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The flow of water

through well-defined
channels is known as
drainage and the network
of such channels is known
as drainage system.
The drainage pattern
of an area is the result of the
geological time period,
nature, and structure of
rocks, topography, slope,

About 77% of the

drainage area consisting of
the Ganga, the
Brahmaputra, the Mahanadi,
the Krishna, etc. is oriented
towards the Bay of Bengal.
On the other hand,
23% comprising the Indus,
the Narmada, the Tapi, the
Mahi, and the Periyar
systems discharge their
waters in the Arabian Sea.
A river drain is a
specific area, which is
known as the catchment
area of that river.
An area drained by a
river and its tributaries is
known as a drainage basin.
The boundary line
separating one drainage
basin from the other is
called as the watershed
Drainage Pattern

Following are the

major drainage patterns −
• Dendritic
• Radial
• Centripetal
• Trellis
A drainage pattern which
looks like tree branches with
lots of twigs is known as
Dendritic drainage pattern.
For example, the rivers of
northern plain.
Radial drainage
patterns form when rivers
originate from a hill and flow
in all directions. For
example, the rivers
originating from the
Centripetal drainage
pattern is formed when
rivers discharge their waters
from all directions into a lake
or a depression. For
example, Loktak lake in
Trellis drainage
pattern is formed when the
primary tributaries of main
rivers flow parallel to each
other and secondary
tributaries join them at right
angles. For example, rivers
in the upper part of the
Himalayan region.
Classification of

On the basis of the

mode of origin, nature, and
characteristics, the Indian
drainage is classified as −
• The Himalayan
drainage and
• The Peninsular

Himalayan Drainage
Major Himalayan
drainage systems are the
Indus, the Ganga, and the
Brahmaputra rivers.
The Indus
The total length of
the Indus River system is
2,880 km (in India 1,114 km).
The Indus, which is
also known as the Sindhu, is
the westernmost of the
Himalayan Rivers in India.

The Indus originates

from a glacier near Bokhar
Chu in the Tibetan region at
an altitude of 4,164 m in the
Kailash Mountain range.
In Tibet, the Indus is
known as Singi Khamban or
the Lionʼs mouth.
The Indus enters into
Pakistan near Chillar in the
Dardistan region.
Major tributaries of
Indus are the Shyok, the
Gilgit, the Zaskar, the Hunza,
the Nubra, the Shigar, the
Gasting, and the Dras in the
upper part.
In the lower part, the
Satluj, the Beas, the Ravi,
the Chenab, and the Jhelum
are the major tributaries of
the Indus.
Finally, the Indus
discharges into the Arabian
Sea near Karachi in Pakistan.
The Jhelum, an
important tributary of the
Indus, rises from a spring at
Verinag situated at the foot
of the Pir Panjal.
The Jhelum flows
through Srinagar and the
Wular Lake before entering
into Pakistan.
Jhelum joins the
Chenab near Jhang in
Formed by two
streams i.e. the Chandra and
the Bhaga, the Chenab is
the largest tributary of the
Chenab is also
known as Chandrabhaga.
The Chenab flows
about 1,180 km before
entering into Pakistan.
Originating from the
Rohtang pass in the Kullu
hills of Himachal Pradesh
and flowing through the
Chamba valley of the state,
Ravi is one of the important
tributaries of the Indus.
Originating from the
Beas Kund near the Rohtang
Pass at an elevation of 4,000
m above the mean sea level,
Beas is also an important
tributaries of the Indus.

Beas enters into the

Punjab plains and meets
with the Satluj near Harike.
Also popular as
Langchen Khambab (in
Tibet), the Satluj originates
from the Rakas lake near
Mansarovar at an altitude of
4,555 m in Tibet.
The Satluj passes
through the Shipki La on the
Himalayan ranges and
enters into the Punjab plains.
The Satluj is the river
that feeds the canal system
of the Bhakra Nangal
The Ganga
The Ganga originates
from the Gangotri glacier
near Gaumukh (3,900 m) in
the Uttarkashi district of

However, the river,

when it originates from the
Gangotri glacier is known as
the Bhagirathi.
At Devprayag, the
Bhagirathi merges with
another river, i.e., the
Alaknanda; and from here, it
is known as the Ganga.
The Alaknanda
originates from the
Satopanth glacier above
The major tributaries
of the Alaknanda are the
Dhauli and the Vishnu
Ganga; these two rivers
meet at Joshimath/Vishnu
Some other
tributaries of the Alaknanda
are the Pindar (joins at Karna
Prayag), the Mandakini or
Kali Ganga (joins at Rudra
The total length of
the Ganga in India is 2,525
km, which is shared by
Uttarakhand (110 km); Uttar
Pradesh (1,450 km); Bihar
(445 km); and West Bengal
(520 km).
The Ganga river
system is the largest river
system in India.
The Son is a major
right bank tributary of the
Ganga; however, major left
bank tributaries are the
Ramganga, the Gomati, the
Ghaghara, the Gandak, the
Kosi, and the Mahananda.
Originating from the
Yamunotri glacier on the
western slopes of
Banderpunch range (6,316
km), the Yamuna is the
longest tributary of the
The Yamuna joins the
Ganga at Allahabad
(Prayag), Uttar Pradesh.
The Chambal, the
Sind, the Betwa, and the
Kenon are the right bank
tributaries of the Yamuna
and the Hindan, the Rind,
the Sengar, the Varuna, etc.
are the left bank tributaries.
The Chambal rises
near Mhow in the Malwa
plateau of Madhya Pradesh.
The Chambal is
famous for its badland
topography, known as the
Chambal ravines (as shown
in the image given below).

Originating from the

Nepal Himalayas between
the Dhaulagiri and Mount
Everest, the Gandak
consists of two streams,
namely Kaligandak and
The Gandak joins the
Ganga at Sonpur near Patna,
The Ghaghara
originates from the
Mapchachungo glaciers and
joins the Ganga at Chhapra,
The Kosi originates
from the north of Mount
Everest in Tibet where it is
known as the Arun.
Originating from the
Garhwal hills near Gairsain,
the Ramganga joins the
Ganga near Kannauj.
The Damodar drains
the eastern margins of the
Chottanagpur plateau,
where it flows through a rift
valley and finally joins the
The Barakar is the
main tributary of the
The Sarda or Saryu
River rises from the Milam
glacier in the Nepal
Himalayas where it is known
as the Goriganga. However,
along the Indo-Nepal border,
it is called as Kali or Chauk,
where it joins the Ghaghara.
Originating from the
Darjeeling hills, the
Mahananda joins the Ganga
as its last left bank tributary
in West Bengal.
Originating from the
Amarkantak plateau, the Son
is a large south bank
tributary of the Ganga; it
joins the Ganga at Arrah,
The Brahmaputra
The Brahmaputra
originates from the
Chemayungdung glacier of
the Kailash range near the
Mansarovar Lake.
In Tibet, the
Brahmaputra is known as
the Tsangpo (means ‘the
The Rango Tsangpo
is the major right bank
tributary of the Brahmaputra
in Tibet.
The Brahmaputra
enters into India near the
west of Sadiya town in
Arunachal Pradesh.
Major left bank
tributaries of the
Brahmaputra are Lohit,
Dibang or Sikang, Burhi
Dihing, and Dhansari.
Major right bank
tributaries of the
Brahmaputra are the
Subansiri, Kameng, Manas,
and Sankosh.
The Tista joins the
Brahmaputra on its right
bank in Bangladesh and
from here, the river is known
as the Yamuna.

Finally, the
Brahmaputra merges with
the river Padma and falls in
the Bay of Bengal.

Peninsular River

● The Peninsular
drainage system is older
than the Himalayan
● The Mahanadi
originates from Sihawa
in Raipur district of
Chhattisgarh and runs
through Madhya
Pradesh and Odisha and
finally discharges its
water into the Bay of
● The total length
of Mahanadi is 851 km.
● Popularly known
as the Dakshin Ganga,
the Godavari is the
largest peninsular river
● The Godavari
originates from Nasik
district of Maharashtra
and discharges its water
into the Bay of Bengal.
● With total 1,465
km length, Godavari
covers the areas of
Maharashtra, Madhya
Pradesh, Chhattisgarh,
Odisha, and Andhra
● The Penganga,
the Indravati, the
Pranhita, and the
Manjra are the major
tributaries of Godavari.
● Originating from
Mahabaleshwar in
Sahyadri, the Krishna is
the second largest east
flowing Peninsular River.
● The Koyna, the
Tungabhadra, and the
Bhima are the major
tributaries of the
● Of the total
catchment area of the
Krishna, 27% lies in
Maharashtra, 44% in
Karnataka, and 29% in
Andhra Pradesh.
● The Kaveri
originates from the
Brahmagiri hills
(1,341m) located in
Kogadu district of
● The river
Kaveriʼs total course of
770 km commands a
basin area of 8.8 million
hectare mha, of which,
3% lies in Kerala, 41%
lies in Karnataka, and
56% lies in Tamil Nadu.
● Major tributaries
of the Kaveri are the
Kabini, the Bhavani, and
the Amravati.
● The Narmada
originates from the
western flank of the
Amarkantak plateau
(1,057 m).
● Flowing through
a rift valley located
between the Satpura in
the south and the
Vindhya range in the
north, the Narmada
forms Dhuandhar
waterfall and a
picturesque gorge of
marble rocks nearby

● The total length of

Narmada is 1,312 km.
● Flowing in the westward
direction, Narmada
finally empties into the
Arabian Sea in the
Bharuch district of
● Originating from Multai
in the Betul district of
Madhya Pradesh, Tapi is
the other important
westward flowing river
emptying into the
Arabian Sea.
● About 79% of the Tapi
basin lies in
Maharashtra, 15% in
Madhya Pradesh, and
the remaining 6% in
● Luni is the longest river
system of Rajasthan.
● Primarily, Luni originates
in the Pushkar valley of
the Aravalli range,
Rajasthan in two
branches, i.e. the
Saraswati and the
Sabarmati; which join
each other at
Govindgarh. From here,
the river is known as
● Luni finally debouches

into the Arabian Sea

nearby the Rann of
● Some small rivers

flowing towards the

West are the Shetruniji,
the Bhadra, Dhadhar,
Sabarmati, Mahi,
Vaitarna, Kalinadi,
Dedti, Sharavati,
Mandovi, Juari,
Periyar, etc.
● Some small rivers

flowing towards the East

are Subarnarekha,
Baitarni, Brahmani,
Penner, and Palar.
The following table
illustrates the major
differences between
Himalayan and the
Peninsular River system −
Charac Himala Penins
teristic yan ular
s River River
Place of Himalay Peninsu
origin an lar
mountai plateau
ns and
(covere central
d with highlan
glaciers d.
Nature Perenni Season
of flow al; al;
receive depend
water ent on
from monsoo
glacier n
and rainfall.
Type of Antece Super
drainag dent impose
e and d,
conseq rejuven
uent ated
leading resultin
to g in
dendriti trellis,
c radial,
pattern and
in rectang
plains. ular
Nature Long Smaller,
of river course, fixed
flowing course
through with
the welladju
rugged sted
mountai valleys.
ng; In
Catchm Very Relative
ent large ly
area basin. smaller
Age of Young Old
the and rivers
river youthfu with
l, active graded
and profile,
deepeni and
ng in have
the almost
valleys reache
d their

Indus River

● India got her name from

● ‘The Indus Valley
Civilizationʼ was born
around this river.
● It flows in north-west
direction from its source
(Glaciers of Kailas
Range – Kailash range
in Tibet near Lake
Manasarovar) till the
Nanga Parbhat Range.
● Itʼs length is about
2,900 km. Its total
drainage area is about
1,165,000 square km
[more than half of it lies
in semiarid plains of
Pakistan]. It is joined by
Dhar River near Indo-
China border.
● After entering J&K it
flows between the
Ladakh and the Zaskar
Ranges. It flows
through the regions of
Ladakh, Baltistan and
● The gradient of the
river in J&K is very
gentle (about 30 cm
per km).
● Average elevation at
which the Indus flows
through JK is about
4000 m above sea
● It is joined by the
Zaskar River at Leh
(these kind of points are
important for prelims).
● Near Skardu, it is joined
by the Shyok at an
elevation of about 2,700
● The Gilgit, Gartang,
Dras, Shiger, Hunza
are the other Himalayan
tributaries of the Indus.
● It crosses the Himalayas
(ends its mountainous
journey) through a 5181
m deep gorge near
Attock, lying north of
the Nanga Parbat. It
takes a sharp southerly
bend here (syntaxial
● Kabul river from
Afghanistan joins Indus
near Attock. Thereafter
it flows through the
Potwar plateau and
crosses the Salt Range
(South Eastern edge of
Potwar Plateau).
● Some of the important
tributaries below Attock
include the Kurram,
Toch and the Zhob-
● Just above Mithankot,
the Indus receives from
Panjnad (Panchnad),
the accumulated waters
of the five eastern
tributaries—the Jhelum,
the Chenab, the Ravi,
the Beas and the Satluj.
● The river empties into
the Arabian Sea south of
Karachi after forming a
huge delta.
Major Tributaries of
Indus River

Jhelum River

● The Jhelum has its

source in a spring at
Verinag in the south-
eastern part of the
Kashmir Valley.
● It flows northwards into
Wular Lake (north-
western part of Kashmir
Valley). From Wular
Lake, it changes its
course southwards. At
Baramulla the river
enters a gorge in the
● The river forms steep-
sided narrow gorge
through Pir Panjal
Range below
● At Muzaffarabad, the
river takes a sharp
hairpin bend southward.
● Thereafter, it forms the
India-Pakistan boundary
for 170 km and emerges
at the Potwar Plateau
near Mirpur.
● After flowing through
the spurs of the Salt
Range it debouches
(emerge from a
confined space into a
wide, open area) on
the plains near the city
of Jhelum.
● It joins the Chenab at
● The river is navigable
for about 160 km out
of a total length of 724
Chenab River
● The Chenab originates
from near the Bara
Lacha Pass in the
Lahul-Spiti part of the
Zaskar Range.
● Two small streams on
opposite sides of the
pass, namely Chandra
and Bhaga, form its
headwaters at an
altitude of 4,900 m.
● The united stream
Chandrabhaga flows in
the north-west direction
through the Pangi
valley, parallel to the Pir
Panjal range.
● Near Kistwar, it cuts a
deep gorge.
● It enters the plain area
near Akhnur in Jammu
and Kashmir.
● From here it through the
plains of Pakistani
Punjab to reach
Panchnad where it joins
the Satluj after
receiving the waters of
Jhelum and Ravi rivers.

Ravi River

● The Ravi has its source

in Kullu hills near the
Rohtang Pass in
Himachal Pradesh.
● It drains the area
between the Pir Panjal
and the Dhaola Dhar
● After crossing Chamba,
it takes a south-westerly
turn and cuts a deep
gorge in the Dhaola
Dhar range.
● It enters Punjab Plains
near Madhopur and
later enters Pakistan
below Amritsar.
● It debouches into the
Chenab a little above
Rangpur in Pakistani

Beas River

● The Beas originates

near the Rohtang Pass,
at a height of 4,062 m
above sea level, on the
southern end of the
Pir Panjal Range,
close to the source of
the Ravi.
● It crosses the Dhaola
Dhar range and it takes
a south-westerly
direction and meets the
Satluj river at Harike in
● It is a comparatively
small river which is only
460 km long but lies
entirely within the
Indian territory.

Satluj River

● The Satluj rises from the

Lakes in western Tibet
at a height of 4,570 m
within 80 km of the
source of the Indus.
● Like the Indus, it takes a
north-westerly course
upto the Shipki La on
the Tibet-Himachal
Pradesh boundary.
● It cuts deep gorges
where it pierces the
Great Himalaya and the
other Himalayan ranges.
● Before entering the
Punjab plain, it cuts a
gorge in Naina Devi
Dhar, where the famous
Bhakra dam has been
● After entering the plain
at Rupnagar (Ropar), it
turns westwards and is
joined by the Beas at
● From near Ferozepur
to Fazilka it forms the
boundary between India
and Pakistan for nearly
120 km.
● During its onward
journey it receives the
collective drainage of
the Ravi, Chenab and
Jhelum rivers. It joins
the Indus a few
kilometres above
● Out of its total length of
1,450 km, it flows for
1,050 km in Indian

Indus water treaty

● The waters of the Indus

river system are shared
by India and Pakistan
according to the Indus
Water Treaty signed
between the two
countries on 19th
September, 1960.
● According to this treaty,
India can utilize only 20
per cent of its total
discharge of water.


The Ganga River


River Source
Bhagirathi Gangotri
(Ganga) glacier
Yamuna Yamnotri
glacier on
h Peak
Chambal Janapao
Hills in the
Banas Aravali
Betwa Bhopal
Ken Barner
Son Amarkantak
Damodar Chotanagpu
(‘Sorrow of r plateau
Ramganga Garhwal
River district of
Ghaghra Gurla
River Mandhata
peak, south
in Tibet
(river of the
The Kali Glaciers of
River trans-
(border Himalayas
Nepal and
Gandak Tibet-Nepal
River border
Burhi Sumesar
Gandak hills near the
Kosi Tumar, Arun
(‘Sorrow of and Sun Kosi
Biharʼ) unite at
Triveni north
of the
a Range to
form the
Ganga River
● The Ganga originates
as Bhagirathi from the
Gangotri glacier in
Uttar Kashi District of
Uttarakhand at an
elevation of 7,010 m.
● Alaknanda River joins
Bhagirathi at
● From Devapryag the
river is called as
• The Ganges was
ranked as the fifth most
polluted river of the world
in 2007.
• Pollution threatens
many fish species and
amphibian species and the
endangered Ganges river
dolphin (Blind Dolphin).
•  The Ganga Action
Plan, an environmental
initiative to clean up the
river, has been a major
failure thus far, due to
corruption, lack of
technical expertise, poor
environmental planning,
and lack of support from
religious authorities

Major tributaries of

• East Trisul (joins

Alaknanda at Karan Prayag)
• Pindar (rises from Nanda
• Mandakini or Kali
Ganga (joins Alaknanda at
Rudra Prayag)
• Dhauliganga
• Bishenganga.
[Kishenganga is the tributary
of Jhelum]

Major tributaries of

• Bheling

• Ganga debouches
[emerge from a confined
space into a wide, open
area] from the hills into plain
area at
• It is joined by the
Yamuna at Allahabad.
• Near Rajmahal Hills it
turns to the south-east.
• At Farraka, it
bifurcates into Bhagirathi-
Hugli in West Bengal and
Padma-Meghna in
Bangladesh (it ceases to
be known as the Ganga after
• Brahmaputra (or the
Jamuna as it is known here)
joins Padma-Meghna at
• The total length of
the Ganga river from its
source to its mouth
(measured along the Hugli)
is 2,525 km.

Ganga – Brahmaputra

• Before entering the Bay

of Bengal, the Ganga, along
with the Brahmaputra, forms
the largest delta of the
world between the
Bhagirathi/Hugli and the
Padma/Meghna covering
an area of 58,752 sq km.
● The coastline of delta is
a highly indented area.
● The delta is made of a
web of distributaries
and islands and is
covered by dense
forests called the
● A major part of the delta
is a low-lying swamp
which is flooded by
marine water during
high tide.

Right Bank Tributaries

of The Ganga

● Most of them except

Yamuna originate in the
peninsular region.
Yamuna River
● Largest and the most
important tributary.
● It originates from the
Yamnotri glacier on
the Bandarpunch
Peak in the Garhwal
region in Uttarakhand at
an elevation of about
6,000 meters.
● It cuts across the Nag
Tibba, the Mussoorie
and the Shiwalik ranges.
● It emerges out of the
hilly area and enters
plains near
● Its main affluent in the
upper reaches is the
Tons which also rises
from the Bandarpunch
● It joins Yamuna below
Kalsi before the latter
leaves the hills.
● At this site, the water
carried by the Tons is
twice the water carried
by the Yamuna.
Non – Peninsula
Peninsula r
r Tributarie
Tributarie s.
————— _____________
——— ________Most
1.   of the
Rishiganga Peninsular
2.   Uma rivers flow
3.   into the
Hanuman Yamuna
Ganga and between
4.   Tons Agra and
join it in the Allahabad.
mountains. 1.  
5.   Hindon Chambal
joins at 2.   Sind
Ghaziabad 3.   Betwa
in the plain

● It unites with the Ganga

near Triveni Sangam,
● The total length of the
Yamuna from its origin
till Allahabad is 1,376
● It creates the highly
fertile alluvial, Yamuna-
Ganges Doab region
between itself and the
Ganges in the Indo-
Gangetic plain.

Chambal River

● The Chambal rises in

the highlands of
Janapao Hills (700 m)
in the Vindhyan
● It flows through the
Malwa Plateau.
● It joins the Yamuna in
Etawah district of
Uttar Pradesh.
● The river flows much
below its banks due to
severe erosion because
of poor rainfall and
numerous deep ravines
have been formed in the
Chambal Valley, giving
rise to badland
topography. {Arid
● The total length of the
river is 1,050 km.

Dams on the Chambal

● The Gandhi Sagar

dam is the first of the
four dams built on the
Chambal River, located
on the Rajasthan-
Madhya Pradesh border.
● The Rana Pratap
Sagar dam is a dam
located 52 km
downstream of Gandhi
Sagar dam on across
the Chambal River in
Chittorgarh district in
● The Jawahar Sagar
Dam is the third dam in
the series of Chambal
Valley Projects, located
29 km upstream of Kota
city and 26 km
downstream of Rana
Pratap Sagar dam.
● The Kota Barrage is
the fourth in the series
of Chambal Valley
Projects, located about
0.8 km upstream of Kota
City in Rajasthan.
● Water released after
power generation at
Gandhi Sagar dam, Rana
Pratap Sagar dam and
Jawahar Sagar Dams, is
diverted by Kota
Barrage for irrigation in
Rajasthan and in
Madhya Pradesh
through canals.

Keoladeo National Park

is supplied with water from
Chambal river irrigation

Banas River

● The Banas is a tributary

of the Chambal.
● It originates in the
southern part of the
Aravali Range.
● It join the Chambal on
Rajasthan – Madhya
Pradesh border near
Sawai Madhopur.

Sind River

● The Sind originates in

Vidisha Plateau of
Madhya Pradesh.
● It flows for a distance of
415 km before it joins
the Yamuna.

Betwa River

● The Betwa rises in

Bhopal district
(Vindhyan Range) and
joins the Yamuna near
● It has a total length of
590 km.
● The Dhasan is its
important tributary.

Ken River

● The Ken river rising from

the Barner Range of
Madhya Pradesh joins
the Yamuna near Chila.

Son River

● The Son River rises in

the Amarkantak
● Its source is close to the
origin of the Narmada.
● It passes along the
Kaimur Range.
● It joins the Ganga near
Danapur in Patna district
of Bihar.
● It flows for a distance of
784 km from its source.
● The important
tributaries of the Son
are the Johilla, the
Gopat, the Rihand, the
Kanhar and the North
Koel. Almost all the
tributaries join it on its
right bank.

The Damodar River

● The Damodar river rises

in the hills of the
Chotanagpur plateau
and flows through a
rift valley.
● Rich in mineral
resources, the valley is
home to large-scale
mining and industrial
● It has a number of
tributaries and
subtributaries, such as
Barakar, Konar,
Bokaro, Haharo, etc.
● The Barakar is the most
important tributary of
the Damodar.
● Several dams have been
constructed in the
valley, for the generation
of hydroelectric power.
The valley is called “the
Ruhr of India”.
● The first dam was built
across the Barakar River,
a tributary of the
Damodar river.
● It used to cause
devastating floods as a
result of which it earned
the name ‘Sorrow of
Bengalʼ. Now the river is
tamed by constructing
numerous dams.
● It joins the Hugli River
48 km below Kolkata.
● The total length of the
river is 541 km.

Left Bank Tributaries

of The Ganga River

● These rivers originate in

the Himalayas.
● The major tributaries
apart from the Yamuna,
are the Ramganga,
the Gomati, the
Ghaghra, the Gandak,
the Burhi Gandak, the
Bagmati, and the

Ramganga River

● The Ramganga river

rises in the Garhwal
district of Uttarakhand.
● It enters the Ganga Plain
near Kalagarh.
● It joins the Ganga at
● The Khoh, the Gangan,
the Aril, the Kosi, and
the Deoha (Gorra) are
important tributaries of

Ghaghra River

● Its source is near Gurla

Mandhata peak,
south of Manasarovar
in Tibet (river of the
● It is known as the
Karnaili in Western
● Its important tributaries
are the Sarda, the
Sarju (Ayodhya is
located on its bank)
and the Rapti.
● The Ghaghara joins the
Ganga a few kilometres
downstream of Chhapra
in Bihar.
● After reaching the plain
area, its stream gets
divided into many
branches of which,
Koriyab and Garwa are
● The river bed is sandy
and sudden bends start
occurring in the stream.
● The river has a high
flood frequency and has
shifted its course
several times.

Kali River

● Rises in the high

glaciers of trans-
● It forms the boundary
between Nepal and
● It is known as the Sarda
after it reaches the
plains near Tanakpur.
● It joins the

Gandak River

● Originates near the

Tibet-Nepal border at a
height of 7,620 m
● It receives a large
number of tributaries in
Nepal Himalaya.
● Its important tributaries
are the Kali Gandak,
the Mayangadi, the
Bari and the Trishuli.
● It debouches into the
plains at
● It flows into Ganga at
Hajipur in Bihar.

Burhi Gandak
● Originates from the
western slopes of
Sumesar hills near
the India-Nepal
● It joins the Ganga near
Monghyr town.

Kosi River

● The Kosi river consists

of seven streams
namely Sut Kosi,
Tamba Kosi, Talkha,
Doodh Kosi, Botia
Kosi, Arun and
Tamber and is
popularly known as
● These streams flow
through eastern Nepal
which is known as the
Sapt Kaushik region.
● The sources of seven
streams of the Kosi are
located in snow covered
areas which also receive
heavy rainfall.
● Consequently, huge
volume of water flows
with tremendous speed.
● Seven streams mingle
with each other to form
three streams named
the Tumar, Arun and Sun
● They unite at Triveni
north of the
Mahabharata Range
to form the Kosi.
● The river enters the
Tarai of Nepal after
cutting a narrow gorge
in the Mahabharata
● The joins the Ganga
● Soon after debouching
onto the plain the river
becomes sluggish.
● Large scale deposition
of eroded material takes
place in the plain region.
● The river channel is
braided and it shifts its
course frequently. This
has resulted in frequent
devastating floods and
has converted large
tracts of cultivable land
into waste land in Bihar.
Thus the river is often
termed as the ‘Sorrow
of Biharʼ.
● In order to tame this
river, a barrage was
constructed in 1965
near Hanuman Nagar in
● Embankments for flood
control have been
constructed as a joint
venture of India and

Brahmaputra River

Region Name
Tibet Tsangpo
China Yarlung
Assam Dihang or
Valley Siong, South
of Sadiya:
Bangladesh Jamuna
Waters of
Ganga and
From the
of Padma
and Meghna
[View image

● The Brahmaputra
(meaning the son of
● It is 2,900 km in length.
● Source:
glacier (Kailas Range)
at an elevation of about
5,150 m. Itʼs source is
very close to the
sources of Indus and
● Mariam La separates
the source of the
Brahmaputra from the
Manasarovar Lake.
● Brahmaputra flows
eastwards in Southern
Tibet for about 1,800
● In Tibet it passes
through the depression
formed by the Indus-
Tsangpo Structure
Zone between the Great
Himalayas in the south
and the Kailas Range in
the north.
● Inspite of the
exceptionally high
altitude, the Tsangpo
has a gentle slope.
The river is sluggish and
has a wide navigable
channel for about 640
● It receives a large
number of tributaries in
Tibet. The first major
tributary is the Raga
Tsangpo meeting the
Tsangpo near Lhatse
● The river Ngangchu
flows through the trade
centre of Gyantse in the
south and joins the main
● Towards the end of its
journey in Tibet, its
course abruptly takes a
south ward turn around
Namcha Barwa (7,756
m)(Syntaxial Bend).
● Here it cuts across the
eastern Himalaya
through the Dihang or
Siang Gorge and
emerges from the
mountains near Sadiya
in the Assam Valley.
● Here it first flows under
the name of Siong and
then as the Dihang.
● In the north-eastern
parts of Assam Valley, it
is joined by two
important tributaries viz,
the Dibang (or Sikang)
from the north and
Lohit from the south.
● From Sadiya (Assam
Valley) onwards, this
mighty river is known as
● The main streams
merging with the
Brahmaputra from the
north are, Subansiri,
Kameng, Dhansiri
(north), Raidak, Tista
● The Tista was a tributary
of the Ganga prior to the
floods of 1787 after
which it diverted its
course eastwards to join
the Brahmaputra.
● The Brahmaputra has a
braided channel (flow
into shallow
interconnected channels
divided by deposited
earth) for most of its
passage through Assam
where channels keep
shifting. It carries a lot
of silt and there is
excessive meandering.
● The river is nearly 16 km
wide at Dibrugarh and
forms many islands, the
most important of which
is MAJULI. It is 90 km
long and measures 20
km at its widest.
● With rainfall
concentrated during the
monsoon months only
the river has to carry
enormous quantities of
water and silt which
results in disastrous
floods. The
Brahmaputra is thus
truly a River of Sorrow.
● The river is navigable for
a distance of 1,384 km
upto Dibrugarh from its
mouth and serves as an
excellent inland water
transport route.
● Brahmaputra bends
southwards and enters
Bangladesh near Dhubri.
● It flows for a distance of
270 km in the name of
Jamuna river and joins
the Ganga at
● The united stream of the
Jamuna and the Ganga
flows further in the
name of
● About 105 km further
downstream, the Padma
is joined on the left bank
by the Meghna,
originating in the
mountainous region of
● From the confluence of
Padma and Meghna, the
combined river is known
as the Meghna which
makes a very broad
estuary before pouring
into the Bay of Bengal.