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Ludhiana Rivers, Lakes & Other Water Resources

The Sutlej and its branch, the Budha Nallah constitutes the chief Hydrographic features of the Ludhiana district. A brief description of these is as follows:

Since the drawn of history, the Sutlej is called the river of density. There is concrete archaeological evidence to establish that this river has accumulated on its banks layer after layer of civilization, and played and outstanding role in India’s cultural and political history. Some historians and archaeologists hold that it was on its banks that Indian civilization took rots and flourished.

River Satluj
SatlujThe Ludhiana city does not have any perennial source of water. Sutlej River is situated on the northern side of the city approximately 15 km away from the city centre. However the river is dry most of the time of the year, because of construction of Bhakra dam on the upstream side. It is only during monsoon season that the river has water flowing into it. Hence the river cannot use as the source for supply of water.

Otherwise Satluj takes its origin from Mansarovar Lake in the Tibbet (China). After flowing through Himachal Pradesh territory,it debouches from the Shivaliks. Just about Rupnagar, some 32 Km East of the boundary of Samrala Tehsil and it flows due west along the top of the district, for some 96 Km and turns, as it leaves Jagraon tehsil slightly to north towards its junction with Beas at Harike during its journey along the district. It maintain and east west direction. It has been a devastating during its flooding fury. The Sutlej has experienced a westward drift during recent times. The old towns villages of Behlolpur, Machhiwara, Koom Kalan etc. were built on its banks. The river has since been dammed at Bhakhra, which has considerably, checked its flooding menace in the Ludhiana district.

Budha Nallah
Budha NallahImmediately under the high bank along the old course of the Satluj runs a perennial stream called the Budha Nala which takes its rise near Chamkaur, in Ropar district, and enters the district near Bahlolpur. It runs parallel to the Satluj on its south for a fairly large section of its course in the district and ultimately joins the Satluj at Gorsian Kadar Baksh, in the northwestern corner of the district.

The Budha Nala has a sinuous course and the width of the channel varies from place to place. It is a flooding stream during the rainy season but in the dry season it does not carry enough amount of water & it can be crossed on foot at certain points. Its water is quite clear and is used for a number of purposes. Machhiwara and Ludhiana are situated to the south of the Budha Nala. Presently the condition of nalla is extremely polluted due to dumping of industrial effluents and city’s untreated sewerage water into it.

Sidhwan Canal
Sidhwan Canal is a distributory of a main canal originating from Bhakra dam flows through the southern part of the city. The canal has a sizeable discharge of 1600 cusecs of water. However, the canal water is meant for irrigation and hence not used for domestic supply in Ludhiana city. Thus there is not surface water available for domestic or industries purpose.

Lakes and Ponds
A large number of pools of water are found in the intervening tract of the Satluj and the Budha Nala. Some of these have a linear shape and have a length of about 2-3 kilometers in each case. These water bodies are the remnants of the abandoned channels of the major stream. Also, a number of ox-bow lakes are found in the abandoned courses of the Satluj.

The ponds, which are sporadically distributed over the whole of the upland plain, are local depressions filled with rainwater; they are used for bathing the cattle, and for providing drinking water to them.

Underground water resources
The irrigation in the district is through wells. In the Bet, the depth of water below the surface in the wells diminishes from northeast to southwest in Samrala and part of the Ludhiana tahsil. The depth of water in the wells varies a good deal according to locality and season. It is generally 3.65 to 4.57 meters, but in a dry year will fall much lower.

Ludhiana Rainfall

The rainfall in the district increases from southwest towards the northeast. About 70% of the rainfall is received during the period July to September. The rainfall during the December to March accounts for 16% of the rainfall the remaining 14% rainfall is received in the other months of the year.


During the monsoon season and for spells of a day or two in association with passing western disturbances, the skies are moderately to heavily clouded and overcast occasionally. During the rest of the year, skies are mostly clear or lightly clouded.

Winds & Thunderstorms

Winds are generally light in the district. In the southwest monsoon season winds from directions between northeast and southeast are common but on many days, particularly in the afternoon, westerly or northwesterly winds also blow. In the rest of the year westerly to northwesterly winds predominate expect in the latter half of the summer season when easterlies and south- easterlies blow on some days.

During the cold season, western disturbances affect the weather over the district. Thunderstorms occur in association with these. Thunderstorms also occur during the summer and to a lesser extent in the monsoon season. Dust storms affect the district during the summer season.