Important Rivers in India: Some Facts and Figures


Rivers play a significant role in our lives. It provides drinkable water, conveyance, irrigation, help in producing electricity, and are the sources of income i.e. in fishing, Boating, etc. India has eight major rivers with numerous tributaries flowing all over the country. These major rivers are The Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Narmada, Godavari, Tapi, Krishna, and Kaveri. Some parts of India have inland drainage whereas the majority of the rivers flow into the Bay of Bengal with some of the rivers into the Arabian Sea. There are three main sources of all the major rivers of India and those are The Himalaya and the Karakoram ranges, Sahyadri or the Western Ghats in western India and Vindhya and Satpura ranges and Chotanagpur plateau in central India. In today’s article, I am going to talk about some major rivers in India. This topic is useful for Upcoming UPSC, SSC and Railways examinations.

Ganga or the Ganges

Ganga basin is the largest river basin in India. The Ganga, Yamuna, Ghagra, Gandak, and Kosi are the main constituents of this basin. It receives water from the Himalayas in the north and the Vindhyas in the South. Ganga originates from the Gangotri glaciers (Gaumukh) in the Himalayan mountain range. It travels through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and then comes into West Bengal and Bangladesh. It ends in the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the Ganga is known as the Padma.

The Brahmaputra

In terms of volume, the Brahmaputra is the greatest of all the rivers in India. It flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and is the source of the Indus and the Satluj. The source of Brahmaputra is Mansarovar Lake. With about 2,899.9 km in length and 120 m in depth, the Brahmaputra River is essential for irrigation and transportation in the region. It drains into the Bay of Bengal after merging with Padma (popular name of Ganga in Bangladesh).

The Narmada

The Narmada or Nerbudda River also called the Rewa, is a river in central India. Along with the Mahi and Tapti, it is one of the three rivers which flows from east to west. It can probably be named as the longest (length-1,312 km) west flowing river in India. Narmada river is also known with the name “Life Line of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat ” because of its tremendous contribution to the state of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The source of Narmada is Amarkantak. Amarkantak is a Plateau near Anuppur district Madhya Pradesh. It forms the frontier between South India and North India. It drains through the Gulf of Khambhat into the Arabian Sea.

List of Important Rivers in India

Name of the RiverOriginated fromName of the States it touchesLength of the River
GangaGangothriUttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal2,525 K.M.
SutlejMount KailashHimachal Pradesh, Punjab1,500 K.M.
YamunaGarhwal in YamunotriUttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi1,376 K.M.
BrahmaputraLake ManasarovarAssam, Arunachal,Tibet2,900 K.M.
MahanadiAmarkantak PlateauChhattisgarh, Odisha858 K.M.
GomtiGomat TaalUttarpradesh, Gujarat,900 K.M.
Shigatse Prefecture, Janakpur, Sagarmatha, Koshi, Mechi Zones, Bihar720 K.M.
GandakiNepalMadhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar630 K.M.
GodavariNasik HillsMaharashtra, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry1,465 K.M.
KrishnaNear Mahabaleshwar in MaharashtraMaharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh1,400 K.M.
NarmadaAmarkantak hill in Madhya PradeshMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat1,315 K.M.
TaptiBettulMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat724 K.M.
Hugli (Hooghly)GangaWest Bengal, Kolkata260 K.M
DamodarHooghly River, HowrahJharkhand, Bengal592 K.M
IndusIn Tibet Kailash Range 5080 mts.Gilgit-Baltistan, Jammu and KashmirKhyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, SindhTibet3180 K.M
BetwaVindhya RangeMadhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh590 K.M.
SonGangaMadhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand,Bihar784 K.M.
RaviHimachal PradeshHimachal Pradesh, Punjab720 K.M.
BeasSutlejHimachal Pradesh, Punjab470 K.M.
ChenabPanjnadHimachal Pradesh, Punjab960 K.M.
JhelumPir Panjal RangePunjab, Jammu, and Kashmir,725 K.M.
KaveriHills of Coorg, KarnatakaKarnataka, Tamilnadu,765 K.M.
GhaggarShivalik Hills, Himachal PradeshHimachal Pradesh, Rajasthan1080 K.M
SabarmatiDhebar LakeAravalli Range, Udaipur 371 K.M
AlaknandaGangaUttarakhand190 K.M
TeestaBrahmaputraSikkim, India, West Bengal, India,Rangpur, Bangladesh309 K.M
TungabhadraKrishnaKarnataka, Andhra Pradesh,Telangana531 K.M
MahiGulf of Khambhat ,  Arabian SeaMadhya Pradesh, Vindhyas580 K.M
BhagirathiGangaUttarakhand,205 K.M
BrahmaniBay of BengalOdisha480
PeriyarCardamom HillsKerala, Tamil Nadu244 K.M
MahanandaLakshadweep Sea, Vembanad LakeWest Bengal, Bihar360 K.M
IndravatiKalahandiOdisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra535 K.M
Krishna River
Maharashtra, Karnataka,Telangana861 K.M

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