The Brahmaputra is one of the world’s great rivers, rising in the Himalayan glaciers in western Tibet and running east through Tibet, to the mountain mass of Namcha Barwa, passing through gorges over 5,000 m/16,000 ft deep. Turning south, as the Dihang, it enters India and flows into the Assam valley near Sadiya. It flows generally west until, shortly after reaching Bangladesh, it turns south and divides into the Brahmaputra proper, without much water, and the main stream, the Jamuna, which joins the Padma arm of the Ganges. This river eventually meets the Ganges and Meghna rivers and their distributaries to form the largest river delta in the world, most of which is in Bangladesh. It is one of the few rivers in the world that exhibits a tidal bore. The floodplains are heavily cultivated in both India and Bangladesh, and the river is navigable for 1,285 km/800 mi from the sea, prone to catastrophic flooding in spring when the Himalayan snows melt.
The 2900 km (1800 mile) river starts life called the Tsangbo (or Zangpo) in Tibet, Jamuna in Bangladesh, old Sanskrit calls it Lauhitya, the people of the Brahmaputra valley call it Luit, and in Sanskrit, it means "son of Brahma".
Nothing can prepare the traveler for the vastness and emptiness of this great water highway as myriad channels ply through seemingly endless archipelagoes of sand islands. Our journey will concentrate on the section between Dibrugarh and Guwahati, where wildlife and wilderness will be the order of the day. Here the riverbed can be as wide as 15 to 20 miles across, an untouched world of sand spits and marvelous bird life, of Gangetic dolphin and amazingly varied wildlife. Within striking distance of the river are a number of significant national parks: We will be visiting Kaziranga, a World Heritage Site, where the world’s largest population of Rhino reside, and the Orang National Park. Our unusual journey will appeal to those who wish to witness this extraordinary area, its diverse cultures and marvelous wildlife but who are weary of the more well trodden paths around the world. The roads may be poor and the tourist infrastructure very much in its infancy, but that is precisely why we find this region so exciting. Now is the time to visit before big business moves in with the resort hotel chains and all other paraphernalia that 21st century tourism entails.
detailed but large file size satellite photograph of the river is