Paragraph on the East Flowing Rivers of the Peninsular India

Here is your paragraph on the East Flowing Rivers of the Peninsular India !

The Mahanadi (literally meaning big river) is an important river of the Peninsular India. It has its source in the northern foothills of Dandakaranya near Sihawa in Raipur District of Chhatisgarh at an elevation of 442 m. Its upper course lies in the saucer-shaped basin called the ‘Chhattisgarh Plains’.


This basin is surrounded by hills on the north, west and south as a result of which a large number of tributaries join the main river from these sides.

The main tributaries are the lb (251 km), the Mand (241 km), the Hasdo (333 km) and the Sheonath (383 km) on the left bank and the Ong (204 km), the Jonk (196 km), and the Tel (295 km) on the right bank.

From its source, the river takes a north easterly course. Beyond Seorinarayan it flows eastwards and after entering Orissa, it turns southwards below the Hirakud Dam. Further below it turns eastwards near Sonepur. On reaching Eastern Ghats, the river flows through a narrow Gorge for 23 km near Tikkarpara Range and finally emerges in a delta at Naraj 11 km west of Cuttack. The Mahanadi finally empties itself in the Bay of Bengal after flowing for a distance of 857 km. The delta of Mahanadi spreads over an area of 9,500 sq km and is over 150 km broad.

The Godavari is the largest river system of the Peninsular India and is next only to the Ganga and the Indus Systems regarding sanctity, picturesqueness and utility and is held in reverence as Vridha Ganga or Dakshina Ganga. Its total length is 1,465 kilometres.


It has a catchment area of 312,812 sq km of which 48.6 per cent is in Maharashtra, 23.8 per cent in Andhra Pradesh, 20.7 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, 5.5 per cent in Orissa and only 1.4 per cent in Karnataka. The source of this river is in the Trimbak Plateau of North Sahyadri near Nashik in Maharashtra which is only 80 km from the shore of the Arabian Sea.

From its source it flows eastwards in a narrow rocky bed upto Nashik but the river valley opens out below this point. It receives a large number of tributaries both from the left as well as from the right. But the left bank tributaries are more in number and larger in size than the right bank tributaries.

The Manjra (724 km) is the only important right bank tributary. It originates from Jamkhed Hill in Central Maharashtra and joins the Godavari near Kondalwadi after passing through the Nizam Sagar. The Penganga, the Wardha, the Wainganga, the Indravati and the Sabari are important left bank tributaries. The Penganga (676 km) rises from the Buldana Range and joins the Wardha River (483 km) near Ghughus. The Wardha in its turn joins the Wainganga. The united Wardha and Wainganga rivers become the short span Pranhita River which joins the Godavari below Sironcha.

The Indravati River from the Kondhan Hills of Eastern Ghats joins the master river about 48 km downstream from Sironcha. Below its confluence with Indravati, the Godavari flows in a gorge, 60 km long and 200 m wide through Eastern Ghats. It is located about 100 km from the mouth of the river and is supposed to be formed due to faulting.

Below Rajahmundry, the river divides itself into two main streams, the Gautami Godavari on the east and the Vashishta Godavari on the west and forms a large delta before it pours into the Bay of Bengal. The current at Rajahmundry is not rapid and varies from 1.2 to 3.3 metres per second. The delta has a front of 120 km and projects about 35 km into the sea.

The delta of the Godavari is of lobate type with a round bulge and many distributaries. The Godavari causes heavy floods in its lower course below Polawaram. The Godavari is navigable upto a distance of 300 km from its mouth.

The Krishna is the second largest east flowing river of the Peninsula. It rises in the Western Ghats just to the north of Mahabaleshwar, about 64 km from the Arabian Sea and flows for a distance of 1,400 km to the Bay of Bengal in a general easterly direction.

The Koyna, the Ghataprabha, the Malprabha, the Bhima, the Tungabhadra, the Musi and the Muneru are its important tributaries. The Koyna is a small tributary but is very famous for Koyna Dam. This dam was perhaps the main cause of the devastating earthquake in 1967.

The Bhima originates from the Matheron Hills and joins the Krishna 26 km from Raichur after flowing in the south-easterly direction for a distance of 861 km. Mula, Mutha Ghod and Nora are its sub-tributaries. The Tungabhadra is formed by the unification of the Tunga and the Bhadra originating from Gangamula in the Central Sahyadri. Its total length is 531 km.

At Wazirabad, it receives its last important tributary, the Musi, on whose banks the famous city of Hyderabad is located. The Krishna forms a large delta spreading over an area of 4,600 sq km with a shoreline of about 120 km. The Krishna delta appears to merge with that formed by the Godavari and extends about 35 km into the sea.

The Cauvery (Kavery) is the most revered and sacred river of south India and is designated as the ‘Dakshina Ganga’ or ‘the Ganga of the South’. The Source of this river lies at Taal Cauvery on the Brahmagiri range of hills in the Western Ghats at 1,341 m elevation (12° 25′ N and 75 34 E) situated in the Coorg Plateau (Coorg district of Karnataka).

It flows eastwards for a distance of about 800 km before it empties in the Bay of Bengal. This river is unique in the sense that its upper catchment area receives rainfall during summer by the south-west monsoon and the lower catchment area during winter season by the retreating north-east monsoon.

It is, therefore, almost a perennial river with comparatively less fluctuations in flow and is very useful for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation. Thus the Cauvery is one of the best regulated rivers and 90 to 95 per cent of its irrigation and power production potential already stands harnessed.

The Cauvery River falls rapidly by 450 m from its source of origin within a short distance of 8 km. The middle course of the river over the 750 m high Mysore Plateau is characterised by broad and sweeping meanders.

The river descends from the South Karnataka Plateau to the Tamil Nadu Plains through the Sivasamudram waterfalls (101 m high). The river which was more than one kilometre wide above the Sivasamudram Falls, narrows down considerably below it and enters a long, picturesque gorge, 200 m deep at places, cut through the Eastern Ghats.

The river divides itself into two distinct channels at Srirangam. The northern channel is called Kollidam (Coleroon) while the southern one retains the name Cauvery. The delta formation starts from a point about 16 km away from Tiruchchirappalli. The Cauvery has formed a quadrilateral delta spreading over an area of 8,000 sq km. It has almost straight front which runs for a distance of 130 km along the coast of Bay of Bengal.

The water flowing in the Cauvery is supplemented by a large number of tributaries which join the master river at different places. The main tributaries are the Herangi, the Hemavati, the Lokpavani, the Srimsha and the Arkavati from the north and the Laksmantirtha, the Kabani, the Suvarnavati, the Bhavani and the Amravati from the south.

Among the other east flowing rivers of the Peninsular India are, from north to south, the Subamarekha, the Brahmani, the Penneru, the Ponnaiyar and the Vaigai. The Subarnarekha originates from the Ranchi Plateau in Jharkhand at an elevation of 600 m and flows in south-east direction forming the boundary between West Bengal and Orissa in its lower course. It joins Bay of Bengal forming an estuary between the Ganga and Mahanadi deltas. Its total length is 395 km.

The Brahmani River comes into existence by the confluence of the Koel and the Sankh rivers near Rourkela. It has a total length of 800 km. Its main tributaries are the Kura, the Sankhad and the Tikra. Its mouth becomes the northern end of the Mahanadi delta.

The Penneru river springs from the Nandi Durg peak in Karnataka and flows in northward direction. It then enters Andhra Pradesh and takes an easterly course. It forms a narrow estuary before it joins the Bay of Bengal. The total length of the river is 597 km.

The principal tributaries of this river are the Jayamangali, the Kunderu, Saigileru, Chitravari, Papagni and Cheyyeru. The Ponnaiyar is a small stream which is confined to the coastal area only, South of the Cauvery delta, there are several streams, of which the Vaigai is the longest. This flows through dry channels and tends to get lost intermittently and appear again on the surface.

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