10 major and biggest rivers in India

River is one of the nature’s most beautiful gifts to humanity. They are a vital essence of the human existence and a major contributing factor for the development of our nation’s economy. Rivers are considered Holy Waters and are of great religious importance in India. With nearly 3,200 projects on the major rivers in India, it can be well understood how important rivers are in India.

River is a natural flowing watercourse (freshwater) which starts its course from up the mountains into the sea and the ocean. Whether it is for the production of Hydro-power electricity, Irrigation, Industrial projects or just for clean Drinking water, Rivers are the most important and contributing factor. Many projects have started to help save and clean rivers; such as NMCG (National Mission for Clean Ganga), NRCD (National River Conservation Directorate), YAP (Yamuna action Plan), Namami Ganga and so on.

Here we have complied a list of the 10 Major and Biggest Rivers in India:

1. The Ganges River

The great Ganga (The Ganges) is the National River of India and is also the longest river of India, flowing 2,510 kms. It has great importance in Hindu religion and thus, it is revered as sacred by Hindus. It originates from the glaciers of Gangotri and completes its course ending into the Ganges Delta in the Bay of Bengal. The major cities it flows through are Varanasi, Haridwar, Allahabad, Kolkata, Patna and Ghazipur. Alas! due to human induced pollution, The Ganges has become one of the most polluted river in the world.
The Ganges


2. Godavari River

The Godavari is the second longest river which flows in India after the Ganga at a total length of 1456 kms. It has its source in the Nasik Hills, Triambakeshwar, Maharashtra. After flowing through the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Puducherry it ultimately empties itself into the Bay of Bengal. Since Godavari is the largest river in the peninsular region, is is also dubbed as the ‘Dakshina Ganga’, the Ganga of the South.
Godavari River


3. Krishna River

The Krishna River is the another one of the biggest rivers in terms of water inflow and basin area in India. It has a stretch of 1400 kms. It has its origin from the Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar and it mouths at Hamsaladeevi, Bay of Bengal.It contributes as the major source of irrigation in the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Its basin has an area of about 258,948 km2, which forms about 8% of the total geographical area of the country.
Krishna River


4. Yamuna River

Originating from the glacier of ‘Yamunotri, the Yamuna River (also known as Jamuna) is one of the longest rivers of India. It is of great mythological importance for Hindu religion and is the main site for the famous ‘Kumbh Mela, which is held every twelve years. It has a length of 1,376 kms. The cities it flows through on its course are Yamuna Nagar, Delhi, Mathura, Agra, Etawah, Allahabad. It meets Ganga again in the Indo-Gangetic plain and creates the Ganges-Yamuna Doab region spread across 69,000 km2. This plain has its major contribution in the cultivation of Basmati Rice.


5. Narmada River

Also known as the ‘Life Line of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh’, The Narmada River runs through a length of 1,312 kms and is one of the major rivers for navigation. It is said to have great potential as water resource. NRD (Narmada River Development) is a plan aimed to utilize the Narmada river to its greater potential. It flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat and also has parts of it’s basin in Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. The basin of Narmada is extended over an area of 98,796 km2.
Narmada River


6. Brahmaputra River

 Brahmaputra is the 9th largest river in terms of discharge and 15th longest in the World. It has a length of 916 kms in India and a total length of 2,900 kms. Along its long course, it flows through Tibet, India and ultimately mouths in Bangladesh. It is known by the name of Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet, then it enters from the Himalayas into the state of Arunachal Pradesh as Brahmaputra, then follows its course through Assam and then enters Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, it is known by the name of Jamuna. After completing its course it meets with The Ganges and empties itself in the Bay of Bengal.
Brahmaputrs River


7. Mahanadi

The Mahanadi is one of the most important rivers in East Central India. It has a course length of 858 kms and a drainage area of 141,600 square kilometers. the is well known through out the country for its Hirakund Dam. It is a major river for the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha and has a small area of its basin in Madhya Pradesh. It is important for trade and agriculture as it deposits more silt in the Indian subcontinent than any other river.
Mahanadi River


8. Indus River

India is the word for “the country of Indus” in Greek and Latin and thus explains the importance of the river Indus in India. Indus is one of the oldest and the longest rivers of India at the length of total 3200 kms and it flows in India for a stretch of 800.75 kms. It is also known as “Sindhu Nadi. It has a basin area of around 1,165,000 km. It has 5 major tributaries in India, in the state of Punjab namely, Jhelam River, Satluj River, Ravi River, Beas River, Chenab River. These tributaries are not just any rivers but the running force for the state of Punjab and near by areas!
Indus River


9. Kaveri River

The river Kaveri, also known as ‘Ponny’, is one of the major and important rivers of India which flow through the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is the third longest river in South India. It is known to divide the state of Tamil Nadu in two  parts. It has a total length of 765 km. It originates from the foothills of Western Ghats in Talakaveri and mouths in the Bay of Bengal. Through its course it covers the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.
Kaveri River


10. Tapti River

The Tapti River, also known as Tapi river, is one of the major rivers of central India. The total length of Tapi river is 724 kms. It lies between the Godavari and the Narmada rivers.  It flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujurat . It rises in the Gawilgarh Hills near Multani in the Betul district of Madhya Pradesh (Satpura Range) and mouths in the Gulf of Khambhat. The cities it flows through are Surat, Burhanpur, Bhusawal, Jalgoan.
Tapti River


The 10 Major and Biggest Rivers in India are not only the honor and pride of our nation but also a major contributing factor for the economic development! They are crucial for the Dams and other water regulation projects. The basins of some of these rivers are some of the largest in the world! For the land of farmers, rivers are a pivotal for surviving!

“नदी किसी की जागीर नहीं,
इस इंसान की नहीं,
उस भगवान की सही  “

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