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Major Rivers in India

Indus River System

Indus
  • 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
Shyok
  • Originates from Rimo Glacier
  • Known as river of death
  • flows through Ladakh in India
  • A tributary of the Indus River
Jhelum
  • 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

Chenab
  • 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
Ravi
  • 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
Beas
  • 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
Sutluj
  • 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

Ghaghara
  • 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 
Gandak
  • Origin Sino – Nepal Boundary (Dhaulagiri range)
  • Known as Kalyani in Nepal
  • Major River of Nepal
  • Joins Ganga at Sonpur, Bihar
Kosi
  • 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
Son
  • Origin Amarkantak Plateau (Near north of origin of Narmada)
  • Flows through Kaimur Range to meet Ganga at Patna 
Gomti
  • Originates from Gomat Taal / Fulhaar jheel – Pilibhit
  • A tributary of Ganga
Yamuna
  • 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
Betwa
  • Major Tributaries Tributary of Yamuna, rises from Vindhya range, MP
  • Major Projects       → Matatila dam & Rajghat dam
Ken 
  • Rises from Kaimur hills in Satna (Madhya Pradesh), a tributary of Yamuna
  • Famous for its Shajar stone &  Raneh waterfalls
Chambal
  • 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
Banas 
  • Originate from eastern slopes of Aravali
  • Tributary of Chambal
Damodar  
  • 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

Teesta
  • Major tributary of Brahmaputra
  • Rises from Sikkim
  • Known as lifeline of Sikkim
Lohit
  • 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

Luni
  • 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
Sabarmati
  • Rises from Dhebar lake in Aravalli Range of the Udaipur (Rajasthan)
  • Flow Route: Udaipur Gulf of Khambat Arabian Sea via Estuary
Mahi
  • Rises from Vindhya range (MP)
  • flows through MP, Rajasthan & Gujrat & drains in Gulf of Cambay
  • Famous Projects → Banswara Dam & Kadana dam

Peninsular Indian Rivers

Narmada
  • 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
Tawa
  • Rises in the Satpura Range of Betul (MP)
  • Narmada’s longest tributary
Tapi
  • 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
Periyar
  • Rises from Western Ghats in Kerala
  • Flows towards west & drains in Arabian Sea via an estuary

Peninsular Rivers India – Flowing West to East

Mahanadi
  • OriginDandakaranya Hills, Raipur
  • Flow Route: Chhattisgarh Orissa EGs BOB
  • Famous Project : Hirakund Dam
Godavari
  • 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
Penganga
  • Rises from Ajanta hills (Maharashtra)
  • a tributary of River Wardha which finally merges into Godavari

South Indian Rivers

Krishna
  • Origin Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, WGs
  • Flow Route: Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh BOB
  • Famous Projects Koyna, Tugrabhdra, Srisailam & Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Tungabhadra
  • a major tributary of Krishna
  • Rises from Western Ghats
Bhima
  • Rises from Balaghat range (Maharashtra)
  • Tributary of Krishna
Kaveri
  • Origin Brahamgiri hills, Karnataka, WGs
  • Flow Route: Karnataka Kaveripatnam (TN) BOB
  • Perrenial River
  • Forms Shivasundaram Waterfalls
  • Famous projects Krishnaraja sagar & Mettur
Penner 
  • Rises from Karnataka
  • Flows b/w Krishna & Kaveri
  • Drains into BOB
Vaigai
  • 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

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