Luni River

Luni River is the only saline river in India. The word “Luni” is taken from the Sanskrit word “lavanavari,” which signifies salt water. The high salinity of the river is the reason behind its name. For the initial hundred kilometres, the freshwater in Luni is fresh, but as it gets closer to Balotra in Barmer, it starts to get salty from the high amount of salt of the land it flows on.

Source: Zee News

The Luni River rises 772 metres above sea level in Rajasthan’s Ajmer district from the Naga hills of the Aravalli Range. The river Luni, locally known as Sagarmati, flows through the Rajasthani districts of Nagaur, Pali, Jodhpur, Barmer, and Jalore as it travels 495 kilometres in a south-western direction towards Gujarat. The river gradually runs out in Gujarat’s Barine, close to the Rann of Kutch. The astounding feature is that the river’s stream sinks across a shallow bank before coming to an end and not entering any other bodies of water.

The river Luni, while being saline, is a major irrigation supplier for Rajasthan’s parched regions, and as a result, the residents consider it to be sacred. Maharaja Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur constructed the Jaswant Sagar Dam close to Pichiyak hamlet in the Jodhpur area in 1892 to harness the water from Luni.

Source: RajRas

The Luni basin is bordered to the east by the Aravalli range and Gujarat plains, on the north by the Rajasthan sand, and on the south and west by the Arabian Sea. The Luni basin has a total area of 32,879 square kilometres and contains a number of locations in the Ajmer region, from Nagaur to Pali, then proceeding on to Jodhpur and Barmer and finally entering the Jalore district.

The major rivers that flow into Luni include the Jawai, Sukri, Guhiya, Bandi (Hemawas), and Jojari rivers. Jojari serves as the only tributary on the right bank; there are eight on the left side. Additionally, it is the only branch of the Luni River which does not come from the Aravalli Mountains.

Source: Hindustan Times

Wild creatures including the wolf, Indian fox, desert fox, and Indian porcupine are significant species in the area, in addition to large mammals like the Indian gazelle, blackbuck, and nilgai or blue bull.


“Luni, the Indian river with saline water that doesn’t drain into any sea or ocean: Facts you need to know”. India Today, November 1, 2018.

“Luni River: Origin, Tributaries, basin, Dams and Concerns”, RajRas.

“Hydrogeological Atlas of Rajasthan Luni River Basin”, Rajasthan Government.

Published by LakesOfIndia

Lakes of India is an E.F.I initiative aimed at sensitizing the larger public on freshwater habitats across the country. A blog platform where one can read about lakes across India. You can become a guest blogger to write about a lake in your hometown and initiate an action to protect that lake.

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