Major Rivers of India and the World and Mountain Ranges and Lakes


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01 Sept 2021

Major Rivers in India

Indus River System

Indus Ancient name  Sindhu Origin  Bokharchu Glacier, Near Mansarovar In Tibet, Called Singi Khamban / Lion’s mouth Enters In India through Ladakh, flows only in J &K Enters Pak through hairpin bend of Nanga Parbat Finally Discharges in Arabian Sea Flows approx. ( 709 / 2880 ) Km in India India uses 20 % of its water by Indo  Pak water treaty of 1960
ShyokOriginates from Rimo Glacier Known as river of death flows through Ladakh in India A tributary of the Indus River
JhelumAncient name  Vitasta Origin  Verinag Spring (Kashmir) Tributary of Indus flows only in J &K Flows Northward to Wular Lake Cut through the gorge in Pir- Panjal range to reach Muzzafarabad (POK)
Indus River System
ChenabAncient name  Akshani / Iskmati Origin  Bara Lacha Pass (Himachal) Known as chandra-bhaga in Himachal Chandra River  Water flowing south from the pass Bhaga River      Water Flowing north from the pass Flows Northward & parallel to Pir –Panjal Range for some distance Cut through gorge in Pir – Panjal & Turns southward Largest tributary of Indus, Flows through Himachal & J & K Famous Projects  Duhasti, Baglihar & Salal hydroelectric project
RaviAncient name  Purushni Origin  Kullu hills near Rohtang Pass (Himachal) Tributary of Chenab Smallest of 5 rivers Flows through Indo – Pak boundary Flows northward b/w Pir – Panjal & Dhauladhar Ranges Cut a gorge through Dhauladhar range & flows southward
BeasAncient name  Vipasha Origin  Beas kund near Rohtang Pass, Himachal Tributary of Satluj Only river flowing entirely in India Runs southwardCut a deep gorge in Dhauladhar & turns west to meet Satluj near Harike (Punjab) Famous Project  Pong Dam
SutlujAncient name  Shatadru Origin  Rakas lake, Tibet, near Mansarovar Enter Himachal at Shipki La Pass Collects water from Ravi, Chenab, Jhelum & Beas to join Indus near Mithalkot (Pak) Famous Projects  Naptha Jhakri Project & Bhakra Nagal Dam with Govind Sagar Reservoir

Ganga River System

  • Origin  As Bhagirathi from Gangotri Glacier (Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand)
  • Alakananda unites with Bhagirathi at DevprayagUttarakhand  Henceforth known as Ganga
  • Passing through Rishikesh, it debounches in plains of Haridwar
  • From Haridwar, it flows Southward to reach Allahabad where it joins the Yamuna
  • Near Rajmahal Hills, it turns southeast & bifurcate at Farraka into Hoogly (Kolkata) & Padma (BD)
  • At Bangladesh, Ganga merges with Brahmputra (Known as Jamuna in Bangladesh) at Goalundo Ghats
  • Mixture is known as Padma River
  • Then it merges with Meghna & finally falls in the Bay of Bengal
  • Meghna  Known as Barack river in India
  • Major tributaries → Yamuna, Gomti, Ghaghara, Gandak, Kosi, Son & Punpun
India River System
GhagharaOrigin  Bharchachungar Glacier (Rakas lake) near Mansarovar Joins Ganga at Chhapr. Known as Manchu or Karnali in Nepal. Known as Saryu or Ghaghra in UP Perennial river Major tributaries  Sarda & Rakti
GandakOrigin  Sino – Nepal Boundary (Dhaulagiri range) Known as Kalyani in Nepal Major River of Nepal Joins Ganga at Sonpur, Bihar
KosiOrigin  Gosainath peak (Tibet) Merges with river Ganga at Bhagalpur (Bihar) Consists of 7 streams & known as Saptakoshi in Nepal Main stream  Arun, Tamur & Sun Koshi Formerly Known as Sorrow of Bihar Major Projects  Kusha Dam
SonOrigin  Amarkantak Plateau (Near north of origin of Narmada) Flows through Kaimur Range to meet Ganga at Patna
GomtiOriginates from Gomat Taal / Fulhaar jheel – Pilibhit A tributary of Ganga
YamunaOrigin  Yamunotri Glacier (Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand) Largest Tributary of Ganga After cutting deep gorge across Shivalik, it enters into plains near Tajewala Flows southward up to Agra & then turns southeast to meet Ganga at Allahabad Famous tributaries  Chambal, Sind, Betwa & Ken
BetwaMajor Tributaries  Tributary of Yamuna, rises from Vindhya range, MP Major Projects       → Matatila dam & Rajghat dam
KenRises from Kaimur hills in Satna (Madhya Pradesh), a tributary of Yamuna Famous for its Shajar stone &  Raneh waterfalls
ChambalOrigin  Vindhya Range (Mhow, MP) Passes through Kota & Dhaulpur (Rajasthan) Merge with Yamuna at Etawah (UP) forms boundary between Rajasthan & MP Major tributaries        Kali Sindh, Parvati & Banas Main Power Projects → Gandhisagar, Rana Pratap Sagar & Jawahar Sagar
BanasOriginate from eastern slopes of Aravali Tributary of Chambal
Damodar Origin  Eastern part of Chhota Nagpur Plateu Meets Hoogli at Falta Power Projects  Talaiya, Maithan, Barakar & Panchet

Brahmaputra River System

  • Origin  Chemayungdung Glacier (Kailash Range, Tibet)
  • In Tibet, known as TSANG – PO
  • In China, known as YARLUNG ZANBO
  • Forms grand canyon in Tibet
  • Turns southward near Namcha – Barwa
  • Enters Arunachal Pradesh as Dihang River at Sadiya, emerging from the mountains
  • Joined by Dibang river from the north & Lohit river from the south  Known as Brahamputra
  • Turns at Dhubri to enter into Bangladesh
  • After joining Teesta, known as Jamuna in BD
  • Joins Ganga & Megna  Merges to BOB.
  • Forms many river island of which Majuli is world 2nd largest one
  • Major tributaries → Dihang, Lohit, Subansiri, Teesta, Meghna (Barack in Assam), Manas
India River System
TeestaMajor tributary of Brahmaputra Rises from Sikkim Known as lifeline of Sikkim
LohitTributary of Brahmaputra Flows through Arunachal Pradesh Along with river, Dihang merges into Brahmaputra, at Sadia town (Arunachal Pradesh)

Peninsular Rivers India – Flowing East to West

LuniDesertic river, also known as the Sagarmati Rises from the western slopes of the Aravalli Range near Ajmer Ends in the marshy lands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat Inspite of high salinity, it is a major river in region Serves as a primary source of irrigation
SabarmatiRises from Dhebar lake in Aravalli Range of the Udaipur (Rajasthan) Flow Route: Udaipur  Gulf of Khambat  Arabian Sea via Estuary
MahiRises from Vindhya range (MP) flows through MP, Rajasthan & Gujrat & drains in Gulf of Cambay Famous Projects → Banswara Dam & Kadana dam
Peninsular Indian Rivers
NarmadaOrigin  Amarkantak, Shahdol, MP Also known as Rewa River Flows through rift valley of Vindhya & Satpura Flow Route: MP  Bharuch (Gujrat)  Gulf of Khambat (Gujrat)  Arabian Sea via Estuary Longest among all east to west flowing rivers Known as Life line of MP Forms Duandhar falls at Jabalpur Only tributary  Hiran River Aliabet  Largest Island in Estuary Famous projects →Sardar Sarovar Dam, Maheshwar Dam, Indira Gandhi Sagar Dam
TawaRises in the Satpura Range of Betul (MP) Narmada’s longest tributary
TapiOrigin  Mahadev hills, Satpura range, Betul district, MP Flow Route: MP    Maharashtra  Gulf of Khambat or Cambay  Arabian Sea via Estuary Famous projects → Kakrapar Dam & Ukai Dam
PeriyarRises from Western Ghats in Kerala Flows towards west & drains in Arabian Sea via an estuary

Peninsular Rivers India – Flowing West to East

MahanadiOrigin → Dandakaranya Hills, Raipur Flow Route: Chhattisgarh  Orissa  EGs  BOB Famous Project : Hirakund Dam
GodavariOrigin  Triambakeshwar Plateau, Nashik, WGs Largest Peninsular River Known as Dakshina / Vriddha Ganga Flow Route: Nashik   Andhra Pradesh  BOB Famous Tributaries  Penganga, Sabri, Wardha & Indravati Famous Projects       Poochampad,  Jayakwadi, Polavaram
PengangaRises from Ajanta hills (Maharashtra) a tributary of River Wardha which finally merges into Godavari
South Indian Rivers
KrishnaOrigin → Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, WGs Flow Route: Maharashtra  Andhra Pradesh  BOB Famous Projects → Koyna, Tugrabhdra, Srisailam & Nagarjuna Sagar Dam
Tungabhadraa major tributary of Krishna Rises from Western Ghats
BhimaRises from Balaghat range (Maharashtra) Tributary of Krishna
KaveriOrigin  Brahamgiri hills, Karnataka, WGs Flow Route: Karnataka  Kaveripatnam (TN) BOB Perrenial River Forms Shivasundaram Waterfalls Famous projects  Krishnaraja Sagar & Mettur
PennerRises from Karnataka Flows b/w Krishna & Kaveri Drains into BOB
VaigaiRises from Palni hills (TN) A seasonal river flows through TN Drains in Gulf of Mannar

Important Rivers of the World

1.River AmazonSouth AmericaIt is the second longest river which flows through Peru, Columbia, Brazil and drains into the Atlantic Ocean.
2.River MississippiNorth AmericaIt forms a bird-foot like a delta at the Gulf of Mexico, River Missouri is an important tributary of it.
3.River St. LawrenceNorth AmericaIt drains into Gulf of St. Lawrence which is an important transport corridor of North America.
4.River OrangeSouth AfricaLongest river of South Africa and contains diamond beds along its mouth.
5.River CongoAfricaThis river crosses the equator twice and drains into the south Atlantic Ocean.
6.River NileAfricaIt is the longest river in the world, originates near Lake Victoria and drains in the Mediterranean Sea.
7.River RhineWestern EuropeIt flows through Germany and Netherlands. It is one of the busiest waterways of Europe.
8.River DanubeEuropeIt passes through Germany, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania and drains into the Black Sea.
9.River VolgaEurope, RussiaIt is the longest river in Europe, it drains into the Caspian Sea.
10.River TigrisTurkey, IraqCities like Mosul, Baghdad, Basra were located along its banks and it drains into the Gulf of Persia.
11.River EuphratesTurkey, Syria, IraqMain source of water for Syria. It drains into the Persian Gulf.
12.River IrrawaddyMyanmarDrains into Gulf of Martaban
13.River MekongChina, Laos, Cambodia, VietnamIt is also called ‘Danube of the east’, and it merges with south china sea.
14.River YangtzeChinaIt originates from the Tibetan plateau and ends in east china sea. It is the longest river in China.

Important Lakes of the World

1.Titicaca lakeSouth AmericaIt is the highest navigable lake in the world located in the Andes mountains.
2.Great bear lakeCanada, North AmericaIt is a big glaciated lake in Canada. The Eskimos of Canada camp here during the summer season.
3.Great lakesNorth AmericaThis comprises of five large lakes of North America such as Lake Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, Ontario. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world.
4.Lake MalawiCentral AfricaIt is the third-largest lake of Africa and borders Tanzania, Mozambique.
5.Lake TanganyikaEast AfricaIt is the deepest and second largest lake of Africa.
6.Lake VictoriaAfricaThe largest river of Africa and passes through the equator.
7.Lake KainjiAfricaLargest manmade lake of Africa, used for irrigation purposes.
8.Dead seaWest AsiaIt is bordered by Jordan in the east and Palestine, Israel in the west. It is known for its high salinity.
9.Aral SeaCentral AsiaLocated between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It is shrinking rapidly in recent years.
10.Lake BaikalRussiaIt is the largest freshwater lake in Asia and the deepest in the world.
11.Caspian SeaEurasiaIt is the largest lake in the world and is surrounded by Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, and Azerbaijan.

Important Mountain Ranges and Peaks of the Worlds

Sr. No.Mountain RangeImportant/Highest PeaksLocationDescription
1.Rocky MountainsMt. Elbert (highest peak in the Rockies)North AmericaIt is one of the longest fold mountains in the world and extends from Canada to the Western US (New Mexico State).
2.Appalachian MountainsMt. Mitchell, North Carolina, US (highest peak of Appalachian Mountains)North AmericaIt is a fold mountain rich in mineral resources.
3.AlpsMont Blanc (French –Italian border)EuropeIt is a folded mountain and source for rivers like Danube, Rhine, etc.
4.Sierra NevadaMt. WhitneyCalifornia, USAHabitat for many Red Indian tribes
5.Alaska RangeMt. McKinleyNorth AmericaMt. McKinley highest peak in North America
6.Altai MountainsBelukha mountainCentral AsiaYoung folded mountain which extends from Kazakhstan to northern China.
7.Andes MountainsMt. AconcaguaSouth AmericaLongest mountain chain in the world
8.Atlas MountainsMt. ToubkalNorthwestern AfricaYoung fold mountain spreading over Morocco and Tunisia.
9.Drakensberg MountainsMt. LesothoSouth AfricaYoung folded mountain
10.Caucasus MountainMt. ElbrusEuropeLocated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea
11.Ural MountainsMt. NarodnayaRussiaThis mountain range act as a boundary between Europe and Asia.
12.Hindukush MountainsMt. Trich MirPakistan and AfghanistanFolded mountain with rugged topography which makes it difficult for transportation.
13.HimalayasMt. EverestAsiaYoung fold mountains in Asia which separate Indian sub-continent from the Asian plains
14.Arakan YomaMt. Kennedy peakMyanmarIt extends from north to south direction. Shifting cultivation is practised.
15.Kunlun MountainsMt. MuztagNorth of Tibetan plateau and western ChinaIt is one of the young folded mountains.
16.VosgesMt. Grand BallonEastern France, EuropeFamous for the cultivation of grapes and manufacture of wines.
17.Great Dividing RangeMt. KosciuszkoAustraliaThis range is the source for the rivers Darling and Murray.

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