Major Rivers in India

Indus River System

  • Ancient name Sindhu
  • Origin Bokharchu Glacier, Near Mansarovar
  • In Tibet, Called Singi Khamban / Lion’s mouth
  • Enters In India through Ladakh, flows only in J &K
  • Enters Pak through hair pin bend of Nanga Parbat
  • Finally Discharges in Arabian Sea
  • Flows approx. ( 709 / 2880 ) Km in India
  • India uses 20 % of its water by Indo  Pak water treaty of 1960
  • Originates from Rimo Glacier
  • Known as river of death
  • flows through Ladakh in India
  • A tributary of the Indus River
  • Ancient name Vitasta
  • Origin Verinag Spring (Kashmir)
  • Tributary of Chenab, flows only in J &K
  • Flows Northward to Wular Lake
  • Cut through gorge in Pir- Panjal range to reach Muzzafarabad (POK)

Indus River System

  • Ancient name Akshani / Iskmati
  • Origin Bara Lacha Pass (Himachal)
  • Known as chandra-bhaga in Himachal
  • Chandra River Water flowing south from the pass
  • Bhaga River     Water Flowing north from the pass
  • Flows Northward & parallel to Pir –Panjal Range for some distance
  • Cut through gorge in Pir – Panjal & Turns southward
  • Largest tributary of Indus, Flows through Himachal & J & K
  • Famous Projects Duhasti, Baglihar & Salal hydroelectric project
  • Ancient name Purushni
  • Origin Kullu hills near Rohtang Pass (Himachal)
  • Tributary of Chenab
  • Smallest of 5 rivers
  • Flows through Indo – Pak boundary
  • Flows northward b/w Pir – Panjal & Dhauladhar Ranges
  • Cut a gorge through Dhauladhar range & flows southward
  • Ancient name Vipasha
  • Origin Beas kund near Rohtang Pass, Himachal
  • Tributary of Satluj
  • Only river flowing entirely in India
  • Runs southward, Cut a deep gorge in Dhauladhar & turns west to meet Satluj near Harike (Punjab)
  • Famous Project Pong Dam
  • Ancient name Shatadru
  • Origin Rakas lake, Tibet, near Mansarovar
  • Enter Himachal at Shipki La Pass
  • Collects water from Ravi, Chenab, Jhelum & Beas to join Indus near Mithalkot (Pak)
  • Famous Projects Naptha Jhakri Project & Bhakra Nagal Dam with Govind Sagar Reservoir

Ganga River System

  • Origin As Bhagirathi from Gangotri Glacier (Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand)
  • Alakananda unites with Bhagirathi at Devprayag, Uttarakhand Henceforth known as Ganga
  • Passing through Rishikesh, it debounches in plains of Haridwar
  • From Haridwar, it flows Southward to reach Allahabad where it joins Yamuna
  • Near Rajmahal Hills, it turns southeast & bifurcate at Farraka into Hoogly (Kolkata) & Padma (BD)
  • At Bangladesh, Ganga merges with Brahmputra (Known as Jamuna in Bangladesh) at Goalundo Ghats
  • Mixture is known as Padma River 
  • Then it merges with Meghna & finally falls in Bay of Bengal
  • Meghna Known as Barack river in India 
  • Major tributaries → Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Kosi, Son, Tons & Punpun

India River System

  • Origin Bharchachungar Glacier (Rakas lake) near Mansarovar
  • Joins Ganga at Chhapra
  • Known as Manchu or Karnali in Nepal
  • Known as Saryu or Ghaghra in UP
  • Perennial river
  • Major tributaries Sarda & Rakti 
  • Origin Sino – Nepal Boundary (Dhaulagiri range)
  • Known as Kalyani in Nepal
  • Major River of Nepal
  • Joins Ganga at Sonpur, Bihar
  • Origin Gosainath peak (Tibet)
  • Merges with river Ganga at Bhagalpur (Bihar)
  • Consists of 7 streams & known as Saptakoshi in Nepal
  • Main stream Arun, Tamur & Sun Koshi
  • Formerly Known as Sorrow of Bihar
  • Major Projects Kusha Dam
  • Origin Amarkantak Plateau (Near north of origin of Narmada)
  • Flows through Kaimur Range to meet Ganga at Patna 
  • Originates from Gomat Taal / Fulhaar jheel – Pilibhit
  • A tributary of Ganga
  • Origin Yamunotri Glacier (Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand)
  • Largest Tributary of Ganga
  • After cutting deep gorge across Shivalik, it enters into plains near Tajewala
  • Flows southward up to Agra & then turns southeast to meet Ganga at Allahabad
  • Famous tributaries Chambal, Sind, Betwa & Ken
  • Major Tributaries Tributary of Yamuna, rises from Vindhya range, MP
  • Major Projects       → Matatila dam & Rajghat dam
  • Rises from Kaimur hills in Satna (Madhya Pradesh), a tributary of Yamuna
  • Famous for its Shajar stone &  Raneh waterfalls
  • Origin Vindhya Range (Mhow, MP)
  • Passes through Kota & Dhaulpur (Rajasthan)
  • Merge with Yamuna at Etawah (UP)
  • forms boundary between Rajasthan & MP
  • Major tributaries       Kali Sindh, Parvati & Banas
  • Main Power Projects Gandhisagar, Rana Pratap Sagar & Jawahar Sagar
  • Originate from eastern slopes of Aravali
  • Tributary of Chambal
  • Origin Eastern part of Chhota Nagpur Plateu
  • Meets Hoogli at Falta
  • Power Projects Talaiya, Maithan, Barakar & Panchet

Brahmaputra River System

  • Origin  Chemayungdung Glacier (Kailash Range, Tibet)
  • In Tibet, known as TSANG – PO
  • In China, known as YARLUNG ZANBO
  • Forms grand canyon in Tibet
  • Turns southward near Namcha – Barwa
  • Enters Arunachal Pradesh as Dihang River at Sadiya, emerging from the mountains
  • Joined by Dibang river from the north & Lohit river from the south  Known as Brahamputra
  • Turns at Dhubri to enter into Bangladesh
  • After joining Teesta, known as Jamuna in BD
  • Joins Ganga & Megna  Merges to BOB
  • Forms many river island of which Majuli is world 2nd largest one
  • Major tributaries → Dihang, Lohit, Subansiri, Teesta, Meghna (Barack in Assam), Manas 

India River System

  • Major tributary of Brahmaputra
  • Rises from Sikkim
  • Known as lifeline of Sikkim
  • Tributary of Brahmaputra
  • Flows through Arunachal Pradesh
  • Along with river Dihang merges into Brahmaputra, at Sadia town (Arunachal Pradesh)

Peninsular Rivers India – Flowing East to West

  • Desertic river, also known as the Sagarmati
  • Rises from the western slopes of the Aravalli Range near Ajmer
  • Ends in the marshy lands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat
  • Inspite of high salinity, it is a major river in region
  • Serves as a primary source of irrigation
  • Rises from Dhebar lake in Aravalli Range of the Udaipur (Rajasthan)
  • Flow Route: Udaipur Gulf of Khambat Arabian Sea via Estuary
  • Rises from Vindhya range (MP)
  • flows through MP, Rajasthan & Gujrat & drains in Gulf of Cambay
  • Famous Projects → Banswara Dam & Kadana dam

Peninsular Indian Rivers

  • Origin Amarkantak, Shahdol, MP
  • Also known as Rewa River
  • Flows through rift valley of Vindhya & Satpura
  • Flow Route: MP Bharuch (Gujrat) Gulf of Khambat (Gujrat) Arabian Sea via Estuary
  • Longest among all east to west flowing rivers
  • Known as Life line of MP
  • Forms Duandhar falls at Jabalpur
  • Only tributary Hiran River
  • Aliabet Largest Island in Estuary
  • Famous projects →Sardar Sarovar Dam, Maheshwar Dam, Indira Gandhi Sagar Dam
  • Rises in the Satpura Range of Betul (MP)
  • Narmada’s longest tributary
  • Origin Mahadev hills, Satpura range, Betul district, MP
  • Flow Route: MP   Maharashtra Gulf of Khambat or Cambay Arabian Sea via Estuary
  • Famous projects → Kakrapar Dam & Ukai Dam
  • Rises from Western Ghats in Kerala
  • Flows towards west & drains in Arabian Sea via an estuary

Peninsular Rivers India – Flowing West to East

  • OriginDandakaranya Hills, Raipur
  • Flow Route: Chhattisgarh Orissa EGs BOB
  • Famous Project : Hirakund Dam
  • Origin Triambakeshwar Plateau, Nashik, WGs
  • Largest Peninsular River
  • Known as Dakshina / Vriddha Ganga
  • Flow Route: Nashik  Andhra Pradesh BOB
  • Famous Tributaries Penganga, Sabri, Wardha & Indravati
  • Famous Projects       Poochampad,  Jayakwadi, Polavaram
  • Rises from Ajanta hills (Maharashtra)
  • a tributary of River Wardha which finally merges into Godavari

South Indian Rivers

  • Origin Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, WGs
  • Flow Route: Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh BOB
  • Famous Projects Koyna, Tugrabhdra, Srisailam & Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
  • a major tributary of Krishna
  • Rises from Western Ghats
  • Rises from Balaghat range (Maharashtra)
  • Tributary of Krishna
  • Origin Brahamgiri hills, Karnataka, WGs
  • Flow Route: Karnataka Kaveripatnam (TN) BOB
  • Perrenial River
  • Forms Shivasundaram Waterfalls
  • Famous projects Krishnaraja sagar & Mettur
  • Rises from Karnataka
  • Flows b/w Krishna & Kaveri
  • Drains into BOB
  • Rises from Palni hills (TN)
  • A seasonal river flows through TN
  • Drains in Gulf of Mannar
India Yearbook English India Yearbook Hindi Economic Survey 2017


  1. If all the tributaries explained, it will be perfect.

  2. Tqq very much for this information. It’s very easy to revise before exam.

  3. This content is too good thanks for making it and putting so much efforts, highly appreciative.

  4. some wrong in Ravi please check

  5. EXCELLENT…………………………..SUPERB………………….

  6. u r too good …………..

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