List of Rivers in India - Orchids
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List of Rivers in India

List of Rivers in India

India is a riverine country. Though this country is known as the land of five rivers, it has numerous rivers. Mother nature has chosen India to be its most versatile place. Therefore, we observe differences in the natural landscape where rivers have taken the protagonist’s role. Be it the snowy mountains of the Himalayas or the vast mangrove forest across the east and south parts of the country. Rivers have surrounded all the areas and increased their natural beauty further. 

Rivers in India have different origins. Some have originated from the mighty Himalayan ranges. Others have found their source from the rainwater. As India is a country where the monsoon is one of the major seasons, rainwater is a frequent water source here. Almost every state of India has at least one river. Some states have 44 rivers, like Kerala. You would be astonished to know that our country has an underground river-  Saraswati.

Types of Rivers In India

As already mentioned, India is a riverine country, and there are multiple variations of the river here. Only some of the rivers originate from the snowy ranges of the Himalayas. Some have found their origin in the lap of the Deccan plateau or coastal areas. The peninsular rivers of India are similar in number to the rivers from the north. Therefore, if you want to know the physical geography of India entirely, you must know the different types of rivers in the country. 

Himalayan Rivers

Ganga River

Nineteen major rivers surround the Himalayas, and Indus and Brahmaputra are the largest. Each has catchment basins in the mountains of about 100,000 square miles in extent. The Indus system comprises five rivers with a total catchment area of about 51,000 square miles. Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab, Sutlej, and Baes are those five rivers of north India divided between the Punjab state in India and the Punjab province in Pakistan. 

Nine of the remaining rivers belong to the Ganges system as follows: Yamuna, Ganges, Karnali, Ramganga, Kali, Gandak, Rapti, Karnali, Koshi, and Bagmati. Three of the remaining five belong to the Brahmaputra system, including Raidak, Tista, and Manas – draining another 71,000 square miles in the Himalayas. 

The major Himalayan rivers rise north of the mountain ranges and flow through deep gorges that generally reflect some geologic structural control, such as fault lines. Where Ganges-Brahmaputra systems take easterly courses as they flow through the mountain region, the rivers of the Indus system follow northwesterly courses. 

Deccan Rivers

Godhavari Riveri

As mentioned above, you already know that Deccan Rivers are the peninsular rivers of India. Deccan Rivers contribute 30% of the total outflow of India. The southern irrigation system of India is dominated by the Western Ghats Mountain Range, the Deccan Plateau, the Eastern Ghats Mountain Range, the Satpura Mountain Range, and the Vindhya Mountain Range. Major rivers of the Deccan Plateau are the Krishna River, Godavari River, Mahanadi River, Cauvery River, Tapti River, Narmada River, Bhima River, Tungabhadra River, and Indravati River. Vaigai River is the southernmost river in India.

Coastal Rivers

Maha Nadhi

Rivers that flow through the coastal area of India are known as coastal rivers. Indian states that lie close to the Arabian Sea, the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean form these regions. These states are Odisha, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Goa, and Karnataka. Due to a lack of rainfall in most of these areas, they have dried weather, sandy tracts, and scanty vegetation. The coastal rivers are streams, especially on the west coast. They are episodic, short in length, and ephemeral. Most of them are non-perennial. As most of the coastal rivers are small, they often go unrecognised. Some of the coastal rivers are mentioned below:

  • Subarnarekha River and Kangsabati River in West Bengal
  • Sharada River, Nagavali River, and Vamsadhara River in Andhra Pradesh
  • Vaigai and Thamirabarani rivers in Tamil Nadu
  • Sharavathi and Netravati rivers are two major coastal rivers in Karnataka. The Polar River is another coastal river of India. 
  • Vashishti River and Savitri River are major coastal rivers of Maharashtra.

Rivers Of The Inland Drainage Basin

Luni, Musi, and Bhavani rivers are known as the inland Drainage Basin rivers as they make a journey towards the interior parts of India. These rivers do not end in seas or oceans. They end their journey in an inland drainage basin that acts like a funnel as it collects all the water.

All Rivers Name In India

The number of rivers in India is huge; by now, you know it. Here are some crucial facts about some major rivers of India.

Brahmaputra River

Name of The RiverOriginEndingTributaries 
Ganga Gangotri GlacierBay of BengalYamuna
Ghagra Gomti
Brahmaputra Chemayungdung GlacierBay of BengalRonganadi,
Jia Bharali
GodavariTrimbakeshwar Bay of BengalManjara
CauveryTalakaveriBay of BengalKabini
Ken Hindon
MahanadiSihawaBay of BengalJonk


1) Which is the longest river in peninsular India?

Answer: Godavari is the longest river in Peninsular India, also known as South Ganga.

2) Which is the national river of India?

Answer: The Ganga is the national river of India. 

3) Which river does not originate in India?

Answer: Sutlej has not originated in India but is flowing across the country.

4) Which river is called the Ganga of South India?

Answer: Godavari is called the Ganga of South India, the largest river of South India. 

5) Which river in India is called Vridha Ganga?

Answer: Godavari is called Vridha Ganga of India.

6) Which river crosses the Tropic of Cancer twice in India?

Answer: Mahi river has crossed the Tropic of Cancer twice in India. 

7) Which river is called the Red River of India?

Answer: Tsangpo-Brahmaputra is known as the Red River of India. 

8) Which is the widest river in India?

Answer: Brahmaputra is the widest river in India. 

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