangladesh.

“The aim of our expedition is to focus worldwide attention on riverine ecology as also the livelihood and culture of the people living near the river banks,” said Swiss team leader Andy Leeman, after reaching the city in three inflated boats alongside the 13 other members of the contingent Thursday. The team arrived here from Bangladesh after the 55-day expedition.

The long journey started Oct 1 from the source of Brahmaputra near Mount Kailash in Tibet.

In the first stage, the team passed through southern Tibet Plateau where the Yarlung Tsangpo (Sky River) has its origin in the Chemayung-Dung glacier. The river then goes past the 7,782-m Mount Namche Barwa and flows into the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon - the worlds longest and deepest gorge.

The team members trekked on high altitude and rafted down some of the most punishable rapids as they covered the first phase of the expedition.

In the second phase, the expedition team started their rafting on the river in Assam and reached Bangladesh as they traversed through the waters on the Bay of Bengal.

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