The Godavari river is the largest river system of Peninsular India. The Godavari basin extends over States of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Puducherry (Yanam) having a total area of approximately 3 lakh Sq.km.
The river is 1,465 km long and considered the second-longest river in the country (after the Ganges).
This article contains information about one of the important river system in Peninsular India – Godavari river in the context of IAS Exam.
It is a part of geography segment of the UPSC Syllabus, useful for both UPSC Prelims and Mains (GS 1).
The candidates can read more relevant information for their upcoming government exams from the links provided below:
Facts about Godavari River for UPSC
|Brief Facts about Godavari River – UPSC Prelims|
|What are the other names for Godavari River?||Vriddh (Old) Ganga or the Dakshin (South) Ganga.|
|Where does Godavari river drain into?||Bay of Bengal|
|In which State does Godavari River originate?||Maharashtra (Nashik)|
|Is Godavari River west flowing or east flowing?||It is an East flowing river|
|Which is the longest tributary of Godavari River?||Manjira|
|Which is the largest tributary of Godavari River?||Pranahita|
|Which is the biggest city on the riverbanks of Godavari?||Rajahmundry|
About Godavari River
- Origin – The River rises in the Sahyadris, near Trimbakeshwar in the Nashik district of Maharashtra.
- Godavari river originates from Bramhagiri mountains at Trimbakeshwar.
- The Godavari River drains about 10% of India’s total geographical area. The drainage basin of the river is present in seven states of India. They are:
Source – Ministry of Jal Shakti
- The river Godavari rises at an elevation of 1,067 m in the Western Ghats.
- The main river forms the inter-State boundary between the States of Telangana and Maharashtra; and Telangana and Chhattisgarh.
- The delta of the Godavari is of lobate type with a round bulge and many distributaries.
What is the course of Godavari River?
The river flows across the Deccan Plateau from the Western to the Eastern Ghats. The river flows in southeast direction across south-central India states. After flowing for about 1,465 km., in a generally southeast direction, it falls into the Bay of Bengal. At Rajahmundry, 80 km from the coast, the river splits into two streams, thus forming a very fertile delta.
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Tributaries of Godavari River
The Godavari river system has been divided into twelve sub-basins by Krishna – Godavari Commission. The important tributaries along with their facts related to their important tributaries, catchment areas are tabled below:
|Sub-basins of Godavari River||Important facts|
|Upper Godavari (G-1)||
|Middle Godavari (G-5)||
|Lower Godavari (G-10)||
- The Godavari basin receives its maximum rainfall in the Southwest monsoon.
- All parts of the basin receive the maximum rainfall in the period from June to September.
- January and February are almost entirely dry in the Godavari basin, the rainfall during these two months being less than 15 mm.
- The basin receives 84% of the annual rainfall on an average during Southwest monsoon.
To know more about Monsoon, check the linked article.
Geography of the basin
The Godavari basin is bounded by the different physical features. They are:
- North – Satmala hills, the Ajanta range and the Mahadeo hills
- South – Balaghat and the Mahadeo ranges
- East – Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal
- West – Western Ghats
The interior part of the Godavari basin lies in Maharashtra Plateau.
- Apart from Ganga and Yamuna, Godavari also holds the special religious importance in India.
- Godavari is considered as one of the sacred rivers in India.
- The major bathing festival called as Pushkaram (Kumbh Mela) is celebrated on the banks of Godavari River.
- The two bathing ghats, Ramkund and Kushavarta holy reservoirs situated in the Godavari river holds high significance as thousands of sadhus, holy men and millions of pilgrims take dips in holy river on the specific date and at specific time during Kumbh Mela.
- Apart from Kumbh Mela, the Hindus perform many other religious rituals at river Godavari.