Ayeyarwady River or Irrawaddy River
The Ayeyarwady River or Irrawaddy River is a river that 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 area of about 158,700 square miles (411,000 km²).
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.
The town of Bhamo, about 150 miles (240 km) south of the Mali and N'mai river confluence, is the northernmost city reachable by boat all the year round although during the monsoons most of the river cannot be used by boats. The city of Myitkyina however lies 30 miles south of the confluence and can be reached during the dry season.
* About 40 miles (65 km) downstream from Myitkyinā is the first defile.
This sheet of lava is the Singu Plateau, a volcanic field from the Holocene. This field exists of magma from the fissure vents and cover an area of about 62 sq km. The plateau is also known as Letha Taung.
Leaving this plateau at Kyaukmyaung , the river follows a broad, open course through the central dry zone - the ancient cultural heartland where large areas consist of alluvium flats. From Mandalay (the former capital of the kingdom of Myanmar), the river makes an abrupt westward turn before curving southwest to unite with the Chindwin River, after which it continues in a southwestern direction. It is probable that the upper Irrawaddy originally flowed south from Mandalay, discharging its water through the present Sittoung River to the Gulf of Martaban, and that its present westward course is geologically recent. Below its confluence with the Chindwin, the Irrawaddy continues to meander through the petroleum producing city of Yenangyaung, below which it flows generally southward. In its lower course, between Minbu and Prome, it flows through a narrow valley between forest-covered mountain ranges—the ridge of the Rakhine Yoma Mountains to the west and that of the Pegu Yoma Mountains to the east.
The Irrawaddy Delta
Major cities and towns
Until the construction of the Ava (Innwa) Bridge, a 16 span rail and road cantilever bridge built by the British colonial government in 1934, the only way across the Irrawaddy was by ferry. The bridge was destroyed by the retreating British Army during the World War II and was rebuilt in 1954 after Burmese independence and was the only bridge to span the Ayeyarwady until recent times when a spate of bridge construction has been carried out by the government.
Web reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayeyarwady_River
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