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Drainage System of Bihar, List of Rivers, Lakes, Waterfalls

Drainage System of Bihar

Drainage systems, commonly referred to as river systems in geomorphology, are the patterns created by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a specific drainage basin. A drainage system is governed by the topography of the land, which is dominated by hard as well as soft rocks.

Bihar is situated in the central portion of the Indo-Gangetic plain. The portion lying on the northern side of the left bank of the Ganga is known as north Bihar and that lying on the southern side as south Bihar. Under the existing drainage system in Bihar, mainly rivers, lakes, wetlands, waterfalls and various hot water bodies are included. Under this drainage system, irrigation is done in the entire state through canals and tube wells, ponds and wells extracted from various rivers. Check the Drainage System of Bihar overview in the table below:

Drainage System of Bihar
Particulars  Data
Geographical Area of Bigar 94163 Sq. Km
Bihar Population (2011 census) 103,804,637
Number of Districts in Bihar 38
Number of flood prone districts in Bihar 28
No. of River Basins in Bihar 14
Bihar Average annual Rainfall 1205 mm
Bihar Flood Prone Area 68800 Sq. Km
Total length of Embankment (Dams) Constructed in Bihar 3759.94 Km
Area protected by flood in Bihar 36,460.46 Sq Km
Source: Second Bihar State Irrigation Commission Report,1994

Drainage System and Rivers of Bihar

Bihar has an area of 3.82 lakh hectares of water, which is 4.1 per cent of the total geographical area of the state. The base of the drainage system of Bihar is the river Ganges. The Ganges and its tributaries have played an important role in developing the topographical features of Bihar. On the basis of the origin of the rivers, the rivers of Bihar can be divided into two categories-

Rivers of North Bihar

The rivers of North Bihar originate from the mountain ranges of the Himalayas. These include Ghaghra, Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Bagmati, Kosi and Mahananda etc.

Rivers of South Bihar

The rivers of south Bihar originate from varied sources. These include Son, Karmnasha, Punpun, Ajay, Kiul, Falgu,

Drainage System: 14 Drainage Basins of Bihar

As per the “Second Bihar State Irrigation Commission 1994” report, the rivers of Bihar have been divided into 14 basins such as:

14 Drainage Basins of Bihar
  • Ghaghra
  • Gandak
  • Burhi Gandak
  • Bagmati-Adhwara
  • Kamla-Balan
  • Kosi
  • Mahananda
  • Main Ganga stem which includes the drainage area of the Kao River, Dharmawati River, Ganga, Mahi River, and Baya Rivers,
  • Karmnasa
  • Sone
  • Punpun
  • Kiul-Harohar
  • Badua which includes the drainage area of the Belharha River also
  • Chandan which includes the drainage area of Bilasi river and chir river also.

The Ganga flowing from west to east in this state is the main drainage channel with seven major rivers/basins namely Ghaghra, Gandak, Burhi-Gandak, Kamla Balan, Bagmati, Kosi and Mahananda on its north and six namely Karmnasa, Sone, Punpun, Kiul-Harohar, Badua and Chandan on its south.

All the rivers excluding Burhi-Gandak joining Ganga on its left bank in Bihar originate from the Himalayas, flow through a considerable length in Nepal and a large part of their catchment falls in the glacial regions of the great Himalayas. These rivers are snow-fed and hence perennial.

About 80% to 90% of the annual rainfall occurs in monsoon months on account of the southwest monsoon. As a result, the entire northern region of this state is affected by flooding almost every year due to excessive rainfall in their catchment. The average annual rainfall in Bihar is 1205 mm with significant variations in its areal distribution.

Drainage System of Bihar Map

Check the Drainage System of Bihar Map for a better understanding of Bihar’s drainage system:

List of Rivers in Bihar 

The List of Rivers of Bihar has been mentioned in the table provided below with their tributaries, flood-prone area etc:

List of Rivers in Bihar
Name of River Left Bank Tributaries Right Bank Tributaries Flood Prone Area(Sq.Km) Length of Embankment Constructed(Km) Area Protected by flood(Sq.Km)
Ghaghra Little Gandaki,Sondhi Nala,Jharahi and Daha Nil 2530 132.9 790
Gandak Bhabsa,Harha Kakra 3350 511.66 6240
Burhi Gandak Masan, Balor,Pandai,Sikta,balan,Tilawe,Tiur Dhanauti,Kohra,Danda-Fardo-Danda-Kedane-none-Balane 8210 779.26 6730
Bagmati-Adhwara Lakhandei,Darbhanga Bagmati,old Kamla Lalbakeya,Hasanpur bagmati 4440 478.14 1800
Kamla-Balan Sugarave,Dhauri,Soni ,Balan Nil 3700 203.9 5620
Kosi Fariani Dhar,Dhemana dhar Bagmati,Kamla balan ,Bhutahi balan,trijugi 10150 637.41 9720
Mahananda Donk Balason,chenge,Mechi,Eastern Kankai,western Kankai,Parman 5150 225.33 1010
Main Ganga Stem Ghaghra,Gandak,burhi-Gandak,Kosi,Mahananda Karmnasa,sone,Punpun,kiul-Harohar,Badua,Chandan 12920 596.92 2440
Karmnasa Nil Dharmawati,Gopai,Durgawati Nil NIL Nil
Sone Nil Nil 3700 954 210
Punpun Mohrahar, Dardha Dhowa 6130 37.62 200
Kiul-Harohar Sakari ,falgu,Mohane Paimar,Panchane and Harohar Nil 6340 14 60
Badua Belharna,Gobra Nala Chanan,Barne nala,Kamjori 1050 NIL Nil
Chandan Orhni ,Kudar Chatri 1130 83.18 1640
Source: Second Bihar State Irrigation Commission Report,1994

List of Lakes in Bihar

In the northern plains of Bihar, many natural visarpa lakes have been formed as a result of the discharge of rivers like Ganga, Budhi Gandak, Kosi and Mahananda, because due to the gentle slope in the plains, the velocity of the rivers becomes very slow, as a result of which the rivers unable to transport the sediments carried by them. These lakes are also known by the names of Taal, Chaur or Man etc. in the local language. A Lakes of Bihar has been mentioned below with their location:

List of Lakes in Bihar 
Lake Location
Kanwar Lake Majhola village of Begusarai district of Bihar state
Kusheshwarsthan Lake Kusheshwarsthan block of Darbhanga, Bihar.
Gogabil Lake Manihari in the Katihar district of Bihar state.
Simri Lake Simri Bakhtiyarpur block at a distance of 25 kilometres from Saharsa in
the state of Bihar.
Jagatpur Lake Bhagalpur district of the state
Udaipur Lake West Champaran District.
Anupam Lake Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, Kaimur District and Rohtas District of Bihar

List of Waterfalls in Bihar

The List of major Waterfall in Bihar has been provided in the table below:

List of Waterfalls of Bihar
Waterfalls Location
Kakolat Falls in Kakolat hill (Nawada).
Durgavati Falls Kaimur district
Karkat Falls Kaimur Hills of Kaimur district.
Jiarkund Falls on the Phulwaria River in the Bhojpur district.
Telhar Kund Kaimur district on Bhabua and Paroudha roads
Okharin Kund Rohtas district of Bihar
Sukhaldari Falls Border of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar
Dhuan Kund Waterfall Kav River in Tarachandi Hill, Sasaram (Rohtas district).

List of Hot Springs in Bihar

Most of the hot springs in Bihar are located in Rajgir and Munger districts. Apart from this, hot springs are also found in Gaya and Nalanda districts. Generally, they are related to dead volcanic activities or radioactive minerals located in the ground. Sulphur, minerals and salts etc. are found in sufficient quantity in the water coming out of hot water bodies. Hot water bodies are mainly found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The temperature of their water is about 70°C, which remains almost the same throughout the year. Check the List of Hot Springs of Bihar below:

List of Hot Springs of Bihar
Springs Location
Brahmakund Rajgir (hottest 87°C)
Suryakund Rajgir
Rishikund Munger
Laxman Kund Munger
Saptadhara/Satdharva Rajgir
Makhdoom Kund Rajgir
Sita Kund Munger
Rameshwar Kund Munger


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Drainage System of Bihar FAQs

What is drainage system?

The drainage systems, also known as river systems, are the patterns formed by the streams, rivers, and lakes in a particular drainage basin.

What is the drainage system system in India?

On the basis of mode of origin, nature and characteristics, the Indian drainage may be classified into the Himalayan drainage and the Peninsular drainage.

What are total number of River Basins in Bihar?

The total number of River Basins in Bihar are 14.

What are the seven major river flowing in north Bihar?

The seven major rivers/basins namely Ghaghra, Gandak, Burhi-Gandak, Kamla Balan, Bagmati, Kosi and Mahananda on its north.

What are the six major river flowing in south Bihar?

The six major river flowing in south Bihar namely Karmnasa, Sone, Punpun, Kiul-Harohar, Badua and Chandan on its south.

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