Peninsular River System Of India | Map, Rivers

Peninsular River System

The Indian River System is one of the biggest River system of the world. It is mainly divided into two - the Himalayan River System and the Peninsular River System. Today we are going to learn about the Peninsular River System.

Peninsular River

What is Peninsular River system ?

Rivers which originates from the Western Ghats and flow towards the east to the Bay of Bengal are known as the Peninsular rivers. But Narmada and Tapti are the two rivers which flows from east to west but they are called as the Peninsular Rivers.

The peninsular rivers: They flow through the shallow valleys, a large number of them are dependent on the rainfall they are seasonal they flow only seasonally. The intensity of the erosional activities here is comparatively low because of the gentler slopes. The lack of slit, the hard rock bed, and sand does not allow any significant meandering here. Therefore, many of the rivers here have straight and linear courses. These rivers also provide a huge opportunity for the production of hydroelectric power.

Peninsular River System or Peninsular Drainage emerges basically from the Western Ghats. Since the Western Ghats form a water peak, these rivers either flow eastwards into the Bay of Bengal or into the Arabian Sea towards the west. Peninsular Rivers are mainly rainfall-dependent rivers. They drain into the Bay of Bengal as they flow eastwards on the plateau and form deltas at their mouths; whereas the Narmada, Tapti-the west-flowing rivers fall into the Arabian Sea and make arms. These don't start in glaciers but are rainfall-dependent rivers. These rivers degrade enormously or dry up during summers.

Some of the peninsular rivers are the Mahanadi, Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Tapti(Tapi), and Narmada. The Rivers here have really a high cultural as well as the religious significance in the Indian peoples lives. Mainly the Narmada and the Tapti.

So let's discuss about the Major Peninsular Rivers;

Major Peninsular Rivers

  1. Narmada
  2. Kaveri or Cauvery
  3. Tapti or Tapi
  4. Godavari
  5. Mahanadi
  6. Krishna
Lets see them in detail;

Narmada River

Narmada River

The Narmada also called as Nerbudda is a river in central India. A traditional boundary of the total length of 1,289 kilometers between North India and South India is formed by the Narmada River System. The Narmada, the Tapi, and the Mahi are the only rivers that run from east to west from all the major rivers of peninsular India. The Narmada rises on the summit of Amarkantak hill in the state of Madhya Pradesh and flows along with the winds of Mandala hills for the first 200 miles (320 kilometers) which is said to form the head of Satpura range, then flows through the Jabalpur passing through the “Marble Rocks’, then it enters the Narmada valley between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges, and gives itself a way to direct westerly course to the Gulf of Cambay. Its total length calculated from the state of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujrat is approximately 1312 kilometers (815) which is really a big length. And at last, it empties itself into the Arabian Sea in the Bharucha district of Gujrat.

Tapti River

Tapti River

Tapti is a river present in central India. Having a length of around 724 it is regarded as one of the major rivers of peninsular India. Also only from the rivers of India which flow from east to west namely the Narmada river, the Mahi river, and the Tapti river.

Talking about its flow: it rises from the eastern part of the Satpura range of southern Madhya Pradesh and starts flowing westwards, crossing the historic Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra’s historic Khandesh, and east Vidarbha regions in the northwest corners of the Deccan plateau and then the south Gujrat and at last drains itself to the Gulf of Cambay of the Arabian sea in Gujrat.

The river basins of Tapi lie mostly in the northern and eastern districts of Maharashtra state namely, Amravati, Akola, buldhana, Washim, Jalgaon, Dhule,nandurbar, Malegaon, Nashik, and also covers some districts of Madhya Pradesh like Betul, Burhanpur, and surat of Gujrat.

The principal tributaries of the Tapi river are namely the Purna river, Girna river, Waghur river, Panzara river, Bori river, and the Aner river.

Godavari River

Godavari River

The Godavari is the river with another longest course in India, Godavari is oftentimes referred to as the Vriddh (Old). Ganga or the Dakshin (South) Ganga. The name may be apt in too many ways than one, like the river. follows the course of Ganga's tragedy. The length of the river is about 1450 kilometers is about km (900 miles) long. It rises at Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik and Mumbai (earlier Bombay) in Maharashtra around 380 km far. from the Arabian Sea, but flows southeast across south-central India through the state of Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and empties into the Bay of Bengal. At Rajahmundry. 80 km from the coast, the river splits into two channels hence forming a truly rich fertile delta. Like any other major river in India, the banks of this river also have numerous pilgrimage places, Nasik, Triyambak, and Bhadrachalam, being the major ones. It's a seasonal river, widened during the rains and dried during the summers. Godavari river water is brownish. Some of its branches include the Indravati River Pranahita (Combination of Penuganga and Warda), Manjira, Bindusara and Sabari. Nasik, Bhadrachalam, Rajahmundry, and Narsapur are some of the important urban centers on its banks. Consisting of Asia’s largest rail-cum-road bridge on the river Godavari Which links Kovar and Rajahmundry is considered to be an engineering feat.

Krishna River

Krishna River

The Krishna river is considered to be one of the longest rivers of India having a length of about 1300 kilometers. It originates at Mahabaleswar in Maharashtra, passes through Sangli, and meets the ocean in the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh. The Krishna River flows through the state of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. The source of the river is surprising it is a spout from the mouth of a statue of a cow in the ancient temple of Mahadev in Mahabaleshwar.

Its most important branch is the Tungabhadra River, which itself is formed by the Tunga and Bhadra rivers that are originated in the Western Ghats. It also has some more tributaries the are the Bhima, Koyna, Ghataprabha, Mallaprabha, Yerla, Dindi, Warna, Dudhganga, and Musi rivers.

Major Tributaries Of Krishna River

Tributaries of Krishna in Andhra Pradesh

1. Akeru River
2. Munneru River
3. Musi River
4. Paleru River
5. Vedavathi River
6. Tungabhadra River
7. Suvarnamukhi River
8. Bhavanasi River
9. Avathi River
10. Veda River
11. Tunga River
12. Varada River
13. Bhadra River

Tributaries of Krishna in Maharashtra and Karnataka

1. Sina River
2. Bhima River
3. Mula-Mutha River
4. Nira River
5. Mutha River
6. Mula River
7. Kamini River
8. Chandani River
9. Bori River
10. Moshi River
11. Bhogwati River
12. Man River
13. Kundali River
14. Indrayani River
15. Ghod River
16. Kumandala River
17. Pavna River
18. Bhama River
19. Ghataprabha River
20. Malaprabha River
21. Koyna River
22. Varma River
23. Venna River

The rainfall of the catchment area of the Krishna River is controlled by the southwest monsoon, which is amenable for the maturity of the rainfall in the whole location. towering water levels are observed in the months of August to November and low water levels are observed in the months of April to May at Vijayawada( AP). Varieties of weather stipulations differ from arid sub humid to per humid in the west through semi waterless in the midpoint and eastern dooms of the valley. You'll find very arid weather in the south-central doom of the valley. 

The geographical features of the catchment region are governed by the Deccan Traps in the northwestern area, and by the Cuddapah Group in the east. The Vindhya Mountain Range( east-central) and the Dharwars( southwest central) consist an necessary region of the rocky outgrowths. The deltaic territory is basically formed up of Pleistocene to standard substances.

Kaveri River

Kaveri River

The Kaveri river is also spelled as Cauvery or Kavery is one of the greatest rivers of India. The river flows like the river Ganga so it is also known as the Dakshin Ganga (Ganga of the south). The sources of this river are in the Western Ghats range of Karnataka state and flow through Karnataka to Tamil Nadu. At last, it empties itself into the Bay of Bengal. The river has supported irrigated farming for centuries, and the Kaveri has been the lifeblood of the ancient provinces and current metropolises of South India. The source of the river is Talakaveri located in the Western Ghats about 1,500 meters (1500 feet) above ocean level. Talakaveri is one of the well-known pilgrimages and tourist spots set amidst Bramahagiri Hills near Madikeri in the Kodagu region of Karnataka. Thousands of pilgrims flock to the temple at the source of the river, especially on the defined day known as Tula sankramana when the river water has been witnessed to gush out as a fountain at a predetermined time. It flows generally from south to east for around 765 km, emptying itself into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths. Its basin is estimated to be 27,700 square miles (71,700 km²), and it has numerous branches including Shimsha, Hemavati, Arkavathy, Kapila, Honnuhole, Lakshmana Tirtha, Kabini, Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyyal, and Famous Amaravati.

Mahanadi River

Mahanadi River

The Mahanadi is a river in eastern India. Rising from the Satpura range of central India the Mahanadi River flows east to the Bay of Bengal. The Mahanadi drains utmost of the region of Chhattisgarh and much of Orissa and also Jharkhand and Maharashtra. It has a length of approximately 860 km. Near the town of Sambalpur, a large dam-the Hirakund Dam-is made up on the river.

The Peninsular Rivers are Mostly fed by Rain-Water

The streams on the Indian peninsular area are generally rain- fed. At the time of summer, their discharge is significantly dropped. Some of their confluents indeed get dehydrated, purely to be regenerated in the monsoon. The catchment region of the Godavari River in the peninsula is the biggest in India, covering a territory of around 10% of the whole country.

India’s most holy river is the Narmada. Tapti and Narmada run nearly comparable but pour themselves out in inverse habits. The two rivers form the river-basin resourceful in fertile soil and teakwood jungles gird utmost of the soil.

In meanness of the fact that seaward rivers pour down the ridges of the Western Ghat Mountain Ranges into the Arabian Sea in chute during the monsoon, they cease flowing once the monsoon is over. In west Rajasthan, inundations such as the Sambhar are mostly seasonal in nature, running into the interior valleys and saltwater bodies. The Luni in the Rann of Kutch is the only river that runs across the salty dry region.

Because of the tough summer in India, people can’t travel by tiny boats and flatboats round the year indeed on huge rivers suchlike as the Ganga and the Yamuna. In Kolkata, where the deepness of the Ganga is relatively more and the water doesn’t desiccate, Kidderpore works as a wharf for bitsy boats and ferryboats coming up from the Bay of Bengal.

Peninsular River System Vs Himalayan River System


The Himalayan River System

The Peninsular River System

  These rivets originate from the lofty Himalayan ranges and are named as the Himalayan rivers. These rivers originate in the Peninsular Plateau and are named as Peninsular rivers.
Catchment area These rivers have large basins and catchment areas. The total basin area of the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra is 11.78, 8.61 and 5.8 lakh square kilometres respectively. These rivers have small basins and catchment areas. The Godavari has the largest basin area of 3.12 lakh square kilometres only which is less than one-third the basin area of the Indus.
Valleys The Himalayan rivers flow through deep V – shaped valleys called gorges. These gorges have been carved out by down cutting carried on side by side with the uplift of the Himalayas. The Peninsular rivers flow in comparatively shallow valleys. These are more or less completely graded valleys. The rivers have little erosional activity to perform.
Drainage Type These are examples of antecedent drainage. These are examples of consequent drainage.
Water Flow The Himalayan rivers are perennial in nature, i.e., water flows throughout the year in these rivers. These rivers receive water both from the monsoons and snow-melt. The perennial nature of these rivers makes them useful for irrigation. The Peninsular rivers receive water only from rainfall and water flows in these rivers in rainy season only. Therefore, these rivers are seasonal or non-perennial. As such these rivers are much less useful for irrigation.
Stage These rivers flow across the young fold mountains and are still in a youthful stage. These rivers have been flowing in one of the oldest plateaus of the world and have reached maturity.
Meanders The upper reaches of the Himalayan rivers are highly tortuous. When they enter the plains, there is a sudden reduction in the speed of flow of water. Under these circumstances these rivers form meanders and often shift their beds. The hard rock surface and non-alluvial character of the plateau permits little scope for the formation of meanders. As such, the rivers of the Peninsular Plateau follow more or less straight courses.
Deltas and Estuaries   The Himalayan rivers form big deltas at their mouths. The Ganga-Brahmaputra delta is the largest in the world.



Some of the Peninsular rivers, such as the Narmada and the Tapi form estuaries.


Other rivers such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery form deltas.

Several small streams originating from the Western Ghats and flowing towards the west enter the Arabian Sea without forming any delta.

Summary Of Peninsular River System

  • Geologists trust that the Sahyadri- Aravali alliance was the main water divide in the history.
  •  According to one thesis, the being peninsula is the remaining half of a bigger mainland.
  •  The Western Ghats were located in the midpoint of this mainland. So one drainage existed towards east streaming into Bay of Bengal and the other towards west drawing into Arabian Sea.
  •  The western proportion of the Peninsula cracked and flooded in the Arabian Sea during the ancient Tertiary period( coexisting with the formation of Himalayas).
  • During the smash of the Indian plate, the Peninsular block was subordinated to subsidence in many zones creating a series of chinks( trough, faults).
  • Now the west streaming rivers of the Peninsula, namely the Narmada and the Tapi stream through these chinks.
  • Straight coast, steep western slope of the Western Ghats, and the lack of delta setups on the western coast makes this hypothesis a possibility.
  • It's accepted that the west streaming peninsular rivers don't flow in the valleys formed by the rivers themselves. 
  • preferably they've enthralled two fault rifts in rocks running parallel to the Vindhyas.
  • These faults are surmised to be caused by the bend of the northern end of the Peninsula at the occasion of upheaval of the Himalayas.
  • The Peninsula block, south of the cracks, listed slightly eastwards during the event therefore giving the exposure to the entire drainage towards the Bay of Bengal.
  • Peninsula rivers are much aged than the Himalayan rivers.
  • The peninsular drainage is generally Concordant except for many rivers in the upper peninsular area. They'renon-perennial rivers with a max discharge in the rainy season.
  • The peninsular rivers have reached mature stage{ Fluvial Landforms} and have nearly reached their base position.( Vertical down slice is negligible) which are characterized by broad and shallow denes.
  • The river banks have gentle slopes except for a limited tract where faulting forms steep sides. The main water divide in peninsular rivers is formed by the Western Ghats, which run from north to south close to the western coast.
  • The velocity of water in the rivers and the load transporting capacity of the streams is low due to less gradient. Utmost of the major rivers of the promontory such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery flow eastwards and drain into the Bay of Bengal.
  • These rivers make deltas at their mouths. But the west streaming rivers of Narmada and Tapi as well as those forming from the Western Ghats and stumbling in the Arabian Sea form estuaries in place of deltas.
  • There are many points where rivers form superimposed and freshened drainage which are defined by Examples The Jog on the Sharvati( 289 m), Yenna of Mahabaleshwar( 183 m), Sivasamundram on the Cauvery( 101 m), Gokak on the Gokak( 55 m), Kapildhara( 23 m) and Dhuandar( 15 m) on the Narmada are the major falls in the Peninsular India.
  • Rivers that drain into Bay of Bengal The Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, the Cauvery and several lower rivers drains south- east into the Bay of Bengal. Rivers that drain into Arabian Sea The Narmada, the Tapi, the Mahi streaming west as well as several small aqueducts forming from the Western Ghats flow westwards into the Arabian Sea.

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