Yamuna or Jumna, river, c.850 mi (1,370 km) long, rising in the Himalayas, N India, and flowing generally SE, through the Shiwalik Range, past Delhi, to the Ganges River at Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh state; the Chambal and Betwa rivers are its main tributaries. The Yamuna's confluence with the Ganges is sacred to Hindus; Allahabad is a major pilgrimage center. Along the Yamuna's banks are many historic monuments, including the Taj Mahal at Agra. Formerly an important trade artery, the Yamuna is now the source of irrigation for Uttar Pradesh and Punjab states, and it also suffers from heavy pollution, most especially in the Delhi area. As a result, the river is, except during the monsoon season, severely polluted and greatly reduced in flow below Delhi. The East Yamuna, West Yamuna, and Agra are the major canals on the river.
For the goddess of the river who is sometimes called Yamuna, see Yami

The Yamuna (Sanskrit: यमुना, sometimes called Jamuna or Jumna) is a major tributary river of the Ganges (Ganga) in northern India. With a total length of around , it is the largest tributary of the Ganges.

Its source is at Yamunotri, in the Uttarakhand Himalaya, which is north of Haridwar in the Himalayan Mountains. It flows through the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, before merging with the Ganges at Allahabad. The cities of Baghpat, Delhi, Noida, Mathura, Agra, Etawah, Kalpi, Hamirpur, Allahabad lie on its banks. The major tributaries of this river are the Tons, Chambal, Betwa, and Ken; with the Tons being the largest.

A heavy freight canal, known as the SYL (Sutlej-Yamuna Link), is being built westwards from near its headwaters through the Punjab region near an ancient caravan route and highlands pass to the navigable parts of the Sutlej-Indus watershed. This will connect the entire Ganges, which flows to the east coast of the subcontinent, with points west (via Pakistan). When completed, the SLY will allow shipping from India's east coast to the west coast and the Arabian sea, drastically shortening shipping distances and creating important commercial links for north-central India's large population.

Ancient history

There is some evidence indicating Yamuna was a tributary of the Ghaggar river in the ancient past. It changed its course to east following a tectonic event in north India and became a tributary of the Ganges instead.

The goddess of the river, also known as Yami, is the sister of Yama, god of death, and the daughter of Surya, the Sun god, and his wife Samjñā. The river Yamuna is also connected to the religious beliefs surrounding Krishna.

Wildlife & surroundings

fact about the Yamuna is that it is the frontier of the Asian Elephant. West of the Yamuna, there are no elephants to be found over 900 km of the western Himalayas and their foothills. The forests of the lower Yamuna offer ideal corridors for elephant movement. The principal forests to be found here are of Sal , Khair (Acacia) , and Sissoo (Rosewood) trees, and the Chir Pine forests of the Shivalik Hills.


Yamuna is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, especially around New Delhi, the capital of India, which dumps about 57% of its waste into the river. Though numerous attempts have been made to clean it, the efforts have proven to be futile. Although the government of India has spent nearly $500 million to clean up the river, the river continues to be polluted with garbage while most sewage treatment facilities are underfunded or malfunctioning. In addition, the water in this river remains stagnant for almost 9 months in a year aggravating the situation. Delhi alone contributes around 3,296 MLD (million litres per day) of sewage in the river. The government of India over the next five years has prepared plans to rebuild and repair the sewage system and the drains that empty into the river. To address river pollution, certain measures of cleaning river have been taken by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) of the Government of India (GOI) in 12 towns of Haryana, 8 towns of Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi under an action plan (Yamuna Action Plan-YAP) which is being implemented since 1993 by the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is participating in the Yamuna Action Plan in 15 of the above 21 towns (excluding 6 towns of Haryana included later on the direction of the honorable Supreme Court of India) with soft loan assistance of 17.773 billion Japanese Yen (equivalent to about Rs. 700 crore INR) while GOI is providing the funds for the remaining 6 towns added later. The Indian government's plans to repair sewage lines is predicted to improve the water quality of the river 90% by the year 2010.

In 2005, award winning documentary Jijivisha was made on Yamuna.


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