irrawady-01The mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, the most important in the Union of Myanmar as its life-blood stream, had been in existence at least for (15) million years, and there is indisputable evidence geologically, biologically, and anthropologically, about its source in Northern Myanmar. From there, till it flows into the Gulf of Mottama after traversing over half of the country for about (1055) miles, this useful river also known as the " Elephant River" for its broad width and length is serving the interests of the many ethnic Nationals of Myanmar in many ways.

The Kachin State, the northern-most in the Union of Myanmar, where the Ayeyarwaddy has its source, has many interesting features geologically. Its Northern boundary lies at the eastern end of the World's largest and the highest "Hindu Kush Himalayan" chain, at the same time joining up with part of the Tibetan plateau and the Sino-Himalayas.

The area where Hindu Kush Himalayas and Sino Himalayan meet, mountain tops are always covered with snow and the (15,000) feet of active Tectonic Process. As a result, the high mountain chain forms a natural barrier, the most prominent being what is known as the "Putao Knot" with a height of (10,000) feet and always snow-bound. It is here that one of the sources of the Ayeyarwaddy named the "Malikha" takes the form of a mountain stream.

irrawady-02A notable feature of the "Ma-Li-Kha" river is that itmakes a curve flow around the Kaung -Mu-Lon" Pagoda, built by King Asoka in about " 300" BC, as if paying homage to it.

On the other hand, the other source of the Ayeyarwaddy - called the "MayKha" has its beginning at the foot of the highest mountain in Myanmar, the (5881) meters high "Khaka Borazi". Actually, two mountain streams called the "Adoon Wan" and "Sein Khoo Wan" join up to form the "MayKha" river.

Since the MayKha has to flow over very rough and steep terrain, it naturally has a fast current. However, this natural condition of the MayKha provides the current speed for the onward flow of the Ayeyarwaddy.

Another noteworthy geographical significance is that-not only the original source of the Ayeyarwaddy, but also the sources of the rivers like Brahmaputra, Nujung (or) upper part of Thanlwin., Mekong and Yangtze, can be seen within the (20) square mile of "Languela" area also known as the "World Sacred Water Tower".

The triangular area between the two rivers called the "Sha Ngaw" range, with its over (10,000) feet high mountains becomes the watershed for both MayKha and Malikha.

Malikha river, with its source in Mali-khoo-khon-naw' area has flowed very gently for over (150) miles, till its junction with the MayKha river, which has its source in " Adoon laung" area and flowed with very rapid speed for over (220) miles.

The exact place where the mighty Ayeyarwaddy was formed by these two rivers is at Latitude 25 degrees 42 minutes North, and Longitude 97 degrees 30 minutes East, at a height of about (500) feet above sea level, and about (29) miles from the Kachin State capital, Myitkyina.

At the confluence, the width of May Kha (or) "Inmaikha" is over 300 yards and May Li Kha is about (300) yards. Coming down the Ayeyarwaddy from the confluence of the MayKha and Malikha rivers, you pass a picturesque place called "Karein-naw" or "Karein-Sarra". "Karein-naw" meaning name of a person and "Sarra" mean a rest area or resort. This pleasant area is also a Welcoming Point for those approaching the capital of Kachin State.

From its beginning or its birth, the Ayeyarwaddy or the Mighty River; provides the people of Myanmar with wonderful scenery, many facilities and wealth, throughout its course into the sea.

MT & K Tourism Company Limited

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