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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sutudri, Zutudri, shutudri

Śutudri literally means 'that which flows very fast’.

Śutudri is a river of the Vedic times. It has been mentioned twice in the Ṛgveda.[1] It is the easternmost river flowing in Punjab. It has been identified with the modern Sutlej river.

During post-Vedic period the name got changed to Satadru. According to the Mahābhārata, this river was originally known as Haimavatī. When the king Kalmāṣapāda, who had become a demon due to curse and ate up all the sons of the sage Vasiṣṭha, Vasiṣṭha out of intense sorrow fell into this river to commit suicide. However, being afraid of killing such a great sage, the river broke into a hundred streams and carried him safely to the bank. Since then it came to be known as Satadru.[2]


  1. Ṛgveda 3.33.1; 10.75.5
  2. Ādiparva 177
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore