- Ayeyarwady River
name = Ayeyarwaddy
native_name = _my. ဧရာဝတီမြစ်
other_name = Irrawaddy
image_caption = Temporary farming settlements on islands of Ayeyarwady River
length = 2170
watershed = 411000
source1_name = N'Mai
mouth_name = Indian Ocean
map_size = 162
The Ayeyarwady River or Irrawaddy River (MYname|MY=ဧရာဝတီမြစ်|MLCTS=ei: ra wa. ti mrac) is a
riverthat flows from north to south of Burma(Myanmar). It is the country's largest river (about 1350 miles or 2170 km long) and its most important commercial waterway, with a drainage areaof about 158,700 square miles (411,000 km²).
The names Irrawaddy and Ayeyarwady are believed to have derived either from the
Sanskritname Iravati, a sacred river and minor goddess in Indian mythology, or from her son Airavata, the elephant mount of Indra.
The Irrawaddy gives its name to a
dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin("Orcaella brevirostris"), which is found in the upper reaches of the river and known to help fishermen who practise cast-net fishing. Though sometimes called the Irrawaddy River Dolphin, it is not a true river dolphin, since it is also found at sea. [cite book|url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7UEJcYiT5eoC&pg=PA173&lpg=PA173&dq=ayeyarwady+river+bridges&source=web&ots=f3lrzEzgC1&sig=I8YRQYYfXoHCsdldo5GZb9zMcCU&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA173,M1|title=Asian Marine Biology 1997:Investigation of Cetaceans in the Ayeyarwady River and Northern Coastal Waters of Myanmar|author=Brian D Smith et al|publisher= Hong KongUniversity Press|page=173|accessdate=2008-10-06] [cite web|url=http://tinttun.mm.googlepages.com/irrawaddydolphin|title=Irrawaddy Dolphin|author=Tint Tun|accessdate=2008-10-06]
The Ayeyarwaddy starts in the north of
Kachin State, at the confluence of the Mali Hkaand N'Mai Hkarivers. The western Mali Hka branch arises from the end of the southern Himalayas, north of Putao, and (like the main river) is called Nam Kiu in the Shan language.
The Ayeyarwaddy River bisects the country from north to south and empties through a nine-armed
Irrawaddy Deltainto the Indian Ocean. In colonial times, before railways and automobiles, the river was known as the "Road to Mandalay". Although navigable by large vessels to Myitkyinafor a distance over 1600 km from the ocean, the river is also full of sandbanks and islands, making such navigation difficult.
The upper reaches of the Ayeyarwady is well known for its three narrow gorges between Myitkyina and Mandalay.
#The first defile lies 65 km (40 miles) downstream from Myitkyina.
#The second defile, after it leaves
Bhamoand makes a sharp turn west to cut through limestonerocks. It is about 90 m (300 ft) wide at its narrowest, and flanked by vertical cliffs from 60 to 90 m (200-300 ft) high.
#The third defile lies about 100 km (60 miles) north of Mandalay near
Mogok. [cite web|url=http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/294719/Irrawaddy-River/48020/Physical-features|title=Irrawaddy River|publisher=" Encyclopaedia Britannica" online|accessdate=2008-10-05]
Economy and Politics
Major cities and towns
The river flows through the following cities:
Ava(Innwa) Bridge, a 16 span rail and road cantilever bridgebuilt by the British colonial government in 1934, was the only bridge to span the Ayeyarwady until recent times when a spate of bridge construction has been carried out by the government. [cite web|url=http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/Perspective/persp2000/8-2000/big.htm|title="Big Push" for Sustained Development|publisher="Perspective", August 2000|accessdate=2008-10-06] [cite web|url=http://www.usda.org.mm/eng/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1054&Itemid=156|title=Roads and Bridges|publisher= Union Solidarity and Development AssociationApril 7, 2006|accessdate=2008-10-06]
#Ayeyarwady Bridge (Yadanabon) just upstream from the old Ava Bridge at Sagaing
#Bala Min Htin Bridge over the N'Mai Hka at Myitkyina, November 1998
#Anawrahta Bridge at Chauk, April 2001 [cite news|url=http://www.myanmargeneva.org/01nlm/n010405.htm#(1)|title=Sr General Than Shwe attends opening of Anawrahta Bridge linking Chauk and Seikphyu on Ayeyawady River|publisher="
The New Light of Myanmar", April 5, 2001|accessdate=2008-10-06]
#Ayeyarwady-Magway Bridge at Magway
#Bo Myat Tun Bridge at
Nyaungdon, November 1999
#Nawaday Bridge at Pyay, September 1997
#Maubin Bridge at
Maubin, February 1998
#Ayeyarwady-Dedaye Bridge at
Dedaye[cite web|url=http://www.myanmar.gov.mm/Perspective/persp1999/11-99/bridge.htm|title=The Nation's Longest Bridge Inaugurated|publisher="Perspective", November 1999|accessdate=2008-10-06]
* [http://www.pandaw.com/cruises-myanmar-c-21_22.html Pandaw Irrawaddy River Cruises]
* [http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/shownh.php3?img_id=13663 NASA Earth Observatory]
* [http://images.google.co.uk/images?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&channel=s&hl=en&q=irrawaddy+river&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&resnum=1&ct=title Google image search]
* [http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/sseop/efs/photoinfo.pl?PHOTO=STS030-151-62 Earth from Space
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Look at other dictionaries:
Ayeyarwady River — See Irrawaddy River … Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar)
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