Indian River Sytem | Short Note - Information That We Want

Monday, 4 November 2019

Indian River Sytem | Short Note

Indian River System

The river system of India can be classified into two groups -
 1.Himalayan rivers  2. Deccan (Peninsular) rivers  

Most of the Indian rivers flow into the Bay of Bengal but some like Narmada, Tapti and Periyar flow into the Arabian Sea.

1.  Arabian Sea Drainage: 23% of drainage falls into the Arabian Sea. Narmada, Indus, Mahi, Tapi and Periyar systems are included under this.
2.  Bay of Bengal Drainage:   77% of drainage in India falls into the Bay of Bengal. Brahmaputra, Ganga, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Kaveri river systems.


      1. Himalayan River System

       This is perennial river system, fed by snow and precipitation. In plains, they form flat valleys, ox-bow lakes, flood plains, braided channels, deltas near the river mouth.

There are three Trans-Himalayan rivers which originate in the high Tibetan Plateau and cut across the mighty Himalayan ranges.  Indus, Brahmaputra , and Sutlej .


   i) Indus River System:

        Origin is from glacier near Bokhar Chu in Tibet region in Kailash Mountain Range. The Indus river moves between Zaskar and Ladakh ranges, passes through Ladakh and Baltistan. It cuts Ladakh range, forming a gorge near Gilgit in Jammu and Kashmir.It enters Pakistan near Chillar in dardistan region.

► The Indus river is known as Singi Khamban (Lion's mouth) in Tibet.

Jhelum: Arises from spring at Verinag, at foot of Pir Panjal(SE Kashmir). It flows through Srinagar and Wular Lake. It then enters Pakistan through deep narrow gorge. It then joins Chenab near Jhang in Pakistan.

Chenab: It is largest tributary of Indus. Two streams Chandra and Bhaga join to form Chenab near Keylong in Himachal Pradesh.

Ravi: It origins near west of Rohtang pass and flows through Chambal valley from Kullu hills. It then drains area between South-eastern Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. Ravi then joins Chenab in Pakistan at Sarai Sindhu.

Beas: It origins near Beas kund near Rohtang pass. It passes through Kullu valley, gorges at Kati and Largi in Dhaoladhar range. It eners Punjab then, meets Satluj at Harike.

Sutlej: It originates in Rakas lake near Mansarovar in Tibet, there it is called Langchen Khambab. Satluj flows parallel to Indus for 400 km, enters India at gorge in Rupar. through Shipki La it enters Punjab plains. It is a Bhakra Nangal project feeder. Satluj is an Antecendent river.

   ii) Ganga River System:

       It originates Gangotri glaciar near Gaumukh in Uttarakashi in Uttarakhand. There it is called as Bhagirathi as the King Bhagirath was responsible for bringing it from the heavens to the earth. The Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda join at Devprayag to form the Ganga. The part of the River Ganga which flows into Bangladesh is known as Padma.

Alaknanda origin- Satopanth glaciar above Badrinath formed by combination of Dhauli and Vishnu Ganga at Joshimath(Vishnu Prayag). At Karna Prayag, Pindar joins Alaknanda. At Rudra Prayag, Mandakini or Kali ganga meets Alaknanda. At Devprayag, Alaknanda meets with Bhagirathi to form Ganga.
      ► Right Bank tributaries: Yamuna and Son.
      ►Left Bank tributaries: Ramaganga, Gomati, Ghagghara, Gandak, Kosi, Mahananda.

Yamuna:     It is the longest and westernmost tributary. It originates from Yamunotri glaciaron Bunderpunch range. Joins Ganga at Prayag at Allahabad. Its own tributaries are Chambal, Sind, Betwa, Ken on right. Hindan, Rind, Sengar, Varuna from left bank.

Chambal: It originates at Mhow in Malwa plateau of MP. Chambal ravines are badland topography.

Gandak: Kaligandak and Trishulganga combine to form Gandak. It originates from Nepal Himalayas between Dhaulagiri and Mt. Everest. It drains central Nepal, enters ganga plain in Champaran district of Bihar. Gandak joins Ganga at Sonpur near Patna.

Ghaghara: It originates from Mapchachuno glaciar in transhimalayas and comes out from a deep gorge at Shishapani. At Chhapra it joins Ganga.

Ramganga: It originates from Garhwal Hills and joins Ganga near Kannauj.

Kosi: It is an antecendent river which originates from North of Mt. Everest inTibet. Kosi joins Ganga at Bhagalpur.

Damodar: It originates at Chotanagpur Plateau and flows through rift valley. Damodar joins Hugli. It is also known as “Sorrow of Bengal” earlier, now it is a boon to WB due to the Damodar Valley Corporation Multipurpose Project.

Mahananda: It originates from Darjiling hills and joins Ganga as last left bank tributary in West Bengal.

Son: It is a large south bank tributary which has its origin at Amarkantak plateau. Son joins Ganga at Arrah, west of Patna.

   iii) Brahmaputra River System:


It originates at Chemayungdung glaciar in Kailash range near Mansarovar lake.

The Brahmaputra is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet and as Dihang in Arunachal Pradesh. The Brahmaputra river is known as Jomuna in Bangladesh.

► Left Bank tributaries: Burhi Dihing, Dhansari
► Right Bank tributaries: Subansiri(origin in Tibet, antecendent river), Kameng, Manas, sankosh.

Brahmaputra enters Bangladesh near Dhubri and flows south. Thereafter Testa joins on its right bank and goes by the name Yamuna. and falls into Bay of Bengal after meeting Padma.

      2. Peninsular River System

The Peninsular rivers of India are older than the Himalayan rivers. They are broad, largely graded shallow valleys and mature rivers and have a fixed course, absence of meanders, non-perennial water flow.
The water divide occurs at Western Ghats along western coast except Narmada and Tapi, most rivers flow from west to east into Bay of Bengal.

i) Narmada:
It originates in western flank of Amarkantak plateau and flows in rift valley between satpura in south and Vindhyan ranges in north. Narmada forms a Dhunadhar waterfall near Jabalpur.

ii) Tapi:
It originates at Multai in betul in Madhya Pradesh.

iii) Luni:
It is ephemeral and largest in Rajasthan in west of Aravali. Luni originates near Pushkar in two branches of Saraswati and Sabarmati. Join each other at Govindgarh and from here it is called Luni and drains into Rann of Kuchchh.

iv) Mahanadi:
It originates from Sihawa in Raipur, Chattisgarh through Orissa into Bay of Bengal. It covers MP, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

v) Godavari/ Dakshin Ganga:
Godavari is the largest Peninsular river system. It originates fron Nasik, Maharashtra. It drains into Bay of Bengal. Godavari runs through Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh.

vi) Krishna:
It is a second largest east flowing peninsular river. Krishna originates from Mahabaleshwar in Sahayadri. Its tributaries are Koyna, Tungabhadra and Bhima. It drains into Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh.

vii) Kaveri:
It origins from Brahmagiri hills of Kogadu district in Karnataka. Kaveri receives water through southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon also. So less fluctuations in water levels than other peninsular rivers. Drains Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Kabini, Bhavani, Amaravati are its tributaries.

► Luni, Machhu, Rupen, Saraswati, Banas and Ghagghar are examples of rivers with inland water drainage, i.e. they do not empty into the ocean but get lost into the sand.
► Prayag or Allahabad is believed to be the confluence (sangam) of these rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
► The number of Indian rivers which have been classified as major rivers by the Government is Twelve.


River system of India


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