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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. Rivers Length Origin End
1. Indus 2,900 comes from the Tibetan plateau and enters India through J&K Merges into the Arabian sea near Sindh
2. Brahmaputra 2,900 Arunachal Pradesh is where the Himalayan Glacier enters India from Tibet Merges with Ganga and ends in the Bay of Bengal
3. Ganga 2,510 Uttarakhand’s Gangotri Glacier (Bhagirath) Bay of Bengal
4. Godavari 1,450 begins in Maharashtra and travels across 7 states in India Ends in the Bay of Bengal
5. Narmada 1,290 beginning in Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh Drains into the Arabian sea via the Gulf of Cambay
6. Krishna 1,290 originates in Maharashtra’s Western Ghats, close to Mahabaleshwar Ends in the Bay of Bengal near Andhra Pradesh
7. Mahanadi 890 was originated in Dhamtri, Chhattisgarh Ends in the Bay of Bengal in Odisha
8. Kaveri 760 Talakaveri in the Karnataka Western Ghats Ends 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.

Rivers Length (KM) Origin End
Ganga 2,525 Gangotri Glacier (Bhagirathi), Uttarakhand Bay of Bengal
Yamuna 1,376 Yamunotri Glacier, Uttarakhand Merges with Ganga at Allahabad (Triveni Sangam – Kumbh Mela spot
Brahmaputra 1,800 Himalayan Glacier in Tibet, but enters India in Arunachal Pradesh Merges with Ganga and ends in Bay of Bengal
Chambal 960 Tributary of Yamuna river, starting at Madhya Pradesh Joins Yamuna river in UP
Son 784 Tributary of Ganga, starting at Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh Joins Ganga just above Patna – also considered part of Vindhya river system
Gandak 630 Nepal; Ganges tributary at Indo-Nepal border (Triveni Sangam) Joins Ganga near Patna
Kosi 720 Starts from Bihar near Indo-Nepal border Joins Ganga near Katihar district of Bihar
Betwa 590 Tributary of Yamuna, rises at Vindhya region, MP Joins Yamuna at Hamirpur in UP
Gomti 900 Tributary of Ganga, starting at Gomat Taal, UP Joins Ganga in Varanasi district
Ghaghra 1080 Himalayan Glacier in tibet, tributary of Ganga Joins Ganga in Bihar
Hugli (Hooghly) 260 Tributary of Ganga near West Bengal Merges with Ganga at the Bay of Bengal
Damodar 592 Tributary of Hugli near Chandwar, Jharkhand Merges 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

Rivers Details
Luni It originates from the western Aravalli Range near Ajmer, is sometimes known as the Sabarmati, and flows through Gujarat’s swampy Rann of Kutch.
Sabarmati Begins at Dhebar Lake in the Aravalli Range of Udaipur (Rajasthan)  It flows through an estuary to the Arabian Sea.
Mahi Comes 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
Tawa The 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.
 Periyar Rises from Kerala’s Western Ghats, flows west, and empties into the Arabian Sea via an estuary.

Peninsular Rivers Flowing from West to East

Rivers Details
Mahanadi Flow 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
Penganga It 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;
Tungabhadra One of Krishna’s main tributaries, rising from the Western Ghats
Bhima Rises 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.

Rivers Length (KM) Origin End
Indus 3180 Comes from the Tibetan plateau and enters India through J&K Merges with the Arabian Sea close to Sindh
Chenab 960 Upper Himalayas in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh Combine with Indus
Jhelum 725 Punjab’s Chenub River tributary merges at Jhang with Chenab (Pakistan)
Ravi 720 Begins in the Himachal Pradesh district of Kangra at Bara Bhangal. Merge Chenab in Pakistan
Sutlej 1500 Indus River tributary with origins in Tibet’s Rakshastal Ends at the Arabian Sea and meets the Beas River in Pakistan.
Beas 470 It rises at Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh Merges 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. State Rivers
1 Andhra Pradesh Godavari & Musi
2 Bihar Ganga
3 Delhi Yamuna
4 Goa Mandovi
5 Gujarat Sabarmati
6 Haryana Yamuna
7 Jharkhand Damodar, Ganga & Subarnarekha
8 Karnataka Bhadra, Tungabhadra,Cauvery, Tunga & Pennar
9 Kerala Pamba
10 Madhya Pradesh Betwa, Tapti, Wainganga, Khan, Narmada, Kshipra, Beehar, Chambal & Mandakini.
11 Mahrashtra Krishna, Godavari, Tapi and Panchganga
12 Nagaland Diphu & Dhansiri
13 Orissa Brahmini & Mahanadi
14 Punjab Satluj
15 Rajasthan Chambal
16 Sikkim Rani Chu
17 Tamil Nadu Cauvery, Adyar, Cooum, Vennar, Vaigai & Tambarani
18 Uttar Pradesh Yamuna, Ganga & Gomti
19 Uttranchal Ganga
20 West Bengal Ganga, Damodar & Mahananda

Longest Rivers of India

S. No. River Length in India (km) Total Length (km)
1. Ganga 2525 2525
2. Godavari 1464 1465
3. Krishna 1400 1400
4. Yamuna 1376 1376
5. Narmada 1312 1312
6. Indus 1114 3180
7. Brahmaputra 916 2900
8. Mahanadi 890 890
9. Kaveri 800 800
10. Tapti 724 724

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

Seasons of India Mountains of India
Mangrove Forests in India Important Mountain Passes in India
Monsoon in India
Indus River System
Climate of India
Rivers of India
Tributaries of Ganga
National Parks in India
Important Dams in India
Wildlife Sanctuaries of India
Tiger Reserves in India
Northern Plains of India
Physiography of India
Important Lakes of India
Wetlands in India
Biodiversity in India
Natural Vegetation in India Earthquakes in India
Types of Soil in India
Ramsar Sites in India
Brahmaputra River System
Hydropower Plants in India
Nuclear Power Plants in India
Major Ports in India
Biosphere Reserves in India
Waterfalls in India

Other Fundamental Geography Topics

Solar System Types of Clouds
Structure of the Atmosphere Himalayan Ranges
Component of Environment
El Nino and La Nina
Coral Reef
Continental Drift Theory
Endogenic and Exogenic Forces
Indian Ocean Region
Pacific Ocean
Indian Ocean Dipole
Air Pollution
Environmental Impact Assessment
Tropical Cyclone
Western Disturbances
Types of Rocks


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What are the 7 major rivers in India?

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.

How many rivers are there in India?

In total, India has more than 400 rivers and 8 major river systems. Due to their critical relevance for sustaining life and their significance in Indian faiths, rivers play a significant part in the lives of the Indian people.

Who is the largest river of India?

As of 2022, the Indus is India's longest river with a length of over three thousand kilometres. It rises in Tibet from Lake Mansarovar and flows through the states of Ladakh and Punjab before joining the Arabian Sea at Pakistan's port of Karachi.

Which is the No 1 River in India?

Ganges (2,525 KM) is the number one river of India

Which is world biggest river?

Nile River is the longest river in the world and Amazon river is second longest river in the world.

Which is deepest river in India?

The Brahmaputra River, which may reach depths of 380 feet, is the deepest river in India. It originates in the Chemayungdung glacier of the Kailash range close to the Mansarovar lake, making it one of the world's greatest rivers.


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