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The rivers of India play an important role in the lives of the Indian people.

The river systems provide irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation,


electricity, and the livelihoods for a large number of people all over the
country. This easily explains why nearly all the major cities of India are
located by the banks of rivers.


The rivers also have an important role in Hindu mythology and are
considered holy by all Hindus in the country.


Seven major rivers along with their numerous tributaries make up the
river system of India.


Dr.Francis Buchanan surveyed the courses of the rivers of India along
with their tributaries and branches in 1810-11 AD and presented a minute
account of it. The shifting of the courses and bed over the centuries is
very remarkable. Many of the channels mentioned in that survey have
now become dead , dried or even extinct.
Most of the rivers pour their waters into the Bay of Bengal; however, some of
the rivers whose courses take them through the western part of the country
and towards the east of the state of Himachal Pradesh empty into the Arabian
Sea. Parts of Ladakh, northern parts of the Aravalli range and the arid parts of
the Thar Desert have inland drainage.

Some of the world's major river


systems arise in the Himalayas, and
their combined drainage basin is
home to some 3 billion people (almost
half of Earth's population) in 18
countries. The Himalayas have
profoundly shaped the cultures of
South Asia; many Himalayan peaks
are sacred in Hinduism, Buddhism
and Sikhism.
Peninsular India is sapped by five important river systems and
they are as follows:-
Godavari
Mahanadi
Krishna
Kaveri
Narmada
tapi

The geography and weather of Peninsular India are two
superseding forcible checks influencing the rivers of Peninsular
India. Through influencing the flora and soil of the territory,
the weather and geography become two important deciding
elements of the sediment logical natures and the entire
procedure of soil corrosion, silting, and transfer factors in
every catchment area of the river.

The spare flora of the flat terrain has a lot of differences with
the reasonably abundant flora of the river basins. Given below
are the brief accounts of some important peninsular rivers in
India:
The main water divide in Peninsular India isformed by the Western
Ghats, which runs fromnorth to south close to the western
coast.Mostof the major rivers of the Peninsula such asthe
Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna andthe Kaveri flow
eastwards and drain into theBay of Bengal.

These rivers make deltas attheir mouths. There are numerous
smallstreams flowing west of the Western Ghats.The Narmada
and the Tapi are the only longrivers, which flow west and make
esturies.Thedrainage basins of the peninsular rivers
arecomparitevely small in size.
Characteristics of Peninsular Rivers

Numerous rivers traversing the Indian Peninsula are older than the Himalayan Rivers and embody the
following major characteristics:

The sources of the Peninsular Rivers lie in the plateaus and low hills devoid of snow; therefore, most of
the rivers are seasonal.

Most of these rivers can be said to have reached a mature state of development, presenting a senile
topography.

These rivers flow through open and graded shallow valleys with low gradients and little erosion.

The Peninsular Rivers are either superimposed or at places rejuvenated (represented by small
waterfalls), giving birth to radial, trellis or rectangular drainage patterns.

These rivers mostly have smaller courses and small basins.

These are devoid of meanders because of hard rock and non-alluvial character of the plateau.

The impermeable hard rock limits the groundwater recharge in the aquifers of peninsular
rivers.

These rivers are although suitable for power generation in their upper reaches but have
limited use in irrigation and navigation.

The Narmada also called Rewa is a river in central India and the
fifth largest river in the Indian subcontinent. It forms the
traditional boundary between North India and South India and
flows westwards over a length of 1,312 km (815.2 mi) before
draining through the Gulf of Cambey (Khambat) into the Arabian
Sea, 30 km (18.6 mi) west of Bharuch city of Gujarat.
It is the only river in India that flows in a rift valley flowing
west between the Satpura and Vindhya ranges although
the Tapti River and Mahi River also flow through rift valleys
but between different ranges.


It flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh (1,077 km
(669.2 mi)), Maharashtra, (74 km (46.0 mi)) (35 km (21.7 mi))
border between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and (39 km
(24.2 mi) border between Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat and in
Gujarat (161 km (100.0 mi)).
It is one of only three major rivers in peninsular India that
runs from east to west (largest west flowing river) along
with the Tapti River and the Mahi River.

The Godavari is a river that runs from western
to southern India and is considered to be one of the
big river basins in India. With a length of
1500km,(approx) it is the second longest river in
India (only after the Ganga), that runs within the
country and also the longest river in South India.

It originates near Trimbak in Nashik District of
Maharashtra state and flows east across the
Deccan Plateau into the Bay of Bengal near
Narasapuram in West Godavari district of Andhra
Pradesh.

It enters Andhra Pradesh at Kandhakurthi in Nizamabad district.
While passing through telangana region of Andhra Pradesh it
touches a small village called Dharmapuri which is a pilgrimage
village with many ancient Hindu temples and river Godavari serving
as spiritual place in true sense for bathing in Godavari river
spread over rocks and sand.


While crossing the Deccan Plateau and then turns to flow in a
southeast direction until it empties into the Bay of Bengal through
two mouths. Basara, on the banks of Godavari in Adilabad District,
is home to a famous temple for Goddess Saraswati and is the second
temple for the Goddess in India.
The Godavari River is a major waterway in central India,
originating in the Western Ghats Trimbakeshwar, in the Nashik
Subdivision or District Of Maharashtra and flowing eastwardly
across the Deccan Plateau through the state of Maharashtra. It
is known as dakshin ganga (Southern Ganga).
The Godavari is the largest Peninsular river.It rises from the slopes of the
Western Ghatsin the Nasik district of Maharashtra. Itslength is about 1500
km.It drains into theBay of Bengal. Its drainage basin is also thelargest among
the peninsular rivers.Thebasin covers parts of Maharashtra (about 50per cent
of the basin area lies in Maharashtra),Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and
AndhraPradesh. The Godavari is joined by a numberof tributaries such as the
Purna, the Wardha,the Pranhita, the Manjra, the Wainganga andthe
Penganga.The last three tributaries arevery large. Because of its length and
thearea it covers, it is also known as theDakshin Ganga.
Tapti is one of the major rivers in central India with a length of seven
hundred and twenty four kilometers. It is one of the three rivers like
Narmada River and Mahi River, which flow from the east to west
direction.


The Tapi rises in the Satpura ranges, in the Betul district of Madhya
Pradesh. It also flows in a rift valley parallel to the Narmada but it
is much shorter in length. Its basin covers parts of Madhya Pradesh,
Gujarat and Maharashtra.
The coastal plains between western ghats and the Arabian sea are
very narrow. Hence , the coastal rivers are short. The main west
flowing rivers are Sabarmati, Mahi ,Bharathpuzha and Periyar. Find
out the states in which these rivers drain the water.
The river basin covers an area of 65,145 square kilometers. The basin
comes under the state of Maharashtra covering an area of 51, 504
square kilometers, Madhya Pradesh over an area of 9,804 square
kilometers and Gujarat spread over an area of 3,837 square
kilometers. The districts drained by river in Maharastra are
Amravati, Akola, Buldhana, Washim, Jalgaon, Dhule, Nandurbar, and
Nashik districts, Betul and Burhanpur districts of Madhya Pradesh and
Surat district of Gujarat.
The Mahanadi rises in the highlands of Chhattisgarh. It flows
through Orissa to reach the Bay of Bengal. The length of the
river is about 860 km. Its drainage basin is shared by
Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Orissa.
The Mahanadi in East Central India. It drains an area of around
132,100 km
2
and has a total course of 858 km.

The river flows through
the states of Chhattisgarhand Orissa.
Like many other seasonal Indian rivers, the Mahanadi too is a
combination of many mountain streams and thus its precise source is
impossible to pinpoint. However its farthest headwaters lie 6 km from
Pharisiya village 442 m above sea level south of Nagri town
in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh. The hills here are an extension
of the Eastern Ghats and are a source of many other streams which
then go on to join the Mahanadi.
For the first 80 km of its course, the Mahanadi flows in a northerly
direction and drains the Raipur district and touches eastern portions
of Raipur city. It is a rather narrow river at this stage, the total
length of its valley not exceeding 500-600 metres. It then enters the
old Bilaspur district where it is joined by its first major tributary,
the Seonath.



The Krishna River is one of the most important peninsular Rivers in
central-southern India. The Krishna River is the third longest river in
India after the Ganges and the Godavari. The river is almost 1,300 km
(810 miles) long. On certain occasions, the Krishna River is denoted as
Krishnaveni. It is also referred to as Krishnaveni in its original
nomenclature. The river functions as a source of irrigation for
Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh.
The Krishna has a large and very fertile delta continuous with
that of the Godavari River, to the northeast. Although it is not
navigable, the Krishna provides water for irrigation; a weir
at Vijayawada controls the flow of water into a system of
canals in the delta
Ecologically, this is one of the disastrous rivers in the world,
in that it causes heavy soil erosion during the monsoon season.
During this time, Krishna takes fertile soil from Maharashtra,
Karnataka and western Telangana,Andhra Pradesh towards
the delta region. It flows fast and furious, often reaching
depths of over 75 feet (23 m). Ironically, there is a saying in
Marathi (language of Maharashtra) "Santh vaahate
Krishnamaai" which means "quiet flows Krishna". This term is
used to describe that a person should be as quiet as Krishna.
But, in reality, Krishna causes a
Krishna river originates at Mahabaleswar near the Jor village in
the extreme north of Wai Taluka, Satara District, Maharashtra in
the west and pours into the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi (near
Avanigadda) in Andhra Pradesh, on the east coast. It flows through
the state of Karnataka before entering Andhra Pradesh. The delta
of this river is one of the most fertile regions in India and was the
home to ancient Satavahana and Ikshvaku Sun Dynasty kings.
Vijayawada is the largest city on the River Krishna. Sangli is the
biggest city on the river Krishna in Maharashtra state.
The Kaveri rises in the Brahmagri range of the Western Ghats and it
reaches the Bay of Bengal in south of Cuddalore, in Tamil Nadu. Total
length of the river is about 760 km. Its main tributaries are Amravati,
Bhavani, Hemavati and Kabini. Its basin drains parts of Karnataka,
Kerala and Tamil Nadu.


The Kaveri also spelled Cauvery in English, is one of the major rivers
of India. The origin of the river is traditionally placed
at Talakaveri, Kodagu in the Western Ghats in Karnataka, flows
generally south and east through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and
across the southern Deccan plateau through the southeastern
lowlands, emptying into the Bay of Bengal through two principal
mouths.



The river is the source for an extensive irrigation system and
for hydroelectric power. The river has supported irrigated
agriculture for centuries and served as the lifeblood of the ancient
kingdoms and modern cities of South India.
The Kaveri basin is estimated to be 27,700 square miles (72,000 km
2
)
with many tributaries including the Shimsha, the Hemavati (river),
the Arkavati, Honnuhole, Lakshmana Tirtha, Kabini, Bhavani River,
the Lokapavani, the Noyyal and the Amaravati River. Rising in
southwestern Karnataka, it flows southeast some 475 mi (765 km) to
enter the Bay of Bengal. East of Mysore it forms the island
of Shivanasamudra, on either side of which are the
scenic Shivanasamudra Falls that descend about 320 ft (100 m).