Rivers of India, Map, List, Name, Longest Rivers of India

Rivers of India

The Indian people’s lives are significantly impacted by the rivers of India. In addition to providing energy, affordable transportation, irrigation, and drinking water, the nation’s river systems also support a vast number of people’s livelihoods. This explains why almost every major city in India is situated along a river. All of the nation’s Hindus regard the rivers as holy since they play a significant role in Hindu mythology.

The Indian River System is made up of seven major rivers (the Indus, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna, and Mahanadi) with a large number of tributaries. The Bay of Bengal receives water from the majority of rivers. Some of the rivers that flow through the western region of the nation and eastward into the Himachal Pradesh state discharge into the Arabian Sea. Inland drainage can be found in sections of Ladakh, the northern Aravalli range, and the dry Thar Desert. One of the three primary watersheds serves as the source for all of India’s major rivers.

  • The Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges
  • Central India’s Vindhya and Satpura mountains, as well as the Chotanagpur plateau
  • Western India’s Sahyadri or Western Ghats

List of Rivers of India

Here’s the complete list of Rivers of India with states:

S No.RiversLengthOriginEnd
1.Indus2,900comes from the Tibetan plateau and enters India through J&KMerges into the Arabian sea near Sindh
2.Brahmaputra2,900Arunachal Pradesh is where the Himalayan Glacier enters India from TibetMerges with Ganga and ends in the Bay of Bengal
3.Ganga2,510Uttarakhand’s Gangotri Glacier (Bhagirath)Bay of Bengal
4.Godavari1,450begins in Maharashtra and travels across 7 states in IndiaEnds in the Bay of Bengal
5.Narmada1,290beginning in Amarkantak, Madhya PradeshDrains into the Arabian sea via the Gulf of Cambay
6.Krishna1,290originates in Maharashtra’s Western Ghats, close to MahabaleshwarEnds in the Bay of Bengal near Andhra Pradesh
7.Mahanadi890was originated in Dhamtri, ChhattisgarhEnds in the Bay of Bengal in Odisha
8.Kaveri760Talakaveri in the Karnataka Western GhatsEnds in the Bay of Bengal

Rivers of India: Himalayan Rivers

The Ganga, Indus, and Brahmaputra rivers systems are the main Himalayan river systems. Huge basins are created by the Himalayan Rivers. The Himalayas are traversed by several rivers. During the time of the Himalayan uplift, the river’s down-cutting created these deep valleys with sheer rock sides. They carry massive loads of sand and silt up the streams while engaging in the vigorous erosional activity. Large meanders and numerous depositional structures, including flood plains, river cliffs, and levees, are formed in the plains.

RiversLength (KM)OriginEnd
Ganga2,525Gangotri Glacier (Bhagirathi), UttarakhandBay of Bengal
Yamuna1,376Yamunotri Glacier, UttarakhandMerges with Ganga at Allahabad (Triveni Sangam – Kumbh Mela spot
Brahmaputra1,800Himalayan Glacier in Tibet, but enters India in Arunachal PradeshMerges with Ganga and ends in Bay of Bengal
Chambal960Tributary of Yamuna river, starting at Madhya PradeshJoins Yamuna river in UP
Son784Tributary of Ganga, starting at Amarkantak, Madhya PradeshJoins Ganga just above Patna – also considered part of Vindhya river system
Gandak630Nepal; Ganges tributary at Indo-Nepal border (Triveni Sangam)Joins Ganga near Patna
Kosi720Starts from Bihar near Indo-Nepal borderJoins Ganga near Katihar district of Bihar
Betwa590Tributary of Yamuna, rises at Vindhya region, MPJoins Yamuna at Hamirpur in UP
Gomti900Tributary of Ganga, starting at Gomat Taal, UPJoins Ganga in Varanasi district
Ghaghra1080Himalayan Glacier in tibet, tributary of GangaJoins Ganga in Bihar
Hugli (Hooghly)260Tributary of Ganga near West BengalMerges with Ganga at the Bay of Bengal
Damodar592Tributary of Hugli near Chandwar, JharkhandMerges with Hugli in West Bengal

Peninsular Rivers of India

The Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, and Mahanadi river systems are among the major peninsular river systems. The Peninsular Rivers traverse modest valleys. Since their flow depends on rainfall, many of them are seasonal. Because of the softer slope, erosional activity is also relatively modest in intensity. There isn’t much room for meandering because of the firm granite bed and lack of sand and silt. As a result, many rivers follow straight, horizontal courses. There are numerous prospects for hydroelectric electricity along these rivers.

1. Mahanadi

A significant river in east-central India is the Mahanadi. It begins in Chhattisgarh’s Sihava Mountains and runs primarily through the state of Orissa (Odisha). Compared to other rivers in the Indian subcontinent, this river deposits the most silt. Sambalpur, Cuttack, and Banki are cities where the Mahanadi flows

2. Godavari

After the Ganga, the Godavari River has the second-longest course in India. The river rises in Maharashtra in Triambakeshwar, and it eventually runs through the states of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa (Odisha), Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Puducherry before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. The river is referred known as Dakshina Ganga because of its lengthy course.

3. Narmada River

A river in central India is called the Narmada or Nerbudda. It is 1,289 kilometres (801 miles) long and serves as North India’s and South India’s traditional borders.

4. Tapi River

Central India’s Tapi River is a river. With a length of about 724 km, it is one of the main rivers in peninsular India. Only the Tapi River, the Narmada River, and the Mahi River flow from east to west.

5. Krishna River

The Krishna is one of India’s longest rivers (about 1300 km in length). It starts in Maharashtra at Mahabaleswar, travels through Sangli, and ends in Andhra Pradesh at Hamasaladeevi, where it joins the sea in the Bay of Bengal.

6. Kaveri River

One of India’s main rivers, the Kaveri (sometimes called Cauvery or Kavery), is revered by the Hindus. Dakshin Ganga is another name for this river. It discharges into Bengal Bay.

Peninsular Rivers Flowing from East to West

LuniIt originates from the western Aravalli Range near Ajmer, is sometimes known as the Sabarmati, and flows through Gujarat’s swampy Rann of Kutch.
SabarmatiBegins at Dhebar Lake in the Aravalli Range of Udaipur (Rajasthan)  It flows through an estuary to the Arabian Sea.
MahiComes from the Vindhya range in MP and empties into the Gulf of Cambay
  • Origin: Amarkantak, Shahdol, MP
  • Ends: The Arabian Sea via Estuary
  • Flow Route: MP – Bharuch (Gujrat) – Gulf of Khambat (Gujrat) – The Arabian Sea via Estuary
  • Famous projects:  →Sardar Sarovar Dam, Maheshwar Dam, Indira Gandhi Sagar Dam

Important Facts:

  • It is longest among all east to west flowing rivers
  • It is also known as Lifeline of MP
  • Forms Duandhar falls at Jabalpur
  • Its only tributary is → Hiran River
  • Aliabet is the Largest Island in Estuary
TawaThe longest tributary of the Narmada rises in Betul, Madhya Pradesh’s Satpura Range.
  • Place of Origin: Betul District, MP, Satpura Range, Mahadev Hills
  • Flow Route: MP to Maharashtra, Cambay to the Arabian Sea through Estuary, Gulf of Khambat,
  • Notable construction initiatives include the Ukai Dam and the Kakrapar Dam.
 PeriyarRises from Kerala’s Western Ghats, flows west, and empties into the Arabian Sea via an estuary.

Peninsular Rivers Flowing from West to East

MahanadiFlow routes include Chhattisgarh, Orissa, EGs, and BOB. The famous project is the Hirakund Dam.
  • Largest Peninsular River’s Origin: Triambakeshwar Plateau, Nashik, WGs;
  • Flow Route: Nashik to Andhra Pradesh;
  • Notable Tributaries: Penganga, Sabri, Wardha, and Indravati;
  • Notable Projects: Poochampad, Jayakwadi, and Polavaram
PengangaIt originates in the Ajanta Hills in Maharashtra and is a tributary of the River Wardha before joining the Godavari.
  • Place of Origin: WGs, Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
  • Famous Projects: Koyna, Tugrabhdra, Srisailam, and Nagarjuna Sagar Dam; Flow Route: Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and BOB;
TungabhadraOne of Krishna’s main tributaries, rising from the Western Ghats
BhimaRises from the Balaghat range in Maharashtra and is a Krishna tributary
  • Origin: Karnataka’s Brahamgiri Hills, WGs
  • Perrenial River
  • Flow Route: Karnataka Kaveripatnam (TN) BOB
  • Creates Shivasundaram Falls
  • The projects Krishnaraja Sagar & Mettur are well-known.
  • Originates in Karnataka
  • Divides into the Krishna and Kaveri
  • Empties into Bay of Bengal
  • A seasonal river flowing through Tennessee and originates in the Palni Hills.
  • It drains in Gulf of Mannar

Rivers of India: The Indus Rivers

The Indus has its beginnings on the northern Kailash range in Tibet, close to Lake Manasarovar. Through Tibet, it travels in a northwesterly direction. In Jammu and Kashmir, it crosses into Indian territory. In this area, it creates an attractive gorge. In the Kashmir region, it is joined by the Zaskar, the Shyok, the Nubra, and the Hunza. Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej are the principal Indus River tributaries in India.

1. Jhelum

The Jhelum begins in a spring near Verinag, which is located in the southernmost region of Kashmir. After entering the northward-facing Wular Lake, it subsequently empties into Baramula. It enters a deep gorge created by the river in the Pir Panjal Mountain between Baramula and Muzaffarabad.

2. Chenab

The confluence of two rivers, the Chandra and the Bhaga, which come from opposite sides of the Bara Lacha Pass in Lahul, gives rise to the Chenab. In Himachal Pradesh, it is also known as the Chandrabhaga.

3. Ravi

The Ravi has its beginnings close to the Rotang pass in the Kangra Himalayas and travels in a northwestern direction. When it enters the Punjab plain at Madhopur, it cuts a gorge in the Dhaola Dhar Mountain before turning south-west around Dalhousie.

4. Beas

Beas Kund, which is close to the Rohtang pass, is where the Beas begins. It passes through Manali and Kulu, where its lovely valley is referred to as the Kulu valley.

5. Sutlej

The Rakas Lake in Tibet, which has a stream connecting it to the Manasarovar Lake, is where the Sutlej starts. It enters Himachal Pradesh at the Shipki Pass, where it joins the Spiti river, flowing north-westerly.

RiversLength (KM)OriginEnd
Indus3180Comes from the Tibetan plateau and enters India through J&KMerges with the Arabian Sea close to Sindh
Chenab960Upper Himalayas in the Spiti district of Himachal PradeshCombine with Indus
Jhelum725Punjab’s Chenub River tributarymerges at Jhang with Chenab (Pakistan)
Ravi720Begins in the Himachal Pradesh district of Kangra at Bara Bhangal.Merge Chenab in Pakistan
Sutlej1500Indus River tributary with origins in Tibet’s RakshastalEnds at the Arabian Sea and meets the Beas River in Pakistan.
Beas470It rises at Himalayas in central Himachal PradeshMerges in Sutlej river in Punjab, India

Rivers of India: The Brahmaputra River

The Mansarovar Lake, which is also the source of the Indus and the Satluj, is where the Brahmaputra originates. The majority of its course is outside of India; however it is significantly longer than the Indus. It moves parallel to the Himalayas, flowing eastward. After passing Namcha Barwa (7757 m), it makes a U-turn to enter Arunachal Pradesh, India, where it is called as Dihang. This river undercuts by a distance of about 5500 meters. Several tributaries join it as it runs through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in India..

Rivers of India Names with States

S. No.StateRivers
1Andhra PradeshGodavari & Musi
7JharkhandDamodar, Ganga & Subarnarekha
8KarnatakaBhadra, Tungabhadra,Cauvery, Tunga & Pennar
10Madhya PradeshBetwa, Tapti, Wainganga, Khan, Narmada, Kshipra, Beehar, Chambal & Mandakini.
11MahrashtraKrishna, Godavari, Tapi and Panchganga
12NagalandDiphu & Dhansiri
13OrissaBrahmini & Mahanadi
16SikkimRani Chu
17Tamil NaduCauvery, Adyar, Cooum, Vennar, Vaigai & Tambarani
18Uttar PradeshYamuna, Ganga & Gomti
20West BengalGanga, Damodar & Mahananda

Longest Rivers of India

S. No.RiverLength in India (km)Total Length (km)

Rivers of India Important Facts for UPSC

  • The Hindu Triveni Sangam mythology of the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati rivers includes the River Saraswati, which was once thought to be a mythological river.
  • According to recent investigations, the Saraswati River met the Ganga and Yamuna rivers at the site of the Kumbh Mela while flowing underground.
  • The Meghna, a significant river in Bangladesh, empties into the Bay of Bengal and is a tributary of the Indian Brahmaputra river.

Other Indian Geography Topics

Other Fundamental Geography Topics


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