Indian Rivers & their Sources of Origin

Indian Rivers & Sources of their Origin
There are more than 400 rivers that are flowing throughout peninsular India that play an important role in sustaining life and shaping the culture of the country. 

Of the 400 rivers, the Government of India has classified 12 rivers as the major rivers in India. They are  Ganga, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Indus, Narmada, Beas, Sutlej, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri & Tapti.

The majority of India's river systems consist of east-flowing rivers, i.e. they flow from west to the east and empties into the Bay of Bengal

But there are five major river systems that are west flowing, i.e. they flow from east to west, and finally drains out into the Arabian Sea.

Basic Facts

  • Study of Rivers – Potamology.
  • No.of Westflowing Rivers in India – 5.
    • Luni, Mahi, Narmada, Sabarmati & Tapti.
  • Largest River in India – Ganga (2525 km).
    • Longest River in India – Ganga.
    • National River of India – Ganga.
    • Longest Perennial River of India – Ganga.
    • River with Largest Basin in India – Ganga (861452 sq. km.).
    • Third Largest River in the World.
  • Second Longest River in India – Godavari (1465 km).
    • Largest River in South India – Godavari.
    • Largest Peninsular River System – Godavari.
  • Largest West Flowing River in India – Narmada (1312 km).
  • Deepest River Valley of India – Bhagirathi & Alaknanda.
  • Fast Flowing River in India – Teesta.
  • Widest River in India (Asia as well)Brahmaputra (26 km).
  • Indian River without Delta – Tapti River.
  • Indian State with least no. of rivers – Nagaland.
  • Union Territory without any river – Chandigarh.
  • First Privatized River in India – Sheonath.
  • Most Polluted River (Open Sewer) in India – Yamuna.
  • Indian River that crosses the Tropic of Cancer Twice – Mahi.
  • First Non-human Entities ("living entities") in India to be granted the same legal rights as people – Ganga & Yamuna (2017, by Uttarakhand).

Place of Origins of Important Rivers in India: List

RiverPlace of Origin
BharatapuzhaAnaimalai Hills, Western Ghats
(Tamil Nadu)
BhavaniPalghat Ranges
BeasBeas Kund, Rohtang Pass
(Himachal Pradesh)
BetwaVindhya Range
(Madhya Pradesh)
BrahmaputraChemayungdung Glacier
ChaliyarElambaleri Hills, Western Ghats
ChambalVindhya Range
(Madhya Pradesh)
DamodarChota Nagpur Plateau
GangaGangotri Glaciers
GomtiGomat Taal
(Uttar Pradesh)
KaveriBrahmagiri Hills
(Rajasthan Desert)
MahiMinda Village
MahanadiSihawa, Raipur District
NarmadaAmarkantak Hills
(Madhya Pradesh)
PambaPulachimalai Hills
(Kolar, Karnataka)
PeriyarSivagiri Hills, Western Ghats
RaviChamba District
(Himachal Pradesh)
SabarmatiUdaipur, Aravalli Hills
SutlejLake Rakshastal
(Madhya Pradesh)

📝 Read More:

    1. Epithets of Indian Rivers
    2. Indian Rivers & Major Cities: List
    3. Inter-states River Water Disputes of India
    4. Rivers of India: Complete Details 
    5. Previous Year PSC Questions on Rivers of India

📝 SideNotes:

  • Study of Inland Waters (Lakes, ponds etc) – Limnology.
  • Study of Former Lakes – Paleolimnology.
  • The Brahmaputra is often confusedly called the longest river in India. However, that is not true, because out of the 4,696 km, only (approx.) 916 km flows through India. The rest of it flows through Tibet (China) and Bangladesh.
    • also known as 
      • Jomuna in Bangladesh(Previous Year PSC Questions: Deputy Collector (SR for SC/ST), 2019)
      • Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet &
      • Dihang in Arunachal Pradesh.
  •  Ganga also known as –
    • Keertinasini in Bangladesh.
    • Padma in Bangladesh.
  • Langchen Khambab in Tibet – Sutlej.
  • First River in the world to be granted Human Status – Whanganui River (New Zealand).
  • Smallest Country in the World without a river – Vatican.
Thanks for reading!!!