Rivers have been of fundamental importance throughout human history. Water from rivers is a basic natural resource, essential for various human activities. Therefore, riverbanks have attracted settlers from ancient times. Using rivers for irrigation, navigation and hydropower generation is of special significance — particularly to a country like India, where agriculture is the major source of livelihood of the majority of its population.
Tow major river system
The Indian rivers are divided into two major groups:
- The Himalayan rivers
- The Peninsular rivers
The difference between the Himalayan and peninsular rivers are tabulated below
|The Himalayan rivers||The Peninsular rivers|
|These rivers are perennial that is they have water throughout the year.||These rivers are seasonal.|
|These rivers obtain water from rain as well as from melted snow from high mountains.||The flow of these rivers is based on rainfall.|
|These rivers have large river basin||These rivers have a smaller basin as compared with the Himalayan rivers|
|The rivers are mainly running in their youth stage||These rivers are considered as old rivers|
|Two major Himalayan rivers, the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate from the north of the mountain ranges.||Most rivers of peninsular region originate in the Western Ghats and flow towards the Bay of Bengal. Godavari and Narmada are the main river system of peninsular rivers.|
|The main source is from glaciers of the Himalayan mountain range||The main source of the river is the peninsular plateau and the central highland|
|The Himalayan rivers have long duration courses from their source to the sea.||These rivers have shorter and shallower courses as compared to Himalayan rivers.|
Largest river among the Himalayan and peninsular river system
The river Brahmaputra is the largest among all the Himalayan river system. Brahmaputra runs from one country to another in the northeastern region.
About Brahmaputra River system
- The Brahmaputra river originates from Mansarovar Lake, which also acts as a source of the Indus and Sutlej
- The length of the river is 3848kms
- Most of the part of the river lies outside India
- The three alternative names for the river Brahmaputra are Jamuna in Bangladesh, Tsangpo-Brahmaputra and Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet
- It flows parallel to the Himalayan range in the eastward direction
- When it reaches the place Namcha Barwa, it takes a U-turn around it and enters the country India in the state of Arunachal Pradesh
- In India, the river is also known as the Dihang River
- It flows through the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and is connected by various tributaries
- The Brahmaputra has a braided channel which covers most of its length in Assam
- The river is known as the Tsangpo in Tibet
- It receives less amount of water and has less silt in the Tibet region
- The river passes through a region of heavy precipitation in India and the river carries large amounts of water during rainfall and a significant amount of silt
- It is referred to as one of the largest rivers in India in terms of Volume
- It is well known for creating the natural calamity in Assam and Bangladesh
Godavari River system
The largest river of Peninsular India is Godavari. The second-longest river Godavari is called as Vridh Ganga. After Ganga, Godavari river takes the second position lengthwise.
- It is the second-longest course in India with brownish water.
- It is a seasonal river, during summers it usually dried and widens during the monsoons.
- The river originates from Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik in Maharashtra.
- The flow of the river is in the direction southeast across south-central India through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, and drains into the Bay of Bengal.
- A fertile delta is formed by the river at Rajahmundry.
- The banks of this river comprises of various pilgrimage sites, Nasik, Bhadrachalam, and Trimbak.
- Pranahita (Combination of Penuganga and Warda), Indravati River, Bindusara, Sabari, and Manjira are some of the tributaries to the river.
- Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge that links Kovvur and Rajahmundry is situated on the river Godavari.