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29 Nov 2022


Rivers of India
Geography, India Geography

Rivers of India 

List of Important Rivers in India India is blessed with a large number of rivers, most of which start their journey from the Himalayas like the sacred river the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mahananda etc. The rivers in India can be classified on the basis of their and on the basis of landforms on which the river flows. On the basis of origin, the Indian rivers are divided into Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers.

Himalayan Rivers: As the name suggests, the Himalayan rivers originates from the Himalayas and merges with or end at the Bay of Bengal or the Indian Ocean. These rivers are snow fed and flow throughout the year. The Himalayan rivers are categorized into the Ganges system, the Brahmaputra system and the Indus system. All of these systems include about 23 rivers. Peninsular Rivers: Peninsular Rivers are the rivers that originate from the peninsular plateaus and small hills in India and flow across the plain land of India. These rivers are non-perennial as they are rain-fed and flow from North to South across the plain land and finally end at the Bay of Bengal. The western ghats is the main watershed in the Peninsula. Kaveri, Narmanda, Tapi, Mahanadi, Godavari, and Krishna are some of the famous peninsular rivers. The three different river systems into which the Himalayan Rivers are divided are described below:

1) Ganges River System: The river Ganga is a Ganga river system in itself, i.e. the river Ganga along with its tributaries form the Ganges River System. It originates from the Gangotri Glacier located at the Garhwal Himalayas by the name of Bhagirathi. It is joined by another two streams the Mandakini and the Alaknanda at Dev Prayag, the point of confluence. After this confluence, it is known as Ganga. The main tributaries of Ganga include Yamuna, Gomati, Ghaghra, Son, Damodar and Kosi. The river travels around 2525 kilometers before empting itself into the Bay of Bengal at Ganga Sagar in West Bengal. Let us see the rivers of Ganga river system:

 Sr. No.

Name of the River Origin Destination/End

Length in KM


Ganga Gangotri Glacier Bay of Bengal 2,525
2 Yamuna Yamunotri Glacier Merges with Ganga at Allahabad



Chambal Tributary of Yamuna, starts at Madhya Pradesh Joins Yamuna river in Uttar Pradesh 960
4 Son  Starts at Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh Joins Ganga just above Patna



Gandak Tributary of Ganga at Indo Nepal border Joins Ganga near Patna 630
6 Kosi Starts from Bihar Joins Ganga near Katihar district Bihar



Betwa Tributary of Yamuna Joins Yamuna at Hamirpur in UP 590
8 Gomti Tributary of Ganga, starts from Gomat Taal,UP Joins Ganga in Varanasi District



Ghaghra Tributary of Ganga, originates from Himalayan Glacier in Tibet. Joins Ganga in Bihar 1080
10 Hugli Tributary of Ganga near West Bengal Merges with Gnaga at Bay of Bengal



Damodar Tributary of Hugli near Chandwar, Jharkhand Merges with Hugli in West Bengal


2) The Indus River System: The Indus river starts its journey or originates from the northern slopes of the Kailash range in Tibet near Lake Manasarovar. Its main tributaries are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej. It enters India in Jammu and Kashmir and flows through Ladakh and then enters into the Pakistan and then falls into the Arabian Sea.

Sr. No.

Name of the River Origin Destination/End



Indus Tibetan Plateau Empties into Arabian Sea 3180
2 Chenab Upper Himalayas at Spiti in Himachal Pradesh Merges with Indus



Jhelum Tributary of Chenab River, Punjab Merges with Chenab at Jhang in Pakistan 725
4 Ravi Bara Bhanga, Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh Merges with Chenab in Pakistan



Sutlej Tributary of Indus river, originates at Rakshastal, Tibet Joins Beas river in Pakistan and ends at Arabian Sea 1500
6 Beas Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh Joins Sutlej river in Punjab, India


3) Brahmaputra River System: The Brahmaputra river originates from the Chemayungdung glacier in south-western Tibet. It flows as the Yarlung Tsangpo river in the southern Tibet. After reaching Namcha Barwa it takes U-turn and enters India at Arunachal Pradesh where it is known as dihang. The dihang is joined by two mountain streams, the Lohit and the Dibang after this confluence, it is known as the Brahmaputra. In India, it mainly flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and is joined by several tributaries. It travels for a length of 2880 km and drains parts of China, Bhutan, India and Bangladesh. It flows through three countries: Tibet from where it originates then enters India and then enters Bangladesh from Assam. It is called Tsangpo in Tibet, Lohit or Brahmaputra in India and Jamuna in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh It is joined by Teesta River after that it splits into two distributaries branches: the western larger branch that flows as the Jamuna and mergers with the lower Ganges, called the Padma river and the eastern smaller branch that joins the Meghna river near Dhaka. The Padma and Maghna converge before flowing out into the Bay of Bengal. Left Bank Tributaries of the Brahmaputra in India:

  • Dibang: It originates from the Himalayas close to the Tibet border.
  • Lohit: It originates in the eastern Tibet.
  • Dhansari: It originates from Nagaland.

Right Bank Tributaries of the Brahmaputra in India:

  • Subansiri: It is also known as Gold River as it is famous for its gold dust.
  • Kameng: It originates at Tawang district in the eastern Himalayas.
  • Manas: It is a transboundary river that originates in Bhutan.
  • Sankosh: It originates in Bhutan and mergers into the Brahmaputra in the state of Assam.
  • Teesta: It originates in North Sikkim from the Himalayas.

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