India’s Major Rivers,Famous Cities and River Banks and Waterfalls
The Peninsular Rivers
The Peninsular drainage system is older than the Himalayan one. A large number of the Peninsular Rivers are seasonal, as their flow is dependent on rainfall. The Peninsular Rivers are seasonal, as their flow is dependent on rainfall. The Peninsular Rivers have shorter and shallower courses as compared to their Himalayan counterparts.
The Western ghats running close to the Western coast act as the water divide between the major Peninsular rivers, discharging their water in the Bay of Bengal and as small rivulets joining the Arabian sea. Most of the major rivers of the Peninsula such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery flow eastwards and drain into the Bay of Bengal.
These rivers make deltas at their mouths. There are numerous small streams flowing west of the Western ghats. The Narmada and the Tapi are the only long rivers, which flow west and make estuaries rather than making a delta because of their swift flow and steep slopes. The drainage basins of the Peninsular Rivers are comparatively smaller in size.
The Basins of West Flowing Peninsular Rivers
The Narmada rises in the Amarkantak hills in Madhya Pradesh at an altitude of 1057m. It flows towards the west in a rift valley formed due to faulting between Vindhyas in the North and Satpuras in the south. All the tributaries of the Narmada are very short and most of these join the main stream at right angles thus, forming trellis drainage pattern.
The Narmada basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It forms a picturesque gorge in marble rocks and Dhuandhar falls near Jabalpur. It flows into Arabian Sea forming a long estuary south of the town of Bharuch.
The Tapi rises from Multai in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh in Satpura ranges. Its basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Purna is the main left bank tributary of Tapi along with Girna and Panjhra. It makes an estuary falling into Gulf of Khambat in the Arabian sea after cutting through plains of Surat. Narmada and Tapti both flow through rocks of Rift valley and neither able to form distributaries nor deltas, only form estuaries.
Mahi rises in the Vindhyas at an elevation of 500m and flows through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat before falling into the Gulf of Khambat. Its main tributaries are Som, Anas and Panam. Mahi River cuts Tropic of Cancer twice.
It is the combined name given to the streams of Sabr and Hathmati. It originates from Mewar hills in the Southern part of Aravalli range and flows into Gulf of Khambat
The Basins of East Flowing Peninsular Rivers
The Subarnarekha Basin
It originates in the Ranchi Plateau of Jharkhand and flows in a South-East direction forming boundary between West Bengal and Odisha in its lower course. It forms an estuary to eventually fall into Bay of Bengal.
The Brahmani Basin
It is formed by the confluence of two rivers Sankh and Koel near Rourkela. It Shares delta with Mahanadi rivers and falls into Bay of Bengal after traversing through a length of 800 km.
The Mahanadi Basin
It rises in the highlands of Chhattisgarh near Sihawa in Raipur district. Its basin lies in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha. The length of the river is about 860 km. Its main tributaries on the left bank are Ib, Mand, Hasdoe and Sheonath while those on the right bank are Ong and Tel. It flows Eastwards before taking a southward turn at the point where Hirakud dam has been constructed and finally flows into Bay of Bengal forming large delta plains.
The Godavari Basin
It is the largest Peninsular River and is also called Dakshin Ganga. It rises from the slopes of the Western Ghats in the Trimbak plateau in Nasik district of Maharashtra. Its length about 1465 km. It drainage basin is also the largest among the Peninsular rivers. The Basin covers parts of Maharashtra (about 50% of the basin are lies in Maharashtra), Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh. The Godavari is joined by a number of tributaries both from right and left banks. Left bank tributaries are more in number and larger in size and include rivers such as the Purna, the Wardha, the Pranhita , the Indravati, the Wainganga and the Penganga. Manjra is an important right bank tributary. South of Polavaram, it forms a picturesque gorge and causes heavy floods in its lower reaches in the rainy season. It is navigable in the deltaic stretch.
The Krishna Basin
Rising from a spring near Mahabaleshwar, the Krishna flows for about 1400 km and reaches the Bay of Bengal. Tungabhadra, Koyna, Ghatprabha, Malaprabha, Musi and Bhima are its important tributaries. Its drainage basin is shared by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Bhima having Mutha and Nira as its tributaries originates from Matheron hills and Join Krishna 26 km from Raichur. Tungabhadra is formed by confluence of Tunga and Bhadra rivers in Sahyadris. Krisna delta seems to merge with Godavari delta and they together from along deltaic stretch along Eastern coast.
The Cauvery Basin
The Cauvery rises in the Brahmagiri range of the Western Ghats and it reaches the Bay of Bengal, South of Cuddalore, in Tamil Nadu. Total length of the river is about 800 km. Its upper part receives rainfall during summer monsoons while lower part receives rainfall during receding (winter) monsoons.
Its main tributaries are Amravati, Bhavani, Hemavathi and Kabini. Its basis drains parts of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Cauvery is one of the best managed rivers as around 90% of its irrigation and power potential has already been harnessed. It cuts a gorge in the Eastern Ghats and forms the spectacular Sivasamudram falls. The delta extends from Tiruchirapalli to sea coast wherein the river is bifurcated into two channels, The Northern channel is called Coleroon and the Southern as Cauvery.
The Penner Basin
Penner River rises from the Nandi Durg peak in Karnataka and flows in a northward direction before entering Andhra Pradesh where it takes an Eastward turn to eventually form a small estuary and fall into Bay of Bengal. Papagni, chitravati and Cheyyeru are its principle tributaries.
Difference between the Himalayan and Peninsular Rivers
|The Himalayan Rivers||The Peninsular Rivers|
|They are perennial because their sources are often linked with a glacier e.g. The Ganga, The Yamuna, The Koshi etc.||They are seasonal. Once in a year only at the time of South-West monsoons. e.g. The Narmada, The Godavari, The Krishna etc.|
|The basin of these river are large e.g. Ganga Basin, Indus Basin etc.||The Basin are small e.g. The Narmada Basin, The Tapi Basin etc.|
|These rivers are long because their source of water is far from the ocean.||The Peninsular rivers are comparatively smaller.|
|River valleys deep with steep rock sides.||Most of the rivers flow into the ocean because of high peninsular slope.|
|These rivers form deep valleys and gorges in their source areas.||The river valleys are often shallow.|
|These Rivers form meanders because they flow through plains where the land is friable (soft).||These rivers flow through hard rocky areas, Several rivers flow through rift.|
|These rivers often form deltas at their mouths.||These rivers often form estuaries or small deltas at their mouths.|
Famous Cities and River Banks
|Allahabad||Ganga and Yamuna Confluence|
Main Rivers and their Tributaries
|Rivers||Left Bank Tributaries||Right Bank Tributaries|
|Indus||Zaskar, Panjnad, Nubra||Shyok, Gilgit, Kabul|
|Mahanadi||Ib, Mand, Hasdo, Sheoth||Ong, Jonk, Tel|
|Godavari||Penganga, Wardha, Wainganga, Indravati and Sabari||Manjira|
|Krishna||Bhima, Doni, Musi, Muneru||Malprabha, Ghatprabga, Tungabhadra|
|Cauvery||Herangi, Hemavati, Lokpavani, Srimsha and Arkavati||Laksmantirtha, Kabani, Suvarnavati, Bhavani and Amravati|
|Narmada||Burhner, Banjar,Sher, Shakkar, Towa and Kundi||Hiran, Barna, Kolar|
|Tapi||Sipra, Kapra, Khursi, Mona, Girna, Burhi Gandak and Kosi||Yamuna, Son, Punpun|
|Yamuna||Tons||Chambal, Sind, Betwa, ken|
List of Major Waterfalls
|Talakona Falls||Andhra Pradesh (Trupati)|
|Tirathgarh Falls||Chhattisgarh (Mugabahar river)|
|Bundla Falls||Himachal Pradesh (Bundla Stream)|
|Chulia Falls||Rajastha (Chambal river)|
|Hundru Falls||Jharkhand (Subarnarekha river)|
|Lodh Falls||Jharkhand (Buddha river)|
|Dasam Falls||Jharkhand (Subarnarekha river)|
|Dudhsagar Falls||Goa (Mandovi River)|
|Barkana Falls||Karnataka (Sita river)|
|Unchalli Falls||Karnataka (aghanashini river)|
|Gokak Falls||Karnataka (Ghataprabha river)|
|Gersoppa (Jog) Falls||Karnataka (Sharavathi river)|
|Shivanasmudra Falls||Karnataka (Cauvery river)|
|Chachai Falls||Madhya Pradesh (Bihan river)|
|Rajat Prapat Falls||Madhya Pradesh (Pachmarhi)|
|Dhuandhar Falls||Madhya Pradesh (Narmada river)|
|Vantawang Falls||Mizoram (river Lau)|
|Barehipani Falls||Odisha (Budhabalanga river- Slimlipal National Park)|
|Khandadhar Falls||Odisha (Kaprani stream)|
|Catherine Falls||Tamil Nadu|
|Kutralam Falls||Tamil Nadu (river Siruvani)|
|Thalaiyar Falls||Tamil Nadu (near Kodaikanal)|
|Birthi Falls||Uttarakhand (Pancholi peak)|
|Vasudhara Falls||Uttarakhand (near Badrinath)|
|Kapildhara Falls||Madhya Pradesh(Narmada river)|