Kalapani River

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The Kalapani River is the eastern headwaters of the Sharda River, near the border between Nepal and Kumaun, India. It is made up of numerous small springs fed by underground waters.1 The river borders the Nepalese zone of Mahakali and the Indian state of Uttarakhand.

Kalapani disputed area

Kalapani area is located on Greater Himalayas along the border of India, China and Nepal. It is located to the west of main Kali and was occupied by India, which was objected by Nepal. Nepal claims that the River to the west of Kali is main Kali, hence it belongs to Nepal. But India claims that a small River named Pankhagad, to the south of Kalapani is the main Kali river, hence Kalapani area belongs to India. This dispute has not been settled from 1962 till date. A joint team by both the country has not ascertained the main deep river due to certain locational and geographical problems.

The Kali River runs through an area that includes a disputed area of about 370 km2 (140 sq mi) around the source of the river.2 The exact size of the disputed area varies from source to source.3

In 1815, the whole of the lowlands between the rivers Kali and Rapti, and between the Rapti and the Goruckpore district belonged to Nepal and were ceded to the British Government in accord with Article III of the Sugauli Treaty signed in December 1815.4 Subsequent maps drawn by British surveyors show the source of the boundary river at different places. This discrepancy in locating the source of the river led to boundary disputes between India and Nepal, with each country producing maps supporting their own claims. Nepal claims the source of the Kali River is to the west of Kalapani, while India claims it is to the east.5

Kalapani has been occupied by India's Indo-Tibetan border security forces since the Sino-Indian War with China in 1962. India maintains a strict border regime to keep out Maoist insurgents and control illegal cross-border activities from Nepal.2 The issue was raised again after India and Nepal signed an agreement in 1996 to exploit the border river for hydroelectric power and irrigation.


  1. ^ Negi, S. S. (1991). "Himalayan rivers, lakes and glaciers". Page 82 (Indus Publishing, New Delhi). 
  2. ^ a b "Field Listing - Disputes - international". CIA World Factbook. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  3. ^ "India's Boundary Disputes with China, Nepal, and Pakistan". International Boundary Consultants website. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 
  4. ^ Panta, Ś. D. (2006). Nepal-India border problems. Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant Institute for Rural Development, Kathmandu. 
  5. ^ "Defining Himalayan borders an uphill battle". FindArticles.com. dead link. Retrieved 2007-03-23. 

Main branch of the river Kali is originated from Limpiyadhura. According to the Treaty of Sugauli-1816, River Kali is the western boundary of Nepal with India.

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