River Nile has great historical importance as well as functional values. We are going to discuss some interesting facts about this river in this article.
10 Interesting Facts About River Nile
We are giving here the 10 Interesting Facts About the River Nile.
- The word Nile is derived from Greek word “Nelios” which means valley. The meeting of these two rivers in the Sudanese city of Khartoum forms the river we know as the Nile.
- According to the research of scientists, the Nile River is 30 million years old.
- River Nile is the longest river in the world. Its length is 6695 kilometers.
- Nile flows across the continent of Africa and falls into the Mediterranean, passing through a total of 11 countries. These include Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, and Egypt.
- Nile River is actually a combination of 3 rivers known as White Nile and Blue Nile. While the third river is not given importance due to low water level.
- This river falls into the Mediterranean Sea.
- Nile is one of the few rivers in the world that flows from south to north.
- In 1971, a dam was built on this river in Egypt called Aswan High Dam. It is one of the largest dams in the world. Irrigation canals have been constructed from this dam, and electricity is also generated from it.
- The Nile river is also a source of maritime transportation between different countries.
- All the cities of Egypt are situated on the bank of this river including the city of Alexandria, named after Alexander the Great. An estimated 95% of Egypt’s population lives along the Nile.
River Nile as A lifeline of Egypt
Egyptian civilization is considered one of the oldest civilizations in the world. About 5000 years ago, there was nothing here. There was a hot and dry desert spread far away and no sign of any life could be seen.
Even today, deserts cover more than 90 percent of Egypt. But then there was a time in history when the colors of life were all over Egypt, there was greenery all around, plenty of water, and a lot of birds.
It happened because of the River Nile. This is the reason that’s why the Nile is called as “lifeline of Egypt”. You must have to believe that if there was no River Nile, there would have been no Egypt.
Nile River and Ancient Egypt
According to the research of scientists, the Nile River is 30 million years old. It is said that the locals started settling on the banks of this river about three thousand years BC, after the expansion of the Sahara Desert.
Since this whole area was desert, this river was the only source of water in this area. The river flooded every year and watered the surrounding land too. The flood was important to the region because it brought fertile soil from the Abyssinian plains, which enabled the surrounding desert lands to be cultivated.
Thus the land of Egypt became fertile, and the cultivation of cotton, wheat, and a variety of fruits and vegetables became possible. Then gradually the people adjusted their year to the same river. And so the world’s first calendar was formed. A year was divided into three parts: the flood season, the planting season, and the harvest season.
The Egyptians’ reliance on this river can be seen from the fact that they invented a device to measure the level of floodwater. The higher the level, the better the chances of a good crop.
With the help of river mud, these people also started making bricks. Egypt is also known as the “gift of the Nile.” Because all life here depends on this river. The Nile also played an important role in the construction of the pyramids of Egypt.
Interesting stories related to the Nile River
The ancient Egyptians had been considering this river very mysterious. The river flooded every summer, and the Egyptians were terrified of where so much water would come from every year at its specific time.
The source of this river was discovered a few centuries ago in North Africa. That is why so many traditions were created from the Nile, as people did not know its source.
After knowing some interesting facts about the river Nile, you may read here some famous stories.
Worship of River Neil
Egyptians were amazed to see the benefits of this river so much that they started worshiping this river Neil. In this way, Neil river has been a God of Egyptians in the ignorance period. They had many gods other than the Nile.
The Dream of the King
There is a story connected with the river Neil that a famine hit this area in 2600 BC. The king of that time had a dream and saw one of their gods and he told him to go to his shrine on an island in the middle of the river. He also said that the shrine was in bad condition and expressed his anger. The king got up in the morning and went to the tomb and had it repaired. With that, the famine ended.
Strange Reason of Famine in Egypt
When Hazrat Amr ibn al-Aas (RA) conquered Egypt in 640 AD, the locals told him that every year a young girl is thrown into this river, and if this is not done then the river dries up and famine starts.
Since this river was the only source of life in this desert, many such traditions had become a part of their lives. Seeing the situation, a letter was written to Hazrat Umar Farooq (RA), the caliph at that time.
Hazrat Umar (RA) ordered him to ignore such rituals and find the exact reasons behind the dryness of the river.
Citation of Nile River in Holy Quran
The Nile is one of the few rivers mentioned in the Quran. In Surah Al-Qasas, where the incidents of Hazrat Musa (A.S) and “Ferron” are mentioned, the river Nile is also mentioned.
Where the whole world is under the influence of climate change, the fluctuating climate conditions have also affected the Nile River.
Now the Nile is constantly fluctuating. Sometimes there is a lot of water in the river and sometimes the water level is very low. In 2016, the Nile River flooded so badly, it affected Egypt’s economy and 26 people also died.
Ethiopia began building a dam in its northern mountainous regions in 2011. Work is still underway, and if completed the dam would become Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant.
Egypt has opposed the dam because it would significantly reduce the amount of water that reaches Egypt. And since it is totally dependent on Nile water, this dam is a warning call for Egypt. This is still being debated and no results have been reached. South Sudan has also announced plans to build a dam on the Nile.
The Nile River is home to the oldest Egyptian civilization. This has been scientifically proven and the pyramids of Egypt are its biggest proof. That is why the Nile River is of great historical importance.
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