River System in India

There are two main groups of river system in India.

  1. The Himalayan rivers
  2. Rivers of the peninsula


The Himalayan rivers

They are fed by melting of snow. It have three major river system, these are:

  1. The Indus system: It have area of 11,65,000 sq. Km (in India it is 321,289 sq. km) and a total length of 2,880 km ( in India 1,114). Thus Indus also known as the Sindhu, is the western most of the Himalayan rivers in India. It originates from a glacier near Bokhar Chu in the Tibetan region at an altitude of 4,164 m in the Kailash mountain range. Jhelum, Ravi, Beas are important tributary of the Indus, Chenab is the largest tributary of the Indus. Indus meets the Satluj near Harike. The Satluj originates in Rakas lake near Mansarovar at 4,555m in Tibet. Satluj have the Bhakra Nangal dam on it.

  2. The Ganga system: It rises in the Gangotri glacier near Gaumukh(3,900) in uttarkashi district of uttaranchal. Here it is known as Bhagirathi. At devprayag, Bhagirathi meets the Alaknanda; here after it is known as the Ganga. Alaknanda rises from satopanth glacier. The Ganga basin covers 8.6lakh sq. Km. Area in India. It’s tributaries are The Son, the Gomti, the Ramganga, the Ghaghara, the Gandak, the Kosi and the Mahananda. The river finally enters into the Bay of Bengal nearvthe Sagar Island. The Yamuna is the longest tributary of Ganga, has its source in the Yamunotri glacier on the western slope of Banderpunch range (6,316km). It joins Ganga at Prayag.

  3. The Brahmaputra: The Brahmaputra rises from chemayungdung glacier of the kailash range near Mansarovar lake. It flows 1200 km in southern Tibet and then enters in India from sadiya town in Arunachal Pradesh. Its main tributaries are Burhi, Dihing, Dhansari and Kalang from left bank and Subansiri, Manas and Sankosh from right bank.



Rivers of Peninsula

This system is older than the Himalayan one. Except Narmada and Tapi most rivers are flow from west to east. The major rivers of this system are the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the kaveri.

  1. Rivers flowing into bay of Bengal: A number of large rivers – the Ganges and its tributaries such as the Padma and Hooghly, the Brahmaputra and its tributaries such as the Jamuna and Meghna, other rivers such as the Irrawaddy River, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna and Kaveri flow into the Bay of Bengal.
    1. Mahanadi: Mahanadi rises in Raipur district (sihawa) of chhattishgarh. It discharge its water in bay of Bengal. Main tributaries are Shronath, hasdo, Mand, Jonk, Tel etc

    2. Godavari: It is the largest river of the peninsular river system and also known as Vriddha.

    3. Ganga and Dakshin Ganga: It rises from Nashik (Maharashtra). Its main tributaries are Manjra, Penganga, Wardha, Indravati, Wainganga, sabari etc.

    4. Krishna: It rises in Western ghats near Mahabaleshwar. It is the second largest river of peninsular river system.

    5. Kaveri: It rises in Brahmagiri hills(1,341) of Kogadu district in Karnataka. It also fed by rainfall during summer monsoon and winter monsoon. Also known as Ganga of South. It’s main tributaries are Hemavati, Lokpawni and Shimsa.

    6. Subarnarekha: It rises from Ranchi plateau.

  2. West flowing rivers: All the west flowing rivers falls in the Arbian Sea.
    1. Narmada: Narmada rises in the Amarkantak plateau and flows into Gulf of Khambat (Arabian sea) . It forms Dhuandhar waterfall near jabalpur. Its main tributaries are Hiran, Burhner, Banjar, Shar, Shakkar, Tawa etc.

    2. Tapi: It rises from Multai in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh. It is also known as twim of Narmada. Its main tributaries are Purna, Betul, Ganjal, Arunavati etc.

    3. Sabarmati: Its origin is from Aravalis.

    4. Luni: It is the river of Rajasthan. It rises from Aravali near pushkar in two branches, i.e. the Saraswati and the Sabarmati, they both joins with each other at govindgarh from here it is known as Luni. Finally it joins the Rann of Kuchchh.

    5. Sharavati: It is a west flowing river of the Sahyadris. It forms the famous Jog falls, which is the highest in India.

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