List of Rivers of India and their Origin and Tributaries | Download PDF


List of Rivers of India and their Origin

List of Rivers in India: Discover India’s Rivers Ganges in the north to Kerala’s backwaters in the south. Complete list with lengths, origins, and tributaries. In 2023, numerous Defense Exams will take place, and candidates are eager for essential GK information. Below, we present a comprehensive list of rivers, their lengths, origins, and tributaries relevant to exams like BSF, CISF, CDS, Territorial Army, etc.

A river is a natural waterway of freshwater, flowing toward an ocean, sea, lake or any other river. Most of India’s major rivers flow eastwards and fall into the Bay of Bengal. There are only five rivers in India that flow from east to west, Narmada, Mahi, tapti river, luni and sabarmati and fall into the Arabian Sea. Here we have brought details related to the complete list of major rivers of India and the rivers and their tributaries in India. Also, Check Riverside Cities in India

List of Rivers of India pdf
List of Rivers of India pdf

Rivers in India

In the diverse tapestry of India’s geography, rivers play a fundamental and fascinating role. These majestic water bodies, akin to lifelines, weave through the country’s plains, mountains, and plateaus, shaping its landscapes and nurturing its people. India’s rivers are not just geographical features; they are repositories of culture, history, and spirituality. In this journey through the meandering waters of India, we will explore the significance, stories, and serenity that these rivers bring to the subcontinent.

Indian River System

Let’s explore major River Systems through a table that provides details about their respective lengths.

Indian River System
River SystemTotal lengthLength in  India
Indus River System3180  km1114 km
Brahmaputra River System2900 km916 km
Ganga River System2510 km2510 km
Yamuna river System1376 km1376 km
Tapi River System724 km724 km
Narmada River System1312 km1312 km
Krishna River System1400 km1400 km
Cauvery River System805 km805 km
Godavari River System1465 km1465 km
Mahanadi River System851 km851 km

Indian Rivers 

The majority of rivers in India flow into the Bay of Bengal, while a few pass through the western part and fall into the Arabian Sea. Inland drainage exists in certain regions, such as northern Aravalli range, parts of Ladakh, and the arid Thar Desert. The major rivers in India originate from three main watersheds:

  • The Himalaya and the Karakoram range
  • The Chota Nagpur plateau and Vindhya and Satpura range
  • The Western Ghats

Indus River System

Origin: The Indus River originates in the northern slopes of the Kailash range in Tibet, near Lake Mansarovar.

Course: It follows a north-westerly course through Tibet.

Length: It has a total length of about 2897 km from the source to the point near Karachi where it falls into the Arabian Sea, with approximately 700 km lying in India.

Entry into India: It enters the Indian Territory in Jammu and Kashmir where it forms a picturesque gorge.

Joining Tributaries: In the Kashmir region, it joins with several tributaries – the Zaskar, the Shyok, the Nubra, and the Hunza.

Flow through Regions: It flows through the regions of Ladakh, Baltistan, and Gilgit, running between the Ladakh Range and the Zaskar Range at Leh.

Himalayan Crossing: It crosses the Himalayas through a 5181 m deep gorge near Attock, lying north of Nanga Parbat.

Major Tributaries in India: The major tributaries of the Indus River in India are Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab, Beas, and Sutlej.

Brahmaputra River System

Origin: The Brahmaputra originates from Mansarovar Lake, sharing the source with the Indus and Sutlej rivers.

Length: It stretches 3848 km, slightly longer than the Indus River.

Course: Most of its course lies outside India, flowing parallel to the Himalayas eastward. It takes a U-turn around Namcha Barwa and enters India in Arunachal Pradesh, where it is known as the Dihang River.

Undercutting: The river’s undercutting measures approximately 5500 meters.

Flow through India: it flows through Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, being connected by various tributaries. It maintains a braided channel throughout most of its length in Assam.

Tibet Region: In Tibet, the river is known as the Tsangpo, receiving less water and silt. However, India, encounters heavy precipitation, resulting in significant water flow during rainfall and considerable silt.

Volume: It is one of India’s largest rivers in terms of volume.

Calamities: The Brahmaputra is notorious for causing calamities in Assam and Bangladesh.

Ganga River System

Origin: The Ganga originates as the Bhagirathi from the Gangotri glacier.

Confluence: Before reaching Devprayag, the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi merge with rivers like Mandakini, Pindar, Dhauliganga, and Bishenganga.

Panch Prayag: The concept of Panch Prayag includes Vishnuprayag, Nandprayag, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag, and Devprayag, where the Alaknanda meets its tributaries.

Principal Tributaries: Yamuna, Damodar, Sapta Kosi, Ram Ganga, Gomati, Ghaghara, and Son.

Endpoint: After covering 2525 km, the Ganga meets the Bay of Bengal.

Yamuna River System

Origin: It originates from the Yamunotri glacier, located at the Bandarpoonch peak in Uttarakhand.

Tributaries: The main tributaries joining the river are Sin, Hindon, Betwa, Ken, and Chambal.

Largest Tributary: The Tons is the largest tributary of the Yamuna.

Catchment Area: The river’s catchment extends to the states of Delhi, HP, UP, Haryana, Rajasthan, and MP.

Tapi River System

Origin: It originates in the Eastern Satpura Range of southern Madhya Pradesh state.

Westward Flow: The river flows in a westward direction, passing through important regions like Madhya Pradesh’s Nimar and East Vidarbha regions, Maharashtra’s Khandesh, and South Gujarat before evacuating into the Gulf of Cambay of the Arabian Sea.

River Basin: The River Basin of Tapi River is primarily situated in the eastern and northern districts of Maharashtra state. It also covers some districts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

Principal Tributaries: The principal tributaries of Tapi River include Waghur River, Aner River, Girna River, Purna River, Panzara River, and Bori River.

Narmada River System

Origin: It rises to the summit of the Amarkantak Hill in Madhya Pradesh state.

Frontier: The river outlines the traditional frontier between North India and South India.

Peninsular River: It stands as one of the significant rivers in peninsular India, along with the Tapti and the Mahi rivers, running from east to west.

Flow through States: The river flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

Endpoint: It drains into the Arabian Sea in the Bharuch district of Gujarat.

Krishna River System

Length: Krishna is one of the longest rivers in India, approximately 1300 km in length.

Origin: It originates from Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra.

Endpoint: The river flows through Sangli and meets the sea in the Bay of Bengal.

Flow through States: It flows through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.

Main Tributary: The Tungabhadra River is the main tributary, formed by the Tunga and Bhadra rivers originating in the Western Ghats.

Other Tributaries: Some other tributaries include Dudhganga Rivers, Koyna, Bhima, Mallaprabha, Dindi, Ghataprabha, Warna, Yerla, and Musi.

Cauvery River System

Origin: It originates from Talakaveri in Tamil Nadu, located in the Western Ghats about 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level.

Alternate Name: The Kaveri is also known as Dakshin Ganga.

Pilgrimage and Tourist Place: It is a famous pilgrimage and tourist destination in the Kodagu district of Karnataka.

Flow: The headwaters of the river are in the Western Ghats range of Karnataka state, flowing through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Endpoint: The river drains into the Bay of Bengal. It supports irrigation for agriculture and is essential for the ancient kingdoms and modern cities of South India.

Tributaries: The river has several tributaries, including Arkavathy, Shimsha, Hemavati, Kapila, Honnuhole, Amaravati, Lakshmana Kabini, Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyyal, and Tirtha.

Godavari River System

Length: it is the second-longest river in India, approximately 1,450 km (900 miles) long, with brownish water.

Nicknames: It is often referred to as the Dakshin (South) Ganga or Vriddh (Old) Ganga.

Seasonal Nature: The river is seasonal, drying up during summers and widening during the monsoons.

Origin: This river originates from Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik in Maharashtra.

Flow: It flows southeast across south-central India, passing through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha before draining into the Bay of Bengal.

Fertile Delta: The river splits into two streams, forming a fertile delta at Rajahmundry.

Pilgrimage Sites: The banks of this river are home to many pilgrimage sites, such as Nasik in Maharashtra, Bhadrachalam in Telangana, and Trimbak.

Tributaries: Some of its tributaries include Pranahita (formed by the combination of Penuganga and Wardha), Indravati River, Bindusara, Sabari, and Manjira.

Engineering Feat: Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge, linking Kovvur and Rajahmundry, is located on the river Godavari.

Mahanadi River System

Location: The Mahanadi is a river in eastern India.

Origin: It rises in the Satpura Range of central India and has a length of around 860 km.

Flow and Drainage: The river flows east to the Bay of Bengal, draining most of the state of Chhattisgarh and much of Odisha, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra.

Hirakud Dam: Near the city of Sambalpur, the Hirakud Dam, the largest dam on the river, is built over the river

Longest Rivers of India

Below is a compilation of the longest rivers in India along with their respective lengths:

S. No.RiverLength in India (km)Total Length (km)

Rivers in India, Their Lengths, Origins and Tributaries

Below is a compilation of rivers in India along with their respective lengths, origins, and tributaries.

S. No.RiversOriginLength (km)End
1.GangaGangotri Glacier (Bhagirathi), Uttarakhand2.525Bay of Bengal
2.YamunaYamunotri Glacier, Uttarakhand1,376Merges with Ganga at Allahabad (Triveni Sangam – Kumbh Mela spot
3.BrahmaputraHimalayan Glacier in Tibet, but enters India in Arunachal Pradesh1,800Merges with Ganga and ends in Bay of Bengal
4.ChambalTributary of Yamuna river, starting at Madhya Pradesh960Joins Yamuna river in UP
5.SonTributary of Ganga, starting at Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh784Joins Ganga just above Patna – also considered part of Vindhya river system
6.GandakNepal; Ganges tributary at Indo-Nepal border (Triveni Sangam)630Joins Ganga near Patna
7.KosiStarts from Bihar near Indo-Nepal border720Joins Ganga near Katihar district of Bihar
8.BetwaTributary of Yamuna, rises at Vindhya region, MP590Joins Yamuna at Hamirpur in UP
9.GomtiTributary of Ganga, starting at Gomat Taal, UP900Joins Ganga in Varanasi district
10.GhagharaHimalayan Glacier in Tibet, tributary of Ganga1080Joins Ganga in Bihar
11.Hugli (Hooghly)Tributary of Ganga near West Bengal260Merges with Ganga at Bay of Bengal
12.DamodarTributary of Hugli near Chandwara, Jharkhand592Merges with Hugli in West Bengal
13.MahanandaPaglajhora falls, Darjeeling, West Bengal360Merge in Ganga
14.AlaknandaSatopanth & Bhagirathi-Kharak glacier190Merge in Ganga, Devprayag, Uttarakhand
15.BhagirathiGaumukh, Uttarakhand205Merge in Ganga, Devprayag, Uttarakhand
16.IndusOriginates in Tibetan plateau, Enters India in J&K3180Merges into Arabian sea near Sindh
17.ChenabUpper Himalayas in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh960Merges with Indus
18.JhelumTributary of Chenab river, Punjab725Merges with Chenab at Jhang (Pakistan)
19.RaviStarts from Bara Bhangal, Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh720Joins Chenab in Pakistan
20.SutlejTributary of Indus river, originates at Rakshastal, Tibet1500Meets Beas river in Pakistan and ends at Arabian sea
21.BeasRises at Himalayas in central Himachal Pradesh470Joins Sutlej river in Punjab, India
22.ParbatiMantalai Glacier near Pin Prabati PassMixes with Beas River at Bhuntar, near Kullu of Himachal Pradesh
23.SuruPanzella Glacier, Pensi La Pass, Kargil185Indus, Nurla, Skardu, Pakistan
24.DrasMachoi Glacier, Zoji La, ear Sonamarg, Jammu & Kashmir86Suru River at Kharul, Kargil
25.ZanskarDoda River (First Branch), Kargyag and Tsarap River (Second Branch)Indus River near Nimmu in Ladakh
26.TsarapPankpo La, Sarchu182Zanskar River, Padum, Kargil
27.DodaDrang-Drung Glacier, Pensi La79Zanskar River, Padum, Kargil
28.KaveriTalakaveri in Western Ghats in Karnataka765Ends in Bay of Bengal
29.KrishnaOriginates in the Western Ghats near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra1400Ends in Bay of Bengal near Andhra Pradesh
30.GodavariStarts in Maharashtra and passes through 7 Indian states1465Empties in Bay of Bengal
31.TungabhadraTributary of Krishna river staring at Karnataka531Joins Krishna river along the border of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
32.TaptiRises in Eastern Satpura Ranges, Madhya Pradesh724Empties into Gulf of Khambhat, Gujarat
33.MahiRises in Madhya Pradesh580Flows into Arabian sea from Gujarat
34.NarmadaStarts from Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh1315Drains into Arabian sea via Gulf of Cambay
35.IndravatiDandakaranya range, Kalahandi district, Odisha535Godavari near border of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Telangana
36.PranhitaConfluence of Wardha and Wainganga, near Sirpur Kaghaznagar113Godavari, near Kaleshwaram, Telangana
37.WardhaSatpura range, Multai, Betul district of Madhya Pradesh528Pranhita River
38.Kolab (Sabari)Sinkaran hills, Koraput, Odisha200Godavari
39.ManjiraBalaghat hills724Godavari, near Kandakurthi, Karnataka
40.WaingangaSatpura range, Mundara, Seoni district, Madhya Pradesh579Pranhita River
41.PaingangaAjanta range, Aurangabad, Maharashtra676Wardha river, Chandrapur district, Maharashtra
42.VedavathiConfluence of Veda and AvathiTungabhadra river, near Siruguppa
43.BhimaBhimashankar861Krishna river, near raichur
44.IndrayaniLonavala, MaharashtraBhima river
45.PavanaSahyadri range, Lonavala Maharashtra58Mula river
46.GhataprabhaWestern ghats, Sindhudurg, Maharashtra283Krishna river, Almatti
47.VennaMahabaleshwar, Maharashtra130Krishna river, Satara, Maharashtra
48.KoynaMahabaleshwar, Maharashtra130Krishna river, near Karad, Satara
49.AmravatiAnamalai hills, Pambar, Chinnar rivers282Kaveri river at Karur, Tamil Nadu
50.BhavaniSilent valley National Park, Kerala135Kaveri river at Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu
51.HemavatiWestern Ghats, Chikmagalur, Karnataka245Kaveri river near Krishna Raja Sagara, Karnataka
52.MahanadiDhamtari, Dandakaranya, Chhattisgarh858Bay of Bengal, near False Point, Kendrapara, Odisha
53.SubarnarekhaChota Nagpur plateau, near Ranchi, Jharkhand395Kirtania Port, near Talsari, Bay of Bengal
54.KangsabatiChota Nagpur plateau, Purulia district, West Bengal465Bay of Bengal near Haldia
55.Penner (Penna)Nandi Hills, Chikkaballapur district, Karnataka597Bay of Bengal, near Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
56.PalarNandi hills, Kolar district Karnataka348Bay of Bengal, near Vayalur, Tamil Nadu
57.VaigaiVarusanadu Hills, Tamil Nadu258Palk Strait, Tamil Nadu
58.VellarShevaroy Hills150Bay of Bengal, near Parangipettai, Tamil Nadu
59.PonnaiyarNandidurg, Chikkaballapur400Bay of Bengal
60.NoyyalVelliangiri Hills, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu180Kaveri river
61.GomaiSatpura RangeTapti river, near Prakasha, Nandurbar, Maharashtra
62.PanzaraNear Pimpalaner, Dhule, MaharashtraTapti river
63.PurnaSatpura Range, Betul, Madhya PradeshTapti river, near Changdev, Maharashtra
64.KolarVindhya Range, near Sehore district, Madhya Pradesh101Narmada, near Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh
65.TawaSatpura Range, Betul, Madhya Pradesh172Narmada near Hoshangabad district
66.SabarmatiDhebar lake, Aravalli range, near Udaipur, Rajasthan371Gulf of Khambhat
67.ZuariHemad-Barshem in western ghats34Arabian sea
68.UlhasNear Rajmachi hills, Sahyadri range122Vasai creek, Mumbai
69.KaliKushavali, Karnataka184Arabian sea
70.PambaPulachimalai Hills, Western Ghats176Vembanad Lake
71.ChaliyarElambaleri Hills, Western Ghats, Wayanad, Kerala169Lakshadweep Sea, Kerala
72.PeriyarSivagiri hills, Sundaramala, Tamil Nadu244Lakshadweep Sea, Kerala
73.BharathappuzhaAnamalai Hills, Tamil Nadu209Lakshadweep Sea, Ponnani, Kerala
64.MithiVihar lake and Powai lake15Arabian sea, Mahim creek, Mumbai
75.MandoviBhimgad, Karnataka77Arabian sea
76.NetravatiKudremukh, Chikmagalur, KarnatakaArabian sea, near Mangalore, Karnataka
77.SharavatiWestern Ghats, Tirthahalli, Karnataka128Arabian sea, near Honnavar, Uttar Kannada district, Karnataka

Rivers of India Names with States

Diversity: From the snow-capped Himalayas to the fertile Indo-Gangetic basin and lush coastal regions, India’s rivers are diverse and vital.

Importance: These rivers are the lifeblood of the nation, providing sustenance, livelihoods, and a sense of belonging to millions of people.

Explore the state-wise list of Indian rivers below to appreciate their significance throughout the country.

S. No.StateRivers
1Andhra PradeshGodavari & Musi
7JharkhandDamodar, Ganga & Subarnarekha
8KarnatakaBhadra, Tungabhadra,Cauvery, Tunga & Pennar
10Madhya PradeshBetwa, Tapti, Wainganga, Khan, Narmada, Kshipra, Beehar, Chambal & Mandakini.
11MaharashtraKrishna, Godavari, Tapi and Panchganga
12NagalandDiphu & Dhansiri
13OrissaBrahmini & Mahanadi
16SikkimRani Chu
17Tamil NaduCauvery, Adyar, Cooum, Vennar, Vaigai & Tambarani
18Uttar PradeshYamuna, Ganga & Gomti
20West BengalGanga, Damodar & Mahananda

Rivers Of India And Their Origin And Tributaries PDF Download

In this article, we have tried to cover up all the information related to the rivers, which are situated in India. Must read the complete article to gain knowledge of the list of rivers of India and their origins. Hope this data will help you to connect with our countries’ rivers.

GK Questions And Answers On Indian Rivers

1. Name the watershed from where all Major Rivers in India originate?

A) Aravalli Range
B) Sahyadri or The Western Ghats in Western India
C) Himalaya and Karakoram Ranges
D) Vindhya and Satpura ranges and Chotanagpur plateau in central India

2. Which Sea do the Rivers in India pour off?

Answer: The Bay of Bengal and The Arabian Sea

3.  Name the three River Basins that Himalayan glaciers divide?

A) Indus
B) Ganga
C) Brahmaputra

4. Largest River System in India?

Answer: Ganga

5. Which Indian Rivers pour into Bangladesh?

A) Ganga
B) Meghna
C) Brahmaputra

6. How many Major Rivers make up the River System of India?

Answer: 7 (Seven)

7. Name the Major Rivers that make up the River System in India?

A) Indus
B) Godavari
C) Brahmaputra
D) Krishna
E) Tapi
F) Narmada
G) Mahanadi

8. Name the 4 classifications of the River Systems in India?

1) Himalayan Rivers
2)Deccan Rivers
3) Coastal Rivers
4) Rivers of Inland Water Drainage.


Q. Longest River in the World?

Answer: Nile River

Q. What is River Ganga called in Bangladesh?

Answer: Padma River

Q. Which river has lent its name to India?

Answer: Indus River

Q. Which Sea does River Ganga end?

Answer: Bay of Bengal

Q. Which Indian River is known as the “Red River”?

Answer: Brahmaputra River

Q. Which River is located in Kolkata?

Answer: River Hooghly

Q. Which River is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo?

Answer: Brahmaputra River

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