Ganga River - The longest River Of India

Ganga River

The Ganges ( likely known as Ganga or Gonga), is the biggest river in the Indian continent in terms of water outflow. The distance of the Ganga is 2510 km. The river has its fountain(origin) in the Western Himalayan Ranges in the land of Uttarakhand. The followers of the Hindu religion regard the Ganges to be the most sacred of all the rivers in India. The river is deified as the divinity Ganga in the Hindu religion. The river likewise has a meaningful historical worths-a number of colonial or kingly capitals like Kannauj, Patliputra ( current day Patna), Allahabad, Kara, Baharampur, Murshidabad, and Kolkata are positioned on the banks of the Ganges. 


The Ganges River Catchment Basin covers an area of 390,000sq miles ( 1,000,000 sq km) and inventory in one of the utmost populated regions in the world. The average deepness of the Ganges River is 16 m or 52 feet and the uppermost deepness is 30 m or 100 feet. The river has been declared the National river of India. The first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, cited a number of representational clarifications regarding the Ganges on the Indian continent in his famed book, the Discovery of India 
(issued in 1946). 

The main stem of the Ganges begins at the city of Devprayag, at the convergence of the Alaknanda, which is the source stream in hydrology on account of its greater distance, and the Bhagirathi, which is accounted the source stream in Hindu mythos. 

The Ganges is a lifeline to millions of people who reside in its river basin and depend on it for their day-to-day requirements. It has been important historically, with numerous former provincial or imperial centrals such as Pataliputra, Kannauj, Kara, Munger, Kashi, Patna, Hajipur, Delhi, Bhagalpur, Murshidabad, Baharampur, Kampilya, and Kolkata located on its banks or the banks of branches and chained waterways. The river is home to about 140 species of fish, 90 kinds of amphibians, and alike reptiles and mammals, carrying critically endangered species such as the gharial and South Asian river dolphin. The Ganges is the holiest river to Hindus. It's glorified as the goddess Ganga in Hinduism. 
The Ganges is overhung by severe pollution. This poses a hazard not only to humans but also to animals. The levels of fecal coliform bacteria from human waste in the river near Varanasi are further than a hundred times the Indian government's official limit. The Ganga Action Plan, an environmental initiative to cleanse up the river, has been considered a failure which is variously attributed to corruption, an absence of will in the government, poor specialized expertise, environmental planning, and an absence of support from religious rules.  Son, Yamuna, Chambal, Mahananda

Tributaries of Ganga

Ganga being a long river have many tributaries mainly divided into two parts :

The left tributaries  ➡ Karnali, Gandak, Mahakali, Koshi(Kosi), Damodar, and Ghagra

The right tributaries  ➡ Son, Yamuna, Chambal, Mahananda

Ganga River System

Ganga river map

Ganges River

Warning:- The above map is not made to scale or determine any real data

The upper side of the river Ganges begins at the convergence of the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers in the city of Devprayag in the Garhwal division of the Indian state of Uttarakhand. The Bhagirathi is accounted to be the origin in Hindu culture and tradition, although the Alaknanda is longer, and thus, hydrologically the source stream. The headstream of the Alakananda is crystallized by snowmelt from mountains such as Nanda Devi, Trisul, and Kamet. The Bhagirathi rises at the base of Gangotri Glacier, at Gomukh, at a rise of 4356 meters (14291 feet) and being mythologically pertained to as residing in the matted locks of Shiva; symbolically Tapovan, which is a meadow of ethereal beauty at the feet of Mount Shivling, just 5 km (3.1 mi) away. 

Although numerous small rivers comprise the headstream of the Ganges, the six longest and their five convergences are accounted holy. The six headstreams are the Alaknanda, Dhauliganga, Nandakini, Pindar, Mandakini and Bhagirathi. Their convergences, comprehended as the Panch Prayag, are each along the Alaknanda. They are, in downstream arrangement, Vishnuprayag, where the Dhauliganga joins the Alaknanda; Nandprayag, where the Nandakini joins; Karnaprayag, where the Pindar joins; Rudraprayag, where the Mandakini joins; and finally, Devprayag, where the Bhagirathi joins the Alaknanda to form the Ganges. 

After rolling for256.90 km (159.63 mi) through its narrow Himalayan valley, the Ganges emerges from the peaks at Rishikesh, then debouches onto the Gangetic Plain at the pilgrimage city of Haridwar. At Haridwar, a dam diverts some of its waters into the Ganges Canal, which irrigates the Doab area of Uttar Pradesh, whereas the river, whose course has been about southwest until this point, now begins to roll southeast through the grasslands of northern India. 

The Ganges river follows a 900 kilometers (560 miles) bending course passing through the towns of Kannauj, Farukhabad, and Kanpur. Along the way, it's adjoined by the Ramganga, which contributes an average yearly inflow of around 495 m3/ s 
( 17,500 cubic feet/ second) to the stream. The Ganges joins the 1,444 kilometers (897 miles) long River Yamuna at the Triveni Sangam at Allahabad, ( currently Prayagraj) a convergence accounted holy in Hinduism. At their convergence, the Yamuna is larger than the Ganges contributing about 58.5% of the combined inflow, with an average inflow of 2948 meter cube / s ( 104,100 cu ft/ s). 

Now flowing east, the stream meets the 400 km (250 mi) long Tamsa River ( also called Tons), which flows north from the Kaimur Range and contributes an average inflow of about 187 m3/ s ( 6,600 cu ft/ s). After the Tamsa, the 625 km (388 mi) long Gomti River joins, streaming south from the Himalayas. The Gomti contributes an average yearly inflow of about 234 m3/ s ( 8,300 cu ft/ s). Also the 1,156 km (718 mi) long Ghaghara River (Karnali River), also flowing south from the Himalayas of Tibet through Nepal joins. The Ghaghara (Karnali), with its average periodic inflow of about 2,991 m3/ s (105,600 cu ft/ s), is the largest tributary of the Ganges by discharge. After the Ghaghara convergence, the Ganges is joined from the south by the 784 km (487 mi) long Son River, which contributes about 1,008 m3/ s ( 35, 600 cu ft/ s). The 814 km (506 mi) long Gandaki River, then the 729 km (453 mi) lengthy Kosi River, adjoining from the north streaming from Nepal, contributing about  1,654 m3/ s ( 58,400 cu ft/ s) and 2,166 m3/ s ( 76,500 cu ft/ s), individually. The Kosi is the third largest branch of the Ganges by discharge, after Ghaghara (Karnali) and the Yamuna. The Kosi merges into the Ganges near Kursela in Bihar. 

Along the way between Allahabad and Malda, West Bengal, the Ganges river passes the cities of Chunar, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Ara, Patna, Chapra, Hajipur, Mokama, Munger, Sahibganj, Rajmahal, Bhagalpur, Ballia, Buxar, Simaria, Sultanganj, and Farakka. At Bhagalpur, the river begins to stream south-southeast and at Farakka, it begins its attrition with the branching away of its earliest distributary, the 408 km (254 mi) long Bhāgirathi-Hooghly, which goes on to become the Hooghly River. exactly before the borderline with Bangladesh, the Farakka Barrage controls the inflow of Ganges, diverting some of the water into a feeder canal linked to the Hooghly for the ambition of keeping it relatively silt-free. The Hooghly River is formed by the convergence of the Bhagirathi River and Ajay River at Katwa, and Hooghly has a number of tributaries of its own. The largest is the Damodar River, which is 625 km (388 mi) long, with a drainage basin of 25,820 km2 ( 9,970 sq mi). The Hooghly River empties into the Bay of Bengal near Sagar Island. Between Malda and the Bay of Bengal, the Hooghly river passes the cities and towns of Murshidabad, Nabadwip, Kolkata, and Howrah. 

After entering Bangladesh, the main tributaries of the Ganges river is known as the Padma. The Padma is joined by the Jamuna River, the largest distributary of the Brahmaputra. Beyond downstream, the Padma joins the Meghna River, the converged inflow of Surma-Meghna River System taking on the Meghna's name as it enters the Meghna Estuary, which empties into the Bay of Bengal. Here it forms the by km (890 by mi) Bengal Fan, the world's largest submarine fan, which only accounts for 10 – 20 of the universal burial of organic carbon. 

The Ganges Delta, formed primarily by the large, deposition-laden overflows of the Ganges and Brahmaputra streams, is the world's largest delta, at about km2 ( sq mi). It stretches 400 km (250 mi) along the Bay of Bengal. 

Only the Amazon and Congo streams have a greater average discharge than the combined inflow of the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, and the Surma-Meghna river system. In full flood, only the Amazon is larger. 

Hydroelectricity in Ganga

Hydroelectricity in Ganga

With wide-ranging monotonous regions and a multitude of tributaries, the Ganga river basin is rich in varied projects. According to India-WRIS, the basin consists of 39 hydroelectric designs and 56 powerhouses are a testament to the area's significance to India‘s general hydroelectricity portfolio. There are 27 significant and 12 remote hydroelectric projects in the river basin. Out of the total 39 hydro-electric arrangements 29 projects are maintained by State Government, 6 are kept up by Central Government and 4 are maintained by private associations. The hydroelectric projects are possessed by many large associations. The Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (UJVNL) owns around 9 hydroelectric projects and Uttar Pradesh Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (UPJVNL) owns 5 projects and 4 projects are possessed by Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Department/ MPPGCL to name some. The ultimate inaugurated capacity of the basin is 2000 MW which is installed in Tehri dam by THDC India Ltd. 

The Hydroelectric projects are allocated in 9 states in the Ganga basin. There are 14 projects in Uttarakhand, 4 plans in West Bengal, 3 plans in Bihar, 3 systems in Jharkhand, 3 projects in Madhya Pradesh, 3 systems in Uttar Pradesh, 2 systems in Haryana. There are 5 interstate hydroelectric systems are there in the Ganga basin, Yamuna Hydroelectric Project with Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Chambal Hydroelectric Project with Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Rajghat Hydroelectric Project, Mattila Hydroelectric Project, and Rihand Hydroelectric Project between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 

The Ganga basin has 56 powerhouses and their geographical sites are displayed sub-basin-wise in the maps from Map 16. to Map 16. s. The Yamuna upper sub-basin contains the max number of powerhouses of around 14 powerhouses where five in Uttarakhand, four are in Himachal Pradesh, four in Haryana, and one in Uttar Pradesh. The Yamuna Lowersub-basin has three powerhouses where two are in Madhya Pradesh namely Matatila (UPJVNL) and Madikheda Power House (MPPGCL) and Rajghat Power House in Uttar Pradesh maintained by MPSEB/ MPPGCL. The below Ramganga convergence sub-basin has 11 powerhouses all falling in Uttarakhand state with the largest Tehri Power House maintained by THDC India Ltd. The Sonesub-basin has 7 powerhouses, three in Madhya Pradesh; two in Uttar Pradesh, and one each in Jharkhand and Bihar. The Bhagirathi and other sub-basin have four powerhouses, with three located in West Bengal and Massanjore Powerhouse located at Jharkhand. The Chambal upper basin has only two powerhouses, i.e. Gandhi Sagar Powerhouse in Madhya Pradesh and Rana Pratap Sagar Powerhouse in Rajasthan. The Damodarsub-basin has four powerhouses out of which three are in Jharkhand and Panchet Hill Powerhouse is located in West Bengal. The Ghagharasub-basin has three powerhouses all located in Uttarakhand out of which two are maintained by NHPC and one is maintained by UJVNL. There are two powerhouses in the Ghaghara convergence to Gomti convergence sub-basin both maintained by Bihar State Hydro-electric Power Cooperation Ltd. The Tonssub-basin also has two powers Stage-I & II Bansagar in Madhya Pradesh. The Kali Sindh and others up to Convergence with Parbatisub-basin, Kosisub-basin, and Ramgangasub-basin have each hustler videlicet Jawahar Sagar Power House in Rajasthan, Kosi (East Canal) Power House maintained by Bihar State Electricity Board and Ramganga Power House maintained by UJVNL aggregately. 

The hydroelectric potential of the Ganga basin has been imposed at 20711 MW. Out of the 142 identified schemes in the basin, schemes with a complete inaugurated capacity of 4987 MW are in operation as of on31.7.2014, and devices with an inaugurated capacity of about 1751 MW are in varying stages of construction. (Source: )

The Ganges: An Overview

Image source for this section is wikipedia


Son River

The Sone originates near Amarkantak in the Anuppur section(district) of Madhya Pradesh, exactly east of the headstream of the Narmada River, and flows north-northwest through the Shahdol section(district) in the Madhya Pradesh region before rotating sharply eastward where it encounters the southwest-northeast-Kaimur peaks. The Sone parallels the Kaimur mountains, rolling east-northeast through Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar region to adjoin the Ganges at just west of Patna. Geologically, the smaller valley of the Son is an elongation of the Narmada Valley, and the Kaimur Range is an elongation of the Vindhya Range. Arwal, Daudnagar, Deori, Rohtasgarh, Dehri, Sonbhadra, and Bihta are some of the significant cities positioned on the Sone River. 
The Sone river which is 784 kilometers (487 mi) long, is one of the lengthy Indian rivers. Its chief branches are the Rihand, Kanhar, and the North Koel. The Son has a steep gradient (35 – 55 cm per km) with alacritous run-off and ephemeral administrations, becoming a growling river with the rainfall-waters in the catchment area but rolling quickly into a fordable stream. The Son, being wide and shallow, leaves disconnected pools of water in the remaining parts of the year. The channel of the Son is very wide (about 5 km at Dehri) but the floodplain is slim, only 3 to 5 kilometers (2 to 3 mi) wide. The gathering point with North Koel is the range of Sone River is 5 to 8 kilometers (3 to 5 mi). In history, the Son has been notorious for changing course. As it's traceable from several old beds near its east bank, the river modified its course additional than 5 times. In current times this tendency has been sorted with the anicut at Dehri, and now more accordingly with the Indrapuri Barrage. 

Dams on Son River

The first Dam on the Son river was built in-between 1873-74 constructed at Dehri.

The Indrapuri Barrage which is 8 kilometers upstream was constructed and commissioned in the year 1968

The Bansagar dam was constructed in 2008 at Madhyapradesh.


Yamuna River

The Yamuna (Hindustani pronounced), also spelled Jamuna, is the another-largest tributary river of the Ganges by discharge and the longest tributary in India. Originating from the Yamunotri Glacier at a top of 6387 meters ( 20955 ft) on the southwestern slopes of Bandarpunch mountains of the Lower Himalaya in Uttarakhand, it travels an entire distance of 1376 kilometers (855 miles) and has a drainage network of 366,223 square kilometers ( 141,399 sq miles ), 40.2% of all Ganges Basin. It merges with the Ganges at Triveni Sangam, Allahabad, which is an emplacement of the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu carnival(festival) clutched every 12 years. 
Like the Ganges, the Yamuna is largely glorified in Hinduism and worshipped as the Devi(goddess) the Yamuna. In Hinduism, she's the daughter of the sun, Surya, and the sister of Yama, the divinity(god) of death, and accordingly is also known as Yami. According to popularized legends, bathing in its holy waters frees one from the torments of death. 

Dams on Yamuna River

  1. Asan Barrage
  2. Dakpathar Barrage
  3. Gandhi Sagar Dam
  4. Gokul barrage
  5. Hathni Kund Barrage
  6. Ichari Dam
  7. ITO barrage
  8. Lakhwar Dam
  9. Masani barrage
  10. New Okhla Barrage
  11. Okhla barrage
  12. Pathrala barrage
  13. Rana Pratap Sagar Dam
  14. Tajewala Barrage
  15. Wazirabad barrage


Chambal River

The Chambal River is a branch of the Yamuna River in Central and Northern India and therefore forms part of the major Gangetic drainage network. The river flows north-northeast through Madhya Pradesh, rolling for a moment through Rajasthan also forming the boundary between Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh before rolling southeast to join the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh region. 
It's a fabulous river and finds mentioned in ancient Books. The abiding Chambal originates at Janapav, south of Mhow city, near Manpur, Indore, on the south slope of the Vindhya Range in Madhya Pradesh. The Chambal and its branches drain the Malwa zone of northwestern Madhya Pradesh, while its branch, the Banas, which rises in the Aravalli Range, drains southeastern Rajasthan. It ends a convergence of five rivers, involving the Chambal, Kwari, Yamuna, Sind, Pahuj, at Pachnada near Bhareh in Uttar Pradesh state, at the borderline of Bhind and Etawah districts. 
The Chambal River is accounted pollution-free and hosts a stunning riverine faunal assemblage involving 2 species of crocodilians – the mugger(crocodiles) and the gharial, 8 species of water turtles, smooth-coated otters, Gangetic river dolphins, skimmers, black-bellied terns, sarus cranes, and black-necked storks, amongst others. 

Dams on Chambal River

  1. Gandhi Sagar Dam
  2. Rana Pratap Sagar Dam
  3. Jawahar Sagar Dam
  4. Kota Barrage


Mahananda River

The Mahananda River is a transboundary river that flows through the state of Bihar, West Bengal, and Bangladesh.
The Mahananda stream(river) network consists of two waterways- one is locally grasped as Fulahar river and the another Mahananda. Fulahar originates from the mountainous zone of the Himalayas in Nepal and traverses through the Indian state of Bihar and merges with the Ganges in the left opposite to Rajmahal. The Mahananda originates in the Himalayas Paglajhora Falls on Mahaldiram Hill near Chimli, east of Kurseong in the Darjeeling section at an elevation of meters ( ft). It flows through Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary and descends to the plain lands near Siliguri. It touches the Jalpaiguri district. 


Karnali River

Ghaghara, correspondingly called Karnali is an imperishable transboundary river arising on the Tibetan Plateau near Lake Manasarovar. The Karnali cuts through the Himalayas in Nepal and joins the Sharda River at Brahmaghat in India. Together they make the Ghaghara River, a sizable left bank branch of the Ganges. With a distance of 507 kilometers (315 miles), it's the longest river in Nepal. The total distance of the Ghaghara River up to its convergence with the Ganges at Revelganj in Bihar is 1080 kilometers (670 mi). It's the largest branch of the Ganges by volume and the second-longest branch of the Ganges by distance after the Yamuna. 
Lower Ghaghara is correspondingly comprehended as the Sarayu river and finds citation in Ramayana. Ayodhya is placed on its right bank. The Ghaghara was also the location of the battle between Amin Khan Aitigin and Tughral Tughan Khan. 


Gandak River

The Gandak river, also known by the name Gandaki or the Narayani is one of the major rivers in Nepal and a left bank branch of the Ganges in India. its total area is 46,300 square kilometers. most of it is in Nepal. In the Nepal Himalayas, it is famous for its deep canyon. the basin also contains three peaks over 8,000 meters, they are Dhaulagiri,  Manaslu, and Annapurna. Dhaulagiri is the highest peak of the Gandaki basin.


Mahakali(Sharda) River

It flows along Nepal's western borderline with India and has a basin area of km2 ( sq mi). It joins the Ghaghra River, a branch of the Ganges. It takes the name Kali River from the combination of the two streams at Gunji as it flows through the mountains. After Brahmadev Mandi near Tanakpur, it enters the Terai plains, where it's called Sharda River. 
It offers potential for hydroelectric energy production. The river is also proposed as a source for one of the numerous projects in the Himalayan component of the Indian RiversInter-link system. 

Koshi or Kosi

Koshi River

The Kosi or Koshi is a transboundary river that flows through Tibet, Nepal, and India. It drains the northern inclinations of the Himalayas in Tibet and the southern slopes in Nepal. From a significant confluence of branches north of the Chatra Gorge ahead, the Kosi River is correspondingly known as Saptakoshi (Nepali सप्तकोशी, saptakoshī) for its seven upper branches. These contain the Tamor River originating from the Kanchenjunga region in the east and Arun River and Sun Kosi from Tibet. The Sun Koshi's branches from east to west are Dudh Koshi, Bhote Koshi, Tamakoshi River, Likhu Khola, and Indravati. The Saptakoshi crosses into northern Bihar, India where it branches into distributaries before joining the Ganges near Kursela in the Katihar section. 
The Kosi River is 720 km (450 mi) long and drains an area of about 74,500 square kilometers( 28, 800 sq miles) in Tibet, Nepal, and Bihar. In history, several litterateurs proposed that the river has shifted its course for more than 133 km (83 mi) from east to west during the past 200 years. But a review of 28 historical maps dating 1760 to 1960 revealed a slight eastward shift for long life, and that the shifting was random and oscillating in nature. 


Damodar River

Damodar River is a river rolling across the Indian states of Jharkhand and West Bengal. Rich in mineral coffers, the valley is home to grand-scale mining and industrial exertion. previously known as the Sorrow of Bengal because of its ravaging floods in the plains of West Bengal, the Damodar, and its branches have been somewhat controlled with the construction of several dams. It's the most contaminated river in India (by 2003). 

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