Rivers of India | Indian Rivers New Information and Data

River in India

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Rivers of India

​Rivers in India, really plays a very important role in the lives of people, Indian Rivers specifically as they provide us livelihood for people nationwide.

This easily explains us why mostly all the major cities of India (Bharat) are located on the banks of Rivers of India. They also have an important role in Indian Region or people living in India (Hindu) and are considered holy by the country.

The seven major Rivers of India along with their numerous tributaries make up the whole river system of India. The largest river basin system of India pour their waters into the Bay of Bengal (East India).

However, the Indian Rivers whose flow/course take them through the western part of country and towards the east of the state of Himachal Pradesh pours into the great Arabian Sea. Parts of the Ladakh region, the northern parts of the Aravalli range and the arid parts of the Thar Desert specifically have inland drainage present out there.

All the major Rivers of India originate from one of the following main watersheds below:

  1. Himalayan and Karakoram ranges,
  2. Aravalli range,
  3. Western Ghats (Sahyadri) in western India (Bharat),
  4. Satpura and Vindhya ranges, and
  5. Chotanagpur plateau in central India.

The Himalayan glaciers present in the Indian sub-continent are broadly divided into the three river basins, namely the Indus River Basin, the Ganga River Basin and the Brahmaputra River Basin. The Indus river basin consists the largest number of glaciers, that is 3500 in total, while the Ganga river basin and Brahmaputra river basin contains about 1,000 and 660 glaciers in total. 

The well known Ganga River System is the largest in the entire world. However, these are just three rivers of India among many. Other similar and well-known examples are Godavari, Narmadi and Tapi/Tapti.

Longest/Largest/Biggest river in India is Ganga River. 
Shortest river in India is Arvari River.
National River of India is The Ganga or Ganges.

You can see the map of the Rivers of India or Indian Rivers too on our blog.



The Indo-Gangetic plains

The Indo Gangetic plains, which are known as Ganga-Satluj Ka Maidaan [गँगा सतलुज का मैदान], and it is drained by the sixteen (16) major rivers of India. The major Himalayan Rivers are the Indus, the Ganga, and the Brahmaputra river. These Rivers in India are very long, and are joined by many other large and important tributaries. The Himalayan Rivers of India have very long flow of courses from their source to sea [in the Arabian sea and the Bay of Bengal].

Indian River System of Aravalli Range

The following Indian rivers flow from the Indian River System of Aravalli range, southwards to the Arabian Sea as well as northwards to the Yamuna River respectively.

  • Rivers flowing from north to south:
    It originates from Rajasthan in India (the western slopes of Aravalli range), then passes through the southern east portion of the Thar Desert, and finally ends into Gujarat state.
    • Sabarmati River, has total length - 231 miles (371 km) and it originates from the western slopes of the Aravalli range (at Udaipur District) and lastly ends into the Gulf of Cambay (of the Arabian Sea).
    • Luni River, has length - 308 miles (495 km) and it originates from the Pushkar valley Nr. Ajmer and ends in lands of Rann of Kutch.
    • Sakhi River, has length - 165 miles (265 km) and it ends in the marshy lands of the great Rann of Kutch (India).
  • Rivers flowing from west to north-west:
    It originates from the western slopes of the Aravalli range in state of Rajasthan, then flows through the semi-arid historical region of Shekhawati, and it drains into southern part of Haryana. Several Ochre Pottery culture sites have also been identified as late Harappan phase of Indus Valley Civilisation culture on the banks of these rivers in India.
    • Sahibi River, it originates Nr. Manoharpur in Sikar District and flows through state Haryana, along with its following tributaries described below:
    • Sota River, it is also a tributary of Sahibi river which merges with Sahibi river at the Behror (Alwar district).
    • Krishnavati River, it's a former tributary of Sahibi river, it originates Nr. Dariba, zinc and lead mines of Rajasthan in Rajsamand district, and it flows through Patan (in Dausa district) and Mothooka (in Alwar district), then it gradually disappears in Mahendragarh district in Haryana and much before reaching the Sahibi river.
    • Dohan River in India, it's a tributary of Sahibi river which originates Nr. Neem Ka Thana in the Alwar district.
  • Rivers flowing from west to north-east:
    It originates from the eastern slopes of the Aravalli range (in Rajasthan), and then it flows northwards to River Yamuna.
    • Chambal River, has length - 636 miles (1024 km) and it is a southern-side tributary of River Yamuna.
      • Banas River, has length - 329 miles (529 km) and it is a northern-side tributary of River Chambal.
        • Berach River, has length - 147 miles (236 km), it is a southern-side tributary of River Banas and it originates in the hills of the District of Udaipur.
          • Gambhiri River is a right-side tributary of River Berach.
          • Ahar River, has length - 62 miles (100 km), it is a eastern-side or right side tributary of the Berach river and it originates in the hills of the Udaipur District then flows through city Udaipur and forming the famous Pichola Lake at the end.
          • Orai River is also a right-side tributary of the River Berach.
          • Wagli Wagon River as well is a right-side tributary of River Berach.

River System of Ganga

The major Indian Rivers in Ganges river system are described below with its length and in specific order of merging of rivers in India from west to east respectively.

  • River Ganga/Ganges, has length - 1,680 miles (2704 km) and it starts from the Gangotri Glacier in Uttarakhand, India.
  • Chambal River, has length - 636 miles (1024 km) and it flows through the states Madhya Pradesh then Rajasthan and finally merges into the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • Betwa River, has length - 420 miles (676 km) and it is not a Himalayan river, also it covers the states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh before merging into Yamuna River at last in India.
  • Yamuna River, has length - 855 miles (1376 km) and it runs its major course parallel to the great Ganga River before contributing its water to River Ganga at Prayagraj region. 

Largest of Ganga river system southern tributaries are as follows:

  • Gomti, it has length - 329 miles (529 km), its flow starts near the junction of three borders of the states Uttarakhand, Nepal and UP respectively.
  • Ghaghra, it has length - 718 miles (1156 km) and it starts in Nepal near the state of Uttarakhand, India.
  • Son, it has length - 487 miles (784 km), it is not a Himalayan river and it covers the states Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar respectively.

Second Largest of Ganga river system southern tributaries are as follows:

  • Gandak, it has length - 405 miles (652 km) and its course of flow starts from the Nepal.
  • Kosi, it has length - 388 miles (625 km) and its course of flow also starts from the Nepal.
  • Brahmaputra, has total length - 2,466 miles (3969 km) and it merges with Ganga to form the grand river but Padma in Bagladesh which is formed short in length. By now, they enters region of plains and thus the flow velocity of both of the rivers of India slow down considerably.

Before Ganga enters the Bangladesh, it leaves a distributary called Hoogly nr. Farakka in Malda District which is 280 miles (450 km) in length and which provides water in the West Bengal for irrigation.

River System of Brahmaputra

Brahmaputra River basin is spreaded across North eastern part of India (Bharat).

The Brahmaputra River starts its course of flow or originates from TIBET.

  • Yarlung Tsangpo River, it has length - 1,745 miles (2809 km), it originates and also forms the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River in Tibet.
  • Siang, has length - 114 miles (184 km), it is the main river after it takes its entry in India in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India.
  • Lohit, it is one of the three major tributaries of the Brahmaputra which flows through the state of Arunachal Pradesh from the easternmost part of India.
  • Dibang, it is the major tributary which flows through the state of Arunachal Pradesh before it merges into the Brahmaputra River in the state of Assam.
  • Teesta, has length - 201 miles (324 km), and it is one of the largest tributaries of the Brahmaputra; it starts its course of flow or originates at the borders of Sikkim and Tibet, later flows Southwards joining Brahmaputra in Bangladesh.
  • Brahmaputra, has length - 480 miles (780 km) and it runs across the state of Assam from the East to West direction and then enters into Bangladesh afterwards.
  • Jamuna River (known as Brahmaputra River in India), it lengths - 122 miles (196 km), the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh is known by the name Jamuna.
  • Padma River, has length - 127 miles (204 km), the Jamuna river (known as Brahmaputra River in India) merges with the Padma River in Bangladesh before finally falling or ending its course of flow by merging into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Brahmaputra has the Total length of 2,466 miles (3,969 kilometres) according to the latest mapping.

The Indus River System of India

Rivers of India

The Indus River starts its course of flow or originates in the northern slopes of the the great Kailash Range, India located Nr. Manasarovar Lake in Tibet. Most of the river's course of flow runs through Pakistan, and as per the Indus water treaty (1960), India can only use 20% (percent) of the Indus River water, but after 1960 Indus river in the area of Pakistan is seen to getting extinct rapidly and can be hardly found now.

A specific portion of The Indus River System also runs through the Indian territory, and the same goes with parts of its courses of flow of its five major tributaries, which are listed below. These five major tributaries are the reason for naming of the region as Punjab (South Asia), the name is derived from the panch meaning "five" and aab meaning "water", hence the combination of the words panch and aab makes Punjab meaning "land with the water of five rivers". The Indus is 2,019 miles (3249 km) long.

The major Rivers in Indian Indus River System are described below (in order of their length):

  • Indus, it has total length of 3,249 kilometres (2,019 miles).
  • Sutlej, it has total length of 1,600 kilometres (990 miles).
  • Chenab, it has total length of 960 kilometres (600 miles).
  • Jhelum, it has total length of 725 kilometres (450 miles).
  • Ravi, it has total length of 729 kilometres (453 miles).
  • Beas, it has total length of 484 kilometres (301 miles).
  • Shyok, it has total length of 216 kilometres (134 miles).
  • Zanskar, it has total length of 196 kilometres (122 miles).
  • Galwan, it has total length of 138 kilometres (86 miles) tributary of Shyok.

The Peninsular River System

Western Ghats forms the main water which divides into the peninsular rivers of India, and it runs close to the western coast from north to south.

Major Rivers of India of the peninsular like the Krishna, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri  and the Godavari, mostly has its course of flow eastwards and then finally drains or merges into the Bay of Bengal. A delta at their mouths are made by these rivers. 

The only long rivers in India which flows west and make Estuaries are the Rivers Tapti, Narmada and Periyar respectively.


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