Paragraph on the West Flowing Rivers of the Peninsular India

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

The west flowing rivers of the Peninsular India are fewer and smaller as compared to their east flowing counterparts.


The two major west flowing rivers are the Narmada and the Tapi. This exceptional behaviour of these two rivers is explained by the supposition that they do not flow in the valleys formed by themselves but have usurped for their channels two fault planes running parallel to the Vindhyas.

These faults are supposed to have originated with the bending or ‘sagging’ of the northern part of the Peninsula at the time of upheaval of the Himalayas. It is interesting to note that the Peninsular Rivers which fall into the Arabian Sea do not form deltas, but only estuaries.

This is due to the fact that the west flowing rivers, especially the Narmada and the Tapi flow through hard rocks and are not able to form distributaries before they enter the sea. The Sabarmati, Mahi and Luni are other rivers of the Peninsular India which flow westwards. Hundreds of small streams originating in the Western Ghats flow swiftly westwards and join the Arabian Sea.

The Narmada is the largest of all the west flowing rivers of the Peninsular India. It rises from the western flanks of the Amarkantak plateau about 22°40’N and 81°45’E at an elevation of 1,057 m in Shahdol district of Madhya Pradesh and flows westwards through a rift valley between the Vindhyan Range on the north and the Satpura Range on the south.


Its total length from its source in Amarkantak to its estuary in the Gulf of Khambhat is 1,310 km. For 1,078 km, it flows through Madhya Pradesh. For the next 32 km, it forms the boundary between Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra and for another 40 km between Maharashtra and Gujarat. The remaining 160 km of its course is in Gujarat.

After flowing for 400 km from the source, the river slopes down Jabalpur, where it cascades 15 m into a gorge to form the most spectacular and world famous Dhuan Dhar (Cloud of Mist) Falls. Since the gorge is composed of marble, it is popularly known as the Marble Rocks. The average descent of the river in its upper basin is 7-9 metres per kilometre.

Below Jabalpur, it flows in a narrow elongated and well defined basin and forms a few rapids. It makes two waterfalls of 12 m each at Mandhar and Dardi. Near Maheshwar the river again descends from another small fall of 8 m, known as the Sahasradhara Falls.

Emerging from the hills near Gardeshwar, it meanders through an alluvial plain past Baroach and makes an estuary before entering the Gulf of Khambhat. There are several islands in the estuary of the Narmada of which Aliabet is the largest. At its confluence with the sea, the mouth of the river is about 28 km wide. The Narmada is navigable upto 112 km from its mouth.

Since the river flows through a narrow valley confined by precipitous hills, it does not have many tributaries. The absence of tributaries is especially noted on the right bank of the river where the Hiran is the only exception.

It is 188 km long and flows parallel to the Bhanru Range in Jabalpur district before falling into the Narmada, north-east of Chhindwara. The other right bank tributaries are the Orsang, the Barna and the Kolar.

A few left bank tributaries drain the northern slopes of the Satpura Range and join the Narmada at different places. The important tributaries joining the Narmada on its left bank are the Burhner (177 km), the Banjar (184 km), the Shar (129 km), the Shakkar (161 km) the Tawa (172 km) and the Kundi (169 km).

The Tapi (also known as the Tapti) is the second largest west flowing river of the Peninsular India and is known as ‘the twin’ or ‘the handmaid’ of the Narmada. It originates from the sacred tank of Multai on the Satpura Plateau in Betul district of Madhya Pradesh at an elevation of 730 m above sea level.

It first traverses on open plain and then plunges into a rocky gorge of the Satpura hills between the Kalibhit Range in Nimar and Chikalda in Berar. At a distance of 192 km from its source, the river enters the Nimar region. After crossing the Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh it enters the Khandesh Plain of Maharashtra, lying between the Satpura and the Ajanta Ranges. On entering the Khandesh Plain, it receives the Puma River on the left bank.

This is the main tributary of the Tapi which originates in the Gawilgarh Hills and joins the main river near Bhusawal. Further west it crosses the Western Ghats through a deep and narrow valley, passes through the alluvial plain of Surat and makes an estuary before falling into the Gulf of Khambhat.

The total length of the river is 730 km. About 48 km stretch of its course is tidal and the river is navigable for only about 32 km from the sea. The important tributaries of this river apart from the Puma River, are the Betul, Patki, Ganjal, Dathranj, Bokad, Bokar Suki, More, Kanki, Guli, Aner, Arunavati, Gomai and Valer on right bank and Ambhora, Khursi, Khandu, Kapra, Sipra, Garja, Khokri, Utaoli, Mona, Vaghur, Gima, Bori, Panjhara, Buray and Amravati on the left bank.

The Sabarmati is the name given to the combined streams the Sabar and Hathmati. It rises from the hills of Mewar in the Aravali Range and is 320 km long. It flows through a gorge at Dharoi and falls into the Gulf of Khambhat. The important tributaries of this river are the Hathmati, the Sedhi, the Wakul, the Harnav, the Meshwa and the Vatrak. The average annual flow of this river is 3,200 million cubic metres.

The Mahi River rises in the Vindhyas at an elevation of 500 m and empties itself into the Gulf of Khambhat after flowing for a distance of 533 km. It drains an area of 34,862 sq km which is shared by Madhya Pradesh (19%), Rajasthan (47%) and Gujarat (34%).

The main tributaries of this river are the Som, the Anas and the Panam. The Luni or the Salt River (Lonari or Lavanavari in Sanskrit) is named so because its water is brackish below Balotra. Its source lies to the west of Ajmer in the Aravalli at an elevation of 550 m and it flows in a south-west direction. It is a small stream but has got the distinction of flowing through the Thar Desert.

The river is known as the Sagarmati in its upper course. It is joined by the Sarsuti after passing Govindgarh and it is from this confluence that the river gets its proper name as the Luni. It traverses for a distance of 482 km and is finally lost in the marshy grounds at the head of the Rann of Kuchchh. The river has a low gradient and flows through a wide plain without a well marked valley.

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