Karnali is Nepal's longest and largest river and with its tributaries, it drains most of the Far West of Nepal - the 'Wild West' as many people call it. This bottom section of the river definitely lives up to that name - the area that it flows through is wild and relatively unpopulated some of the most pristine jungle scenery in Nepal, an abundant wildlife.
The rapids are also pretty wild, with the river building to its climax in these lower canyons. Shortly after the sharp bend in the river 'the elbow' by the Lohore khola the valley narrows into a series of canyons, the river speeds up and there are big rapids, one leading into another, almost continuously down to the Seti River. From the 'Elbow' down to the Seti the gradient is 3m/km (15ft a mile), but after here, the gradient eases, as the river winds through some magnificent unspoiled scenery, eventually emerging onto the plains and flowing through the Royal Bardia national Park to join the Ganges.
In terms of volume, the rivers are comparable to the sun Kosi, but the Karnali is more constrained by its Canyon walls; giving bigger, more continuous and serious rapids. This constrained nature of the river means that any increase in volume has that is best run at low and medium flows- in higher water the Karnali is a serious commitment. Highest extreme instantaneous discharge measured at Chisapani was as incredible 21,700 cumeces (760,000 cfs).
The high flows and gradient of this lower river has made it a prime contender for Hydro Electric Power Schemes. The proposed large dam at Chisapani will hopefully never be built but a diversion tunnel is planned through the elbow with a powerhouse upstream of jungle Ghat and work on this project is likely to commence during the life of this book