Social Science

Rivers of India


The stream of water flowing on the earth is called a river. Rivers carry the melted snow on the mountains, rain, and other sources of water to the seas. The rivers are mainly of two types – Sadanira and Rainy. The source of the Sadanira rivers is the lake, the waterfall, or glacial and the source of the rainy rivers is the rainwater. The rivers of India have contributed significantly to the economic and cultural development of the country since ancient times. The Harappan or Indus civilization developed in the Indus river valley and the Aryan civilization developed in the Ganges river valley. Due to the availability of irrigation and drinking water, even today most of the population concentration is on the banks of rivers. Apart from this, due to the convenience of trade and traffic, not only India, most of the cities of the world are settled on the banks of rivers.

major Rivers of India

Classification of Indian Rivers

The rivers of India can be classified into four groups such as:

  1. Rivers originating from the Himalayas
  2. Rivers originating from the south
  3. Coastal rivers
  4. Inland drains to the basin region

Rivers of India

Rivers Originating from the Himalayan Region

Rivers originating from the Himalayas are formed by the melting of snow and glaciers, so they have a continuous flow throughout the year. The river basins are very large with their water catchment area spread over thousands of square kilometers. Ganga, Yamuna, Indus, Sutlej, Vyas, Ghaghra, Gomti, Ramganga, Jhelum, etc. are the major rivers of the region.

indian rivers

Rivers Originating from South India

Most of the rivers in South India are generally flowing in the east direction and flowing into the Indian Ocean. The Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Mahanadi, Damodar, Tungabhadra, etc. are the major rivers of South India falling in the Indian Ocean. Narmada and Tapti are two such rivers of South India that fall into the Arabian Sea in the west.

Rivers Originating from South India

Coastal Rivers

The coastal rivers, especially on the west coast, are shorter in length and have a limited catchment area. Very few of these rivers meet the sea near the delta of the east coast, while there are 600 such rivers on the west coast.

Rivers from the Inland Drains to the Inland Drains

In Rajasthan, there are some rivers in the basin region from inland drains which do not meet in the sea. It is found in salt lakes. In addition, some deserts are rivers that flow for some distance and disappear in the desert. Among such rivers are other rivers like Luni, Machhak, Spain, Saraswati, Banas, and Ghaggar.

Differences in the Rivers of Northern and Southern India

Sl. No. The Rivers of Northern India The Rivers of Southern India
1. The rivers of North India originate from the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, so they have water throughout the year. The rivers of South India originate from the plateau so it dries up in the summer season.
2. The rivers of North India are deep basins and ravines. The valleys of the rivers of South India are wide and shallow.
3. The rivers of northern India originate in the northern slopes of the Himalayas and the Peninsular Plateau. The origin of the rivers of South India are the Western Ghats, the Satpura, and often the insular plateau
4. The rivers of North India are relatively long. The rivers of South India are relatively small.
5. There are many erosions in the flow of these rivers. The direction of flow currents also varies. Erysipelas is not found in them and they flow spontaneously.
6. The rivers of North India carry transport because their speed is slow. No transport is not possible because the rivers of South India originate from high lowlands.
7. The rivers of North India bring with them fine clay soil and form fertile plains. The rivers of South India flow through rocks and hence do not form fertile plains.
8. The number of waterfalls is less among them. There are more waterfalls among them.
9. Many small Himalayan rivers join it as a tributary of the main river. Most of the rivers of South India go directly to the sea.

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