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The Brahmaputra flows 2900km (1800 miles) from its source, the Chemayungdung Glacier, in the Himalayas to meet the Ganges and thence to the Bay of Bengal. It passes through several countries and changes its name along the way. In Tibet it is the Tsangpo (“the Purifier”) and its Chinese name is Yarlung Zangbo. There are a number of tributaries that join the river close to its source including the Lhasa (Kyi) that flows past the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

While still in Tibet the river passes through deep gorges (the walls 16,500 ft, 5,000m high at some points) and then into Assam in India where in the rainy season it can be up to five miles wide and there can be major floods when the Himalayan snows melt from June to October. It flows on through Bangladesh (as the Jamuna) and it is only around 900 miles (1450km) before its end that the river is called Brahmaputra (“Son of Brahma”) a rare masculine river name in India where mostly they are feminine. The stretch that is navigable by cruise ship is around the Assam region of India. This is best known for its tea growing but there are other crops too as well as wild hilly countryside, national parks with elephants and rhinos, beaches, jungles, rural villages and an abundance of wild life.